#2 into the mountains

#2 from SE Asia
Lampang, Thailand
December 17th, 2010

Where the F! It should be perfectly obvious.

Maybe the language barrier had something to do with our 30 km mistake.

Jeff and I have ridden every day straight for the last 7 days.  We are hitting it steady and pretty hard for ourselves, traveling in areas where the tourists bypass from their buses or trains, and where English is not spoken.

We do not, obviously, speak any Thai other than the rudimentary marketplace communications.  It is a 5 tone language with its own script.  The dominant Thai culture emigrated from south China around 1300 years ago.  For westerners, Thai is a difficult language to learn.

Thai take out food in plastic bags

I snack on lychee nuts whenever I can

We love the naturally wrapped foods, banana leaf and all.

Durian is banned from hotels. It stinks too bad!

The pho bal in Thailand is better than most Vietnamese pho bal.

cutting the pomelo. Our citrus fix.

Such service!

After we complete the daily logistics of riding, finding a room, washing up and laundry, it is food time!  And are we hungry at the end of the day.  Off to the market to explore and sample as the Thai people give us bemused smiles.  They have not seen us ‘Farang’ foreigners in their markets before.  We point to the food and try it.  Occasionally we pass on what we get, but most of the time, it is just great.  And then, we pass out for 8-9 hours of DEEP sleep for the next day.

When Jeff and I check into hotels with our bikes, the receptionists have been trying to put us into rooms with one large bed.  They must think we are gay!  We laugh and explain ‘two beds please’.   I think it may just be the traditional Thai tolerance for others and their showing it to us.   Or maybe its just those brightly colored bicycle jerseys we are wearing.

getting close to Chiang Mai

We had a good steady 9 km climb yesterday, followed by a 6 km coast down mountain.  We are now clearly in the mountain areas.  It has been rain all day today.

a spirit house blessing a workplace

several roadside spirit houses

Thruout Thailand, one sees these ‘spirit’ houses.  There are miniature house structures standing outside where people make offerings and such.  Imagine pleasingly done little ‘doll houses’ with replicas of what they would like the actual house to be like.  Then imagine if every home you knew had a weatherized doll house out front of it.  This applies to offices and buildings too.  It seems to add a spiritual aspect to their lives here.  To me they are endearing.

our first other bicyclist travelers

We finally met our first bicycle tourists here, Peter and Anja from Germany.  They are riding for 4 months thru Thailand and Laos.  They have done a lot of cycle touring in the past, with adventures thru north Africa, Europe and the middle east.  They are delightful company.

We will rest and catch up a day here, and then onward for the final mountainous link to Chiang Mai.

5 Responses to #2 into the mountains

  1. Really great account. The added pics are terrific. Remember to watch out for those logs in the road. And when in doubt – skip the carp. Roll on. L

  2. eating those lychee nuts will make your own shrink!

  3. Dwight, I love seeing your pictures! The bright green shirt adds to your careless, happy look. That is code for, “That is one silly looking shirt!” But, really, it does add to your happy look.

    More pictures, more pictures!

  4. Great photos…still salivating at those photos of the food. have fun!

  5. You are a little close to that waitress there bub! What’s up with that?

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