Day 1:   Thursday 5 January 2023

After a frenetic few weeks, during which we have barely had time to think about our trip, we have arrived in Bangkok.  Having deposited our dogs and cat around the country with willing (or at least semi willing) pet sitters we finally arrived a Gatwick even more fully loaded than usual (as the trikes weigh much more than our bikes). We arrived hours early after reading gloomy emails from Emirates advising us to check in 4 hours in advance because the airport was so busy.  We held our breath as the check in person weighed each bag but were relived to find we were under our weight limit.  There was also no problem with our scruffy bike bags containing the dismantled and folded up trikes. An eyebrow was raised at the even more scruffy canvass bags in which the panniers, wheels and other items were stowed, but fortunately there is no sartorial elegance test at check-in. Even the security check was fine.  We were not discovered with stray penknives, tent pegs or other banned items that seem to slip in to hand luggage and were through everything within 40 minutes.

The flights were fine – boring and dull with little sleep but no delays. We either looked very tired (we were), grey haired (I like to call it silver streaked) or otherwise pitiful (quite possible) but we were pulled out of the enormous passport queue into the priority line with families with young children.  It is possible the staff wanted the airport cleared of people with scruffy bags as soon as possible.

As when we seem to be frequently offered seats on the tube these days, we felt slightly affronted but also grateful and we were swiftly through passport control.  More breath holding as we waited for our bags, which appeared at the tail end of the very long lines of assorted smart suitcases and backpacker rucksacks.  On to ‘oversized luggage’ and soon after both trikes appeared. We hooked up with our transfer in a very jazzy minibus full of funfare lights and we were on our way into the balmy night.

The efficient road soon had us into the central area of Bangkok and dropped at Tavee Guesthouse, a couple of kilometres north of the centre of the city.  It is a warren of little corridors interspersed with pretty courtyards. Friendly, polite staff with lots of bowing…….yes we were back in Thailand.

After showers we ventured out and found a cafe with excellent pork and mushroom something or other (nearly all Thai menus thankfully come with photos so you have some idea of what to order) and had a celebratory beer before finally collapsing into sleep.

We are both a tad anxious about the challenges ahead including coping with heat, humidity, traffic and hills; but it feels good to be on the road at last.

6 thoughts on “Day 1:   Thursday 5 January 2023

  1. Morning. Saw wet ee thai. That may mean hello. We are with you on day one. Thanks for including us. Just in case you get back in time we are scheduled to have 3 weeks in Ireland May 11-June 2. Just a thought that you might pop over. Bike trip and hiking.

  2. Always the hard bit – getting there with all your equipment – i’m really enjoying the updates and will be keenly watching – have a fabulous time 🙂

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