We were even more efficient at getting up this morning and when we left a 5.50am it was definitely still dark. The town however was awake as we pedalled our way out and soon the sky began to get light. We had a few kms on the main highway and then turned off, turning west this time to head across towards the other side of the Thai peninsular. There were subtle changes in the landscape – still coconut and rubber being the main crops but the road gradually got more and more undulating.
Nothing very steep but our legs are used to flat. After about 35km we came across an unprepossessing little town that had a great coffee shop. Iced cappuccino is my current tipple of choice!
As always the day began to heat up. The road was still up and down, up and down and we had lost any sea breeze a long while ago.
Mountains began to loom up ahead and the scenery was beautiful but it was starting to get hard going. Luckily we reached our destination about 12. A village at the far end of Lake Chiew Lan by the Ratchaprapha dam. We had booked into a little hotel by the river opposite a spectacular rock face.
Our room was in a bamboo building. For the first time we had no a/c so we lay down and melted for a couple of hours while the fan pushed around hot air and we tried to rehydrate. I took about 3 showers to try and cool down!
By 3.30 it was getting bearable again and we swam in the river, which was blissfully cool and had no crocodiles (or at least none we saw). There was a small roped off area by the bank – essential as we could see a mighty current in the centre of the river. By 4.30 we felt ready to cycle the 4km into town to buy some food. Although it almost as cheap to eat out, we like cooking for ourselves reasonably regularly as it can become a pain to constantly be looking for somewhere and deciding what eat. Tonight was therefore a vegetable and egg green curry which David cooked in our little stove. Delicious. As we sat and ate on our balcony it got dark and we could see a lightening storm in the distance….but no rain here.
Tomorrow we are off on a 3 day tour where a boat takes us far along the lake to the middle of nowhere – no electricity, no internet, no mobile signal. We have booked 2 nights staying on the lake where we are hoping guides will take us on walks into the jungle etc. We are looking forward to some time of the bikes and getting away from everything. Like many people we have become rather obsessed with coronavirus and looking up what is happening in Europe and this part of the world so it will be nice to be forced just to read some good books and see, we hope, some spectacular scenery. We will be back in touch in a few days!