Tak to Sam Ngao (70 km)

To help beat the heat we are leaving in the dark and biking at sunrise. 

Early morning start

We started to climb a bit today. This lead to a change in the landscape. Less farm land and more forest. Still lots of rice fields and bananas. 

The people along this route are amazing. There is a hello or thumbs up or a friendly honk every 5 minutes. A real warm and friendly welcome. We stopped to buy water at a small town and the shop owner insisted we have a bite to eat. We sat down to a rice dish only to find out the store owner paid the street vendor for our meal. We are getting just that kind of reception. 

Free Breakfast

Yummy

About 2 km before Sam Ngao we found a sheep farm/mushroom farm resort...

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Kamphaeng Phet to Tak (68 km)

The temperature rose to 38 degrees today and the last hour of cycling was not easy. 

Again, lots of wonderful agriculture along the way. We saw one of these birds with a big frog in it’s mouth, caught in a rice paddy. 

Bird in a rice paddiy

 They work very hard in the hot sun in the rice fields. Today, Thailand is under Marshal Law (run by the military). One of the reasons is the way rice farmers were treated and how they refused to back the previous government. Below is a link to a story earlier about their struggle. 

        Story about the rice farmers struggle

Below is a man preparing a field for rice planting.  

Working the rice fields

Once in Tak we enjoyed the riverfront and night market for $1 pad Thai dinners...

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Khanu Woralaksaburi to Kamphaeng Phet (68 km)

Another great day of cycling. Flat terrain with great shoulders and traffic was not an issue. We start cycling around 7:30 and the temperature is a bearable 22c.  By noon it is 37c and a difficult slog when you are not use to the heat. 

One of the things that has to happen is you need to toughen up your sits bones. The bike seats are quite hard and this can be an issue the first week. Nothing a little steroid cream won’t help. 

Saw our first elephant today, riding along route 1084. 

Baby Elephant on our route

We are getting closer to the Thai / Burma border. Kamphaeng Phet was a walled city in the past to protect themselves from attacks from Burma. There are still ruins of these walls evident. 

Walls around old Kamphaeng Phet

There are 100’s of Buddhist temples in South East As...

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Nakhon Sawan to Khanu Woralaksaburi. (67 km)

Finally we get to start to cycle. Lots of planning up to this point. Bikes are loaded. We switched our mirrors from the left side of the handlebars to the right side as we will be cycling on the far left lane of the road.

We started at 7:30 and it took about twenty minutes to get out of town. We rode on highway 1084 most of the way. A lovely road, with a sugar cane processing plant near the start of the trip. This meant many sugar cane trucks up and down the highway.

Sugar Cane Truck

The countryside is lush and full of farming. Rice fields, mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, durian fruit, corn and sugar cane. Since the 1960’s they have converted half of their forest to make room for farming and urban sprawl.

When cycle touring the journey is the destination...

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Train Ride From Bangkok to Nakhon Sawan

We decided to take a train out of Bangkok to the town of Nakhon Sawan. 

It was a 5 hour trip and extremely interesting. We took 2nd class service vs 3rd class. The seats were wider and reclined, and there was nobody standing. The third class cars were overflowing. There were signs that it was illegal to ride on the roof of the train. It was starting to fill up where that might have been an option. Pad Thai, cold drinks and other nice foods was being sold by vendors who walked up and down the train. They came by about every 30 seconds or so. Tough to rest or sleep. 

At one point we passed an old temple with 100’s of monkeys surrounding the building. It had a creepy feel to it.  

Ruins with Monkeys

So when the train stops at our station, Janis got the 11 small saddle bags off that we hav...

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Jet Lag Is Setting In

Bangkok is 12 hours ahead of Peterborough, so we will take a few days before starting to cycle. We will do the three s’s. Sight see, set-up the bikes and sleep when appropriate. 

We took the 53 bus to the Royal Palace and spent the morning touring. King Rama IX is the longest standing Royalty in the world. The Thai people seem to love him. He and his wife are getting quite frail and have missed some key events lately. His son is ready to take over. The son just went through his third divorce and has three children so far.  The bet is the child soon otobe born to his mistress could be his successor. Lots of legal things to work out there. 

There appears to be a very strong connection between state and religion as the Palace consists of a temple and a palace...

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We made it to Bangkok

Bikes in a box in Bangkok

Well after 34 hours from waking up in Toronto to putting our heads on a pillow in Bangkok it was a long journey. 

It is hard to imagine what all had to go right to make a three plane trip 16,000 km half way around the world, and only be 15 minutes late. Amazing…..  We got in a cab and he drove upwards of 150 km per hour and we made up he 15 minute delay. We had to tell him to slow down. 

The bike boxes made it with us. Last time in Cuba the boxes got bumped to a flight the next day. 

After a day of rest, we wil open the boxes and see if they arrived safely or if we have to pretend (again) that we know how to repair them. 

New Year’s Eve in Bangkok sounded like Canada...

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Our Final Post For This Trip

It has been a blast. It took time once we got home to put together this final video.

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Click here to view our final video

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Thanks
J & D

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Salta to Cafayate (190 Km’s)

Nearly done now
Best for last
Thoughts of home
Enter our heads
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Getting out of Salta was ugly so we took a cab.
Once out of town, the riding was great.
We found a couple of good lodges along the way and could not believe the sites and sounds.
As always, when one gets close to the end of a journey one’s thoughts start to move to things at home.
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Click he to see Cocoa leaves in action
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We rented a car and drove from Salta to Cachi for n overnight tour. Below is the sign posted on the car.
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Some of the sights on our car trip.
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We came across a forest of cactus.
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Click here to view video of cactus
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The baby cactus need to grow under another plant to survive the first 8 to 10 years of their life...

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JuJuy to Salta. (250 km)

Cycling in jungle
Through the clouds
Tiny narrow road
It felt magical
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What an amazing cycling day. We quickly came upon a very narrow road and it ran up the mountain through a damp jungle.
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Click he to see mini road
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Click here to see cycling in the jungle
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Lovely old growth forest.
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We actually got to ride through the clouds at one point.
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Click here for riding in the clouds
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Click here for arrival in Salta
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J and D

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