Posts Tagged ‘Pong Nam Ron’


We sat, together, in the airconditioned room. ‘And then there was that!’ – and another story would be told with a smile from ear to ear. I met world-cycler Bernadette in Amsterdam at a cycling trade show a few years ago when I was excitedly planning my own world cycle tour. And now we find ourselves on the bike in Thailand – in bungalows overlooking a beautiful lake. ‘Good to see you!’ she screamed and we wrapped ourselves in a big hug.

Me and Bernadette

Me and Bernadette

We met at a little shop out the front of the resort. Bernadette couldn’t cycle due to cramp, and I couldn’t walk – my right hip tends to give way when I walk. It comes and goes. So, I cycle at walking pace to our bungalows next to Bernadette.

Today was undulating landscape cycling, firstly in the sun, and then through a shady park, passing elephant signs. No elephants, though.

Elephants

Elephants

We arranged to meet in a town Takrao that isn’t called Takrao, off a road that isn’t the 3259. I asked for directions to a town that isn’t called Wang Mai. Google maps and Maps.me got everything wrong about the naming. So, I find myself in a town whose name I’ve forgotten.


I have changed countries, and it feels like I have changed planets. In Cambodia the kids run around naked, screaming out hello and waving frantically. In Thailand the kids ignore me, but the slick cyclists sporting their lycra-wear, riding their ultra-light racing bikes wave hi. The little tin lean-tos selling drinks from their orange ice-chests are replaced by the always open airconditioned 7-eleven. It is a shame and a relief at the same time.

Entering Thailand

Entering Thailand

I stopped for a drink at a little lean-to in Cambodia. We soon got laughing, and before I knew it I was given some strange green fruits, and the naked baby on my lap for photos. My zombie-face gave some more laughs.

Funny faces

Funny faces

Over the border in Thailand, and the road got wider, the cars slicker, and the mopeds vanished. The new sim-card was to be bought in the 7-eleven – an air-conditioned paradise that never closes. They have chips, ice-cream, burgers and CHOCOLATE MILK.

I passed 24000km today.

24000km

24000km

I am no longer mute. I can say some rudimentary things in Thai, which is a big relief. It all feels more familiar – but less of an adventure. Bangkok is drawing near – my favourite Asian city.