This time I found what I was expecting being a proper and real road in northern Thailand. On this picture, I’ve push my bike from bottom to top. In that case I prefer to save the belt of my bicycle than pushing so hard on the pedals and shorten its life just to say “I’ve done this”. I had to tackle several steep hills today and walked many times too but the landscapes were different than what I’ve seen until now in Thailand. I have no regret suffering a bit to enjoy more.
I left this temple this morning around 6:30. The only two monk who live here offered me an instant coffee before they left to collect their own food for the day. Few minutes after them, I was gone too.
For now, I’m following the road at the bottom of this Phrao valley which is going to lead me to the first real hill of Thailand.
This is how paper grows in Thailand. Interesting…
The paper tree :-)
THAT’S a nice road.
And a nice shelter.
For now, it’s flat but soon I know I will be climbing some hills.
The first one!
Few! The beginning was ok but the last bit difficult! Let’s have a break. I’m not used to that anymore.
Another valley. I did not expect that.
I took a shortcut and this is where it ends. Now I have to follow the main road but as you can see I’m not going to be annoyed by the traffic haha :-)
Hohooo, this is where the serious stuff starts. From Maps, I know it’s going to last for the rest of the day until I reach the other side, at least.
In real life, this is steeper than it looks on the pictures. A proof?
This! Come on, let’s push that 50kg up to this FIRST hill.
Few! I need a break, It’s very hot already.
Finally! That sign tells me that something good will happen soon: the downhill that follows the uphill. Cool!
This is why I prefer the hills, for this!
Ouch! I know already what’s going to happen very soon. I will jump off my bike and push it again. That’s okay.
Once I got to the second curve, the one next to the dark wooden house, I stopped to have a break. Some local people came and fortunately, one of them, a woman, could speak some english. She invited me to seat at her place and offered me some rice, sardine, soup and water. I had more than enough food :-) The people who live here are known as Karen. They originally come from Myanmar and live in the mountains. 1.000.000 of them live in Thailand close to the Myanmar border, 7.000.000 live in Myanmar and some more in others countries like Canada, USA, Sweden… They usually live without electricity or running water (at least for the one in Asia) but that’s not the case here (at least for the electricity). They have their own language but the writing does not exit (if I understood correctly what the woman told me). Her daughter is actually studying in Bangkok.
After breakfast, I stayed for a little while, thinking about that long steep hill I will have to climb. Another woman I’ve seen previously came back with a huge bag attached wide open at the tip of a long stick. First, I thought she was catching butterfly. But then she looked at us and said “ants”. I was not sure I understood the word “ants” until I had a look what was inside. Yes, this is ants and apparently it’s delicious. That’s what she said: “ants, delicious”. Hmmm… ok. I won’t try if I’m not forced to. At least for now.
Finally I’m on the road again. Nice hills around here :-)
The last hill was the longest one I’ve done today and normally the rest of the day will be easier. It’s close to 11am now. When I’ve seen that nice shelter I decided to have a break for a little while.
I’ve got shade, I can sleep, perfect :-)
Well, I tried to sleep but it’s hardly doable here. There is too much flies in this area. I think this is because of the dry season. They look for moisture and I’m full of it unfortunately. If I cannot sleep, maybe I can try to fix this bloody pant. I bought this pant in Australia 40$ because it was discounted. The original price was 110$, something like this! I would be very pissed of to have bought it for this price which is a total rip off. The quality is so bad. Less than a month after I bought it, the seams began to unravel. When I was in Adelaide (Australia) where I’ve met Graham and Joy, Joy fixed it for me already. Since then, I had only problems with this pant. The only thing I like is that it dries very quickly. Of course, with all these holes… Bloody pant!
I’m playing serious now. Let’s operate.
I hope it will last for a bit…
Back on the road again for the last part of the day.
Hills are all behind me now! I will reach the road I left yesterday in a minute.
I’ve seen those bale of straw only in cartoons but his one is real. I thought it was a shelter first but it’s not. The top straw covers the big part of the bale, same technique used for the roofs or vice versa. Interesting.
Later on, I’ve reached a town and was on my way to a temple nearby when I passed along this public park. That’s not something very common here. I had a look around and discovered that there was some toilets as well, and a roof, tables, benches. The perfect place :-) I just hope nobody is going to come here later this evening as they usually do. Many times, I thought I’ve found a good, discreet and quiet place until a bunch of people arrive to have a party. If that’s the case I will move further at the back of the park.
I’ll have a shower and jumped (delicately) in my hammock :-) Good night!