Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 15 Mon 12/07 - Rest Day in Ranong

Today Spending : 455 baht
Total  : 4915 baht

Morning wake up at 9am after watching the world cup final between Spain and Nederland. The 1st first was rather boring as both teams played very cautiously with hard tackles, the referee finds it tough to control as he flashes yellow cards like no other. The 2nd half was more lively as Spain piled on the pressure,the Nederlander relied on fast counter attack with long passes to their free flowing Roben at the wing .Spain mastermind Puyol is always sticking to him like a leech. The game went into extra time,penalties shootout seems unavoided,suddenly Spain nail Nederland with the final blow with only minutes left.The octopus is right and I am right. At 11 am did some updates on the net while Brent sort out his visa extension,by taking a boat across to Myammer and re-enter with 14 days stay.We got the chance to service our bikes at a bike shop near the hotel. For 60 baht,they did a cleaning on the front/rear hubs,derailers ,chain and general body cleaning, we gave 100 baht and 40 is tips for the worker. The bike shop owner Sittipong is a tourer himself and had done Laos/Vietnam touring. He has a good collection of old/new bikes in the shop

                                   Hainanese Association in Ranong
                                                     Ranong old market  
                                                           Inside the market shops

                                            Testing Sittipon understeering bike

                      Recumbent under good hands after completion of first 1k

                                       Shop owner Sittipon with his racing bike

                                              Unicycles hanging on the wall

                                                         A swb recumbent

                                                   Shop display

                                        Sittipon bike shop

Day 14 Sun 11/07 - Kapoe to Ranong

Today Distance: 61.5 km             Total: 1031.1 km
Today Temp : 26 - 36c
Time on Bike : 3 hr 38 min
Ave Speed : 16.9 kmh                  Max: 41.5 kmh
Ave Climb : 1%                            Max: 8%
Altitude: 259 m                             Max: 75m
Spending : 443 baht                      Total: 3769 baht

We started purposely late at 9 am cos' we knew today's journey to Ranong is only 52 km and we wanted a good sleep.As we roll our bikes out,the resort lady owner wanted to have pictures with us,she too invites us for coffee and bread.While enjoying our free breakfast,I had the chance to talk to a couple who speaks good English,they told me they originated from Malacca in Malaysia and still had relatives living in Puchong.Good weather continues with sun already hot on us as we say goodbye to them. The ride is more relaxing and no pressure with Brent and I taking turns to lead. Pretty much the same terrain as the last few days.We even side track 2 km to one of the waterfall,but was forced to turn back,there is one part of very steep soft earth which our heavy loaded bikes couldn't take it. I also tested Brent's trailer mounting on my recumbent and went for a short spin.No problem but guess one just needed sometime to be good. With 3 km before Ranong, Brent suggested to buy some provisions at the Tesco Lotus hypermarket .Ranong ,a big town close to the Myanmar border by boat ,is fairly visited by foreign tourists, causes resort and hotel here a little pricey. Tinidee@Ranong Hotel which we stay comes with hot pool,swimming pool and live band bar cost 590 baht promotion rate with 1700 baht as normal rate,as told by the receptionist. I just had to control my laughter as I was not have the chance to open my mouth cos' she speaks like a machine!!!
                               Thai vehicles park at the resort
                                                       Resort garden hut with wooden table

                                             At the Resort reception
                                                           At the entrance
                            Beautiful ceremic tiles with flower and leaf decoration

                                              Our next stay Ranong 52 km
                             Beautiful auntie with spiral roast chicken
                                This angle the chicken looks more finger licking good!!

                          Have you seen a recumbent pulling a trailer?
                             Very light traffic ,smooth road with broad shouder
                        Bought some provisions like oats,fruits,drinks 3km before Ranong
                                                       Tinidee @ Ranong Hotel
                                         Double bed room before we really mess it up
          Looking down from 4th Floor .Ice Bar yellow building and Hot pool at the white building
                             A Singha Beer to celebrate our first 1000 km

Day 13 Sat 10/07 - Takua Pa to Kapoe

Today Distance: 121.2 km               Total:969.6 km
Today Temp : 26 - 30c
Time on Bike : 6 hr 35 min
Ave Speed : 18.4 kmh                      Max: 57.0 kmh
Ave Climb : 2%                                Max: 13%
Trip Altitude: 649 m                          Max:128 m
Today Spending : 443 baht               Total: 3769 baht

Today so far was my best ride in Thailand.The weather was so cool,refreshing! The terrains, the roads ,the trees seems everything was just perfect and conducive for cycling.The traffic was light ,although we are still on Highway 4 , the newly laid tarmec was so smooth to make a comfortable ride. The very broad shoulder wide enough for 2 bikes side by side. No wonder Brent has this to say " Not only Takua Pa and Kapoe names sound like New Zealand towns ,I feel like cycling in New Zealand country roads too" But unfortunately Brent has 2 puntures on his rear tire, this forced him to change over to the brand new German made Schwalbe Marathon Plus and throw away the Taiwan made Kenda wornout tire. We break 2 new records in longest ride distance and time. By 6.30pm just before dark,we arrived in Kapoe,an even smaller town than Takua Pa , it is so small that easily you will miss it if not for the kilometer stone. As usual,I had to ask the local, I am really surprise at that little English they know, everywhere, young and old ,all speaking only Thai langauge. That motor shop guy had to draw a map of a cross junction not far ahead and turn right to find the resort. A very new and nice SS resort located on a highland for 350 baht.
            Mat salleh riding racing bike zoom past us with a wave of Hello
                                     Snaking the way up a pass. Come on ,you can do it!!!
        The King's daugther is flying here to attend a function ,we were turn away by the police
                                            The Guard at the temple entrance
                             A little detour on this gravel road to the wildlife sanctuary park
    Disappointment at the reception, nobody wants to entertain us,ended up just as one of our rest stop
                          Another steep hill, notice Brent was way ahead in front
                 SS resort -  open business for just 2 months , everything is NEW
                              And the new bed....

Day 12 Fri 09/07 - Phang Nga to Takua Pa

Today Distance: 67.9 km         Total:848.4 km
Today Temp : 28 - 36c
Time on Bike : 3 hr 54 min
Ave Speed : 17.4 kmh            Max: 60.0 kmh
Ave Climb : 3%                      max : 11%
Trip Altitude: 433m                Max:175 m
Today Spending : 598 baht    Total: 3326 baht

The weather continues to be hot and sunny as we started at 8 am. Half an hour delayed due to Brent front tire was flat b'cos of micro leaks as he already suspected it from yesterday.Today we avoided the much busier Highway 4 and took the more scenic route 4090 and this will lead us all the way to Takua Pa. There are more greens and trees as we moved further north away from the more tourist town of Krabi and Phang Nga, that gave us some shade from the heat. The rolling hills are not that difficult for me as I usually used my lightest gear,slowly but steadly overcome them.But Brent was really strong on the hills and climb better with his trailer, when I reaches the top,he was already over a distance, but if the downhill is long, the recumbent will soon overtake him.Takua Pa was even smaller than all the towns that we had stayed. A bus station for stopover long distance express bus from Phuket to Ranong or even Bangkok,a market,a police station and 2 rows of scattered shophouses.We checked in the only hotel named " Extra Hotel" which I told Brent the more suitable named -" Less Hotel" , a hotel with big building but every corner is empty ,there is no maintainence ,we saw the manager and staff were busy repairing a faulty old fan. We pay 400 baht that don't even had hot water to supply.The next morning I saw quite a few trucks at the carpark. Walked around town and saw only one internet with only one computer in the shop serving 100% Arabian coffee. Wasted 70 baht for 1.5h in that always hang-up computer.
Beautiful temple on the way out
Our next stay at Takua Pa
The long straight down...

And then the rolling up...

                     View point rest stop on the oil palm and rubber trees
                 Thai flat kuih teiw fried with vege and pork, ohmm.. yummy!!!!
                                              Neatly planted trees as canopy
                                                   With broad wide shoulder
                                          Big kid on children's bike

                  The market at Takua Pa - the only one picture I took