Day 117 – Hua Hin to Lamae (294 km)
It seems that after almost four months on the road, we still haven’t managed to get our morning starts right, and some of us were up really early, only to find that the others had thought we were getting a later start. Finally, once everyone was up and awake, we had a breakfast of fruit, and after an enthusiastic photo-shoot from the guest house’s owner, we were on our way out of town. The roads in Thailand have all been really good, and we made fantastic time. While we are actually riding, the temperature is really nice, but when we stop, we are immediately aware that we are driving through tropical countries in the heat of early summer. Just 20 km outside of town is a nature reserve, and we stopped to check out some of the magnificent Thailand coast. From there we continued along what were considered secondary roads on the map, but still in great condition. The bonus of having a passenger on the back is that they sometimes spot cool things that you’ve missed, and a couple of times Kath and I stopped to check out some hidden temples for a few minutes, then raced to catch up with the others.
Our plan for the day was to head South, and then once we had passed one of the big towns, we’d head towards the coast and look for a resort or hotel. At lunchtime we stopped for petrol, but then ended up having to drive about 10 km before we found our way back to the road. When we did, we stopped to pick up some food, including a really interesting treat that we had been keeping our eyes out for for ages: sweet rice pudding stuffed inside hollow bamboo and then roasted, the perfect biodegradable packaging.
We had originally thought that the journey today would be just over 250 km, but it seemed that today we be a lot longer than that. At around 4:00 PM, we turned off the main road, and started towards the coast, passing through light and much welcomed rain showers. We were now in rubber tree plantation territory, and we made a brief stop to see how it is produced, making covert slashes in the bark to see the sap run out.
By about 4:00, we had arrived in a tiny hamlet by the coast, and after a few enquiries, we found accommodation right by the ocean, an impressively decorated place, with some of the most original, stylish furniture we’ve seen on this trip. First order of business was to head for the lukewarm sea for a swim, dodging some scary looking jellyfish on the way.
When we finally emerged, with Shan, Kath and I sporting wrinkled old man fingers, and Dad sporting pretty much his regular fingers, we showered up, and relaxed for a few hours, which for Shan were spent playing with a little girl who although very cute, seemed unable to draw anything. Maybe the mother should look into this…
We then settled down for a seafood feast of several types of fish, prawns, squid and a couple of unidentifiable denizens of the deep. After supper we spent a couple hours trying to plot our route for the rest of the trip. It’s always tricky to try and do this, as any breakdowns can really throw off everything, and on this trip, it seems more prudent to just assume that something is going to go wrong, and be pleasantly surprised if we can have a clear day of riding.