Thailand - Part 13

 

 Fishermen repair their boat where the old highway 217 to Laos disappears in the big hydro lake. 

 Lots of signs and freshly painted milestones indicate this road, but the Thai army has other ideas: 

11/1 We head fairly directly to Koh Chang. As the ferry docks we see to our great surprise and delight Darius and Jane waving to us. We spend 3 lazy weeks with them on the island. Darius is a dive instructor and Jane an assistant instructor, so we complete an open water dive course with the dive shop where they work. About a week before we arrived their work fairly suddenly came to a halt. First, the PAD blockade of Bangkok airport, then the world economic crash drove the tourists away. For me a lot of this course is revision: I trained as a diver when I was a teenager. However, I am surprised how much has changed since then and I have never actually dived in the sea. 

 

 

 

 

Jane trying on Su's bike for size. She gets at least one leg firmly on the ground.

Some people here still live the old way, although next door is a fancy resort. 

One road goes almost round Koh Chang. About 5 km at the Southern tip are missing. Or are they? When we explore the SW end we find a single lane tar road with milestones indicating it's 10 km to the village of Rong Tham on the Eastern side. But after a short distance a large culvert has been washed away. It doesn't look too difficult to cross the stony dry creek bed with my bike, but Su chickens out and won't let me. On the other side most of the road is covered in vegetation, only a small path is still usable. I'm a frustrated explorer today. 

Su with her head in the clouds - or is that smoke coming out of her ears?

On the way back we stop in Bang Bao for lunch and a short walk. Meanwhile, the clouds thicken and then it actually starts to rain a little. The ride back to our hut along the winding and very steep road is interesting. I ride at a constant speed to avoid crashing. On a steep uphill section the rider of a little Honda Wave does the same thing, but his rear wheel spins anyway! He narrowly avoids falling off. Some other bikers weren't so lucky on the next downhill section, where one lane in the steepest place is covered in oil. This is probably the most slippery road I have ever ridden on. We avoid all slides and make it back safely. 

 

Bang Bao.

 Near Nakhon Nayok. 

Wat Ao Noi, near Prachuap Khiri Khan

I wonder how many people this Honda Chaly can carry. 

Su has to get off and I have to duck to pass under this rail line. 

Drying fish. 

 Near Chumphon. 

Holy Mountain! On the road to La-Un, crossing the Thailand Peninsula. 

Lamut - very sweet and tasty. 

 As we get closer to the Andaman Sea it gets even more lush and tropical. 

Ranong Canyon, a pretty little lake and waterfall.