First stack

Had a much better day today.  We left Surat Thani behind us and headed East to the Donsak ferry terminal 62km away. We had a dead line of 1.30pm because we had to catch the ferry.  The road was ok until we reach a long stretch with heaps of pot holes.  Now these were not your average pot holes. I was worried that if Paddy fell in one we would never see him again. 

We were weaving our way through the potholes quite well until I took one too close and plowed my front wheel into deep loose gravel. My front wheel made it through and I thought I was going to make it but then my back wheel slipped and I went down hard. Robert jumped off like a frog so he was ok. I was not as agile and ended up on the road. I have some great scrapes and bruises on my left hand side especially my elbow, hip and knee. 

We ended up  making it with time to spare. We had a really smooth ferry ride to Koh Samui and found our quiet hotel tucked away off the main street.  We are all safe and sound.  

Murphys Law.

We had one of those days yesterday where everything went wrong.  It all started early in the morning when one of us broke the golden rule of ‘don’t trust a fart if you have gastro’. Allister was not the only one to eat the pork but he ate the most so the effects hit him first. I will not tell you who broke the rule. 

As we were cycling away from our lovely accommodation Robert started to get ‘bent over double’ stomach cramps. Not pleasant while cycling. He was in pain but said he could go on. 

Allister and I debated which road to take and in the end we went with his choice. The road was fine at first but it became narrower and busier as we progressed. We realised that we were on the main rubber plantation truck route. If you have read Patrick’s post you would know that it stinks.

We stopped after about 15km for a break and that was when we realised that we had left our cheese, yogurt and juice in the fridge back at the homestay. 

Allister pulled his phone out of the back pocket of his jersey to discover that his sweat had finally got into the phone and it had stopped working. 

For the first time in the trip I was leading the way because Allister was so fatigued by the gastro. 

We stopped again at about the 25km mark. We had planned on cycling 60+km but it was hot, smelly, with big trucks on the road and both Robert and Allister were sick. Nobody was enjoying themselves.  A young guy was also at the shop that we stopped at. He was driving a twincab ute.  I asked him if he could drive us to the next decent size town, Surat Thani,  he agreed.  We piled the bikes and panniers in the ute and climbed aboard.  Robert fell asleep within seconds.  

Our driver dropped us off near to our hotel and we cycled the last few kms. When we arrived Robert realized that he did not have his mobile phone and he must have left it in the ute. With absolutely no way of contacting the driver we sadly realize that it was gone for good.  

Once we had showered Allister decided to get back on the bike to cycle to a Samsung repair place. He cycled 8km in the rain to discover that Google had sent him on a wild goose chase.  There was no samsung repair shop. 

When he got back it was getting dark and we hadn’t eaten in ages. We decided to walk to a shopping Centre that we could see in the distance.  As we were walking along we noticed that nothing was open. This is really unusual in Asia. Shops stay open late. When we finally turned the last corner to the shopping center we discovered that it was a home renovation display centre.  No restaurants in sight. 

We walked back to our hotel and found a small place that was closing up. We convinced the lady to feed us. She had pretty much nothing left but she agreed. She scrapped together some noodles and made a pad thai. We were very thankful. 

We all went to bed hoping that tomorrow would be a better day. 

Sorry no photos.  None of us were in the mood.  

New shirt!

When we stayed in Krabi I realized I needed a new shirt. So we went out shopping, at first all we could find was ones with beer labels. But eventually we found a good one. I didn’t really like it but mom did, so we bought it. It Only costed $3. It had the words (will it be easy, nope, worth it, absolutely) on it.

Rotting Rubber 

Today the roads we rode on all smelled like rotting rubber. Rotting rubber smells so bad I vomited. Rubber is the sap of a tree and they take off the bark and make a line down to a bucket which collects the rubber. Then they put it into piles and wait for a truck to come and pick it up. IT STINKS!!!!!!!

Too much Pork.

We had a really good rest day in Krabi, where we went to a secluded beach called Railay Beach. There are no roads into the beach because of the mountainous terrain so you have to catch a boat. The mountains are right up to the waters edge and beautiful for rock climbing.  We all had a climb and Allister and Robert really got to enjoy their fitness and agility but Patrick surprised me the most by volunteering to do the highest climb first. He was a little overwhelmed, once or twice, but he got to the top and when he reached the bottom again he received a round of applause from the other climbers. 

Today’s cycle had more rest stops than usual because Allister was not feeling 100%. He is blaming it on the hugh portion of Pork he ate at the markets last night.  

The man in black in this photo made the assumption that we were hungry and he invited us to a feast.  We followed him to a community hall and was served a bunch of dishes that we didn’t order. At the time we thought it was a large community restaurant but after a little while we realised it was a funeral.  We didn’t take any photos out of respect to the people involved but it was an amazing community gathering.  They even have firecrackers going off to mark the occasion.  I have told the boys that I want firecrackers at my funeral. 

Day 28 – Emerald Pool to Krabi

After yesterday’s adventure today’s ride was very uneventful and tame. As we left Emerald Pool we had a great downhill ride back to the highway. One downhill we got to 50kph without pedaling. 

The highway to Krabi was busy and built up the closer we got. The roads are generally in very good condition and the highways have a shoulder wider enough that we can ride side by side. 

We had a break at the entrance of an elephant hospital. 

While riding into Krabi we were searching for a good bike store, because I broke a spoke while pushing the bike through a jungle track yesterday. Saw a couple of bike stores and was about to head off to one after settling in to the guesthouse. However, the Amazing Julie offered to fix it herself. The bicycle maintenance course she completed 15 years ago has paid dividends many times. Within 20 minutes the old spoke was removed and new put in. Wheel back to good as new. See the broken spoke below and pick the new spoke by the shiny end. 

Check out my ride on Strava: