Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Blood, sweat and sore gooches - The beginning of the cycle from Bangkok to Singapore.

We have started the wonderful cycle from Bangkok to Singapore.
We started off central Bangkok at about 8.am
The plan(ish) was to cycle out of Bangkok using a 3 page google map printout, which had the directions for us to get out of the city and onto the road which leads us to our next desired town, which our map of thailand shows (we don't have a map of Bangkok - only the whole of Thailand).
However, we ran into a problem (as you do). We'd assumed the road out would be small enough for bicycles to be permitted to use. But we were wrong. Traffic police shouted and whistled at us as we tried to get through the toll gates which led us onto the main road.
So then we were back to square one, but without the time of the night before to plan our route...
We decided to TRY to use our map... after about 1 to 2 hours of hopelessness - asking taxi drivers who pointed us in what we thought was the right direction until we followed it and got pointed in another direction by the next taxi driver, we decided to get the train to the next stop out of the city.
BUT this wasn't as easy as it sounded when we said it. We then had to find the train staion of course!
But luckily we were about 1 km away and we were given correct directions.
So we got the train to the next stop in that direction which was Phetchaburi, which was a really nice town! Nice people, nice scenery and no traffic or pollution.
After a couple of days of nice cycling now, we're in a town called prachuap khiri khan. Which is pretty nice.
On the first days cycling we did 60km to a nice town called Cha-am and then followed it by a 100km cycle to this town! We've had moderate headwinds on both days which isn't great as our legs are still re-adjusting to the cycling, after our break, but the roads are brilliantly smooth, and I have a new front wheel which I got in bangkok to replace my tractor wheel I picked up in India to replace my broken one. So now I have a new hub with new smooth bearing which makes it a lot easier to cycle! Finn also got a new front pannier rack, because it broke, and he was using it, bungee-corded to his handlebars. Mine is in a ridiculous state but the bodge should hold, I dont' think it's worth paying for a new one. But the wheel was important, because I couldnt even brake properly because the Indian rim was so wide it JUST fitted in between my brake pads, with about 1mm of leeway to use or not use the brakes.

Anyway on the whole, we're both happy to be back on the road and are enjoying the smooth roads, and jungle views and happy thai people, as we continue south, powered by the cheap roadside food of noodle soup with veg and meat.
Give it a week and hopefully we'll have adjusted to the intense heat here. After a days cycle we feel sandy from all the salt on our skin from the evaporated sweat (and yes dont worry we're eating lots of salty food to replace it).

We've already got a few good pics, but will upload them on the next post.
Hope you're managing to stay warm in England! ;)

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