Day 6: 4th January 2009, Chatturat - Chaiphum (43km) – Distance so far 346km “Rats for dinner!!”
Arose from our resort feeling the ill effects from last night karoke….Flashbacks of Barbie Girl and Ronan Keating’s “loving each day as if its the last” still haunting our morning slumber. We nip down the town on the bikes to the nearest 7/11 to stock up on our daily food supply. Brian decided to cycle 15mins ahead of us as he was nursing a knee strain and wanted to take it handy. We also tried out our solar charger for the first time which worked a charm for Mikes dead ipod. (fully chared the badboy in 90 mins). What a handy little gadget as it “charges while you ride”…Very nice indeed!!!!….After our break…a motorcyclist pulled up beside Brian asking him the usual token questions “where you come from?” “where you go?” Pretty soon we were all talking to this very pleasent guy named Komsan. He asked if we would come to his house (just 1km from the main road to Chaiphum). We of course accepted his kind offer. Komsan’s family, firends and neighbours swarmed around us. They quickly asked us to have food and water. Komsan and his mother prepared a very tasty meal of fluffy rice (their own crop too), omelette, fruit and water. Komsan and his family were farmers.
As we were chatting to this lovely family with noticed Kumsans 3 cousins approaching with and unusual specimen in hand. As they drew nearer we realised to our horror that it was a hugh rat, they informed us that rats make for a nice dinner and can fetch 0.73€ in the local market. Niccccccccce….
The rest of the cycle (approx 20km) was very easy and uplifting. This was mainly down to the genorosity shown to us by Komsan and his family. As we entered Chaiyaphum, we were pulled over by the Police at their Checkpoint….Oh Oh!!!…..They were intruiged by us offerering us water and refreshing towels….We took some photos with them and treked into Chaiyaphum.
We would probably take a rest day tomorrow so we cycle to a very reasonable, but nice hotel (10 euro for 2 nights) outside town. Rest day tomorrow, but well deserved. Whoooo Hooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Day 5: 3rd January 2009, Thep Sathit – Chatturat (60km) – Distance so far 303km “Karoke Kings”
Up bright and early at about 6am. All slept well. Easy route because the roads were undulating (giving us nice rolling downhills) for good sections of the way. There is alot of sugar cane harvesting going on at the moment so every conceivable form of transport is being used to harvest/draw the crops from the fields. On the way we stumbled across a mini “new years” celebtration on and the locals went beezerk. Beatlemania is the only way to describe the reaction. The Thai locals just scream, ask for photos and hang off us. Utterly crazy but very funny.
The impact we have left in these small towns has been huge. Being “the news of the day” for the villagers is an unusual feeling. Reach Chatturat and book ourselves into a really cheap resort for the night. Crappy one bedroom deal but it had a swimming pool!!! We close out in Chatturat by going to the resorts’ main attraction….a Karoke bar….In true Irish fashion we sing everything from Barbie Girl by Aqua to Hello by Lionel Richie…..Rem those little classics!!!…Whats that Larry? Can you guess the year? Another day over, again very tired and a little tipsy. We literally pile oursleves into our one-bed motel room to sleep for tomorrows adventures…Goodnight John Boy!!!
Day 4: 2nd January 2009, Chai Badan - Thep Sathit (62km) – Distance so far 243km “Sore Arses”
Woke this morning at 7am and feeling fine. Had a fruit breakie. Sorted out the bikes as normal and jumped onto the saddles. Rear ends are a little sore today, but we struggle on and place the arse blisters and sudocrem treatments firmly to the back of our minds. There are alot of young Monks on the road, one on his mobile phone!!! (must be having doubts)…. The journey was nice and flat for approx 20km, but quickly we accented 300 meters ino the Chai Badan hills. We took our time at this climb, so we found it fine. We have now calculated that the hottest part of the day is between the hours of 1:30pm – 3pm so we always try to take our lunch at that time. The remainder of our journey was pleasent and we arrived in Thep Sathit fresh and optimistic. Got a nice cheap hotel room, listened to Lionel Richie, watched the Commitments and had a few beer Loas. Met with an English bloke named Steve who owned a Car Cleaning Service in Pattya, South Thailand. Chatted over dinner whilst counting the fine array of bites and blisters we still had. Itching perfusely we head to the leaba as we have an early start in the morning.
Day 3: 1st January 2009, Wan Muang – Chai Badan (59km) – Distance so far 181km “Irish Blood, Mosquito Lust”
/Woke up at 6am. It had been a horrible night. Our comfortable hammocks had been anything but, and the experience of sleeping outdoors for the first night hadn’t been good. Coupled with this, our Irish bodies had been the perfect New Years’s feast for every sort of bug/insect and mosquito in Wan Muang. The early morning itchings were made a little funnier (sadistically maybe!!) when we looked at Brian’s nose…..Oh yes!!! A peach of a mosquito bite right on the tip of his shron!!….
We rolled up our crappy hammocks and packed our gear, had a breakfast (mainly eggs) and hit the road. We were all fairly beaten up and we discussed the “what went wrongs” on the road. We travelled 40km along some of the most boring and straightest roads in the land to then stop in Tha Luang where we literralled inhaled a meal of; pork, rice and egg. This meal really picked us up as the mood was low. We progressed onwards seeing cockfighting, sugar caini harvesting. This was all accompanied by plenty of support from all the locals in the tiny little places we passed. Rolled into Cha Badan where we decided to check into a hotel (5 euro for 3 of us). The room had two single beds so we drew straws to decide on the night’s “married couple”…..Lets just leave it at that and that beggars cannot be choosers!!!! Grabbed some hot showers to scrub the undergrowth off our bodies and then we treated the various lumps/bites/blisters and general festering mess that the previous night’s camping had delivered upon us. Had hotel food that night which consisted of a steaming bowl of pork and rice which was tolerable. Brian and I looked for an Internet cafe to catch up with some websitey/correspondance stuff. We had some difficulties finding the place though. This was mainly due to tonnes of bad directions and questionable hand drawn diagrams which our hotel gave us. We finally asked Police assistance and to our amazment, they drove us on the backs of their motorcycles right down to the door. Went back to the hotel and found Mike fast asleep. It was lights out for us too. Shattered and dying for bed. Zzzzz