Tuesday, December 17, 2013

45. Bang Pra - Klong Yai

365 km

When I looked out the window this morning I knew I would get wet today. 

And I was right. 

During the night it rained so heavily that I woke up from the noise. It is a little unusual since we are in the so-called dry season. I packed and was ready to go, my last day in Thailand - for now.

Since I am not authorized to use the toll roads I had to negotiate the heavy truck traffic around Bang Pra and Laemg Chabang on regualt, slow moving roads, with the familiar deep depression channels. After some 50 minutes the trucks more or less vanished, and traffic ran smoothly on the four-lane divided highways. That was also about the time the heavy rain started. Since there are traffic lights in most of the villages the highway crosses the motorcycle needs to be brought to complete stops from high speed, an exercise which proves that ABS is a life saving, at least an accident avoiding feature. A motorcycle should definitely have ABS. Since it hadn't rained in a long time the roads are very slick from the rubber and oil residue, without the ABS it is dangerous whenever you brake at higher speeds.

But eventually the rain stopped, the highway went from four to two lanes, and the landscape became increasingly beautiful again. The GPS screen displays that I was moving closer and closer to the ocean again, how nice.

My destination today after 4.5 hours (with a fuel and rest stop) of riding is the tiny fishing village of Mairood, Klong Yai Province. It is built on stilts, has no car accessibility, and is less than 30 minutes north of the Cambodian border. Such traditional villages are built over tidal flats and near a natural harbor. No tourists near or far.

The place were I wanted to stay was on the GPS, however the position was inaccurate, and I couldn't believe my eyes where my route took me. The path went from road to concrete planks leading across the water, right through the little houses of the village; these concrete planks are about twice the width of a U-Haul truck ramp, with a bicycle that might be OK, but with a wide, heavily loaded BMW this is nerve wrecking. Access to the village is by boat only (and scooter or bicycle).

The locals seem to know how to ride here.

Wow! Where does the GPS takes me, I wonder?

I was sweaty and really a little worn out after arrival, and for now I postpone the thought that I have to ride back tomorrow, the same way I came, unfortunately. I keep my fingers crossed.

But the little bungalows built into the mangroves are nice, and the food tonight was excellent ("Tom Kha Gai", one of my favored Thai dishes, and "Chicken with Cashew Nuts".)

The inspector cat checks the motorcycle.

Fishing takes place at night, with such big boy lamps.

Literally the end of the road.

Tomorrow, Cambodia.

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