Mar 30 2012

Bangkok to Singapore by bicycle: A quarter of the way done

Published by at 4:18 pm under Bangkok to Singapore by bike

Continued from part one…

The third day was when this trip from Bangkok to Singapore by bike became awesome. Aching and moaning, we set off south (after a pre-departure flat tire) and immediately (thanks to the magic of Google maps and mobile internet) got off the main highway and onto some secondary roads. Karst mountains to the west rose to march towards Burma, and we parallelled the sea as we cycled south. The roads were in great shape and almost completely empty. We cycled through silent palm plantations, salt scrub, karst mountains, monkeys on the side of the road and shrimp farms (less picturesque).

Salt flats simmer in the afternoon heat.

Salt flats simmer in the afternoon heat.

I was feeling great, and my cycling abilities were coming on a treat. I was finally able to competently ride hands-free (giving some much needed rest to my arms and numb hands). And then, disaster. Or actually, tragedy in the Greek sense, in which my own faults ultimately cause my failing.

And fail I did, as I tried to ride hands-free while also taking pictures with my phone, backwards. Rhonda (my bike) soared into the air and then just as quickly came back to earth, where I was presently skidding along the blacktop. Road 1 : Brock 0. I brushed off and we cycled on, and after many beers, it was bedtime in Prachuap Khiri Khan. In bed at 22:40, I slept like a man who had been beaten by a thousand angry babies. 330km/2000km completed.

Prajuap Khirikhan, the most satisfyingly named province in the entire Kingdom.

Prachuap Khiri Khan, the most satisfyingly named province in the entire kingdom.

Day four we headed south early, catching golden morning light as we made our way through pineapple plantations. As the sun became stronger, the road started following the sea, and we had a pre-lunch swim on a deserted beach. Floating in the sea, looking at the sky, this bike ride started seeming like the best idea ever. Then, we cycled through the heat for another five hours and it seemed like a gigantic mistake. We stopped at Bang Saphan Yai, and were in bed by 22:00, listening to the waves hit the beach. I slept like the unwaking dead. 433km/2000km completed.

Approaching the 500 km mark...

Approaching the 500 km mark...

Waking up on day five, Gaby and I got out of bed, looked at each other, and immediately began screaming “BUT WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN??” We got off early, and rode away, muscles aching and screaming. It seems like we’d have gotten used to it by now, but no.

Everything still hurts. Ass. Crotchal-regions. Arms. My rib, which now appears to be cracked. Who needs to breathe on the way to Singapore? Surely not experts like us. This day, however, turned out to be amazing. We got lost and accidentally cycled through a national park that was full of butterflies, salt scrub woods and stick insects. We swam at an amazing beach. We ate ice cream on that beach. Then we cycled through golden evening light and crossed a river in a tiny boat. We were sore, but food and beer was waiting for us. In bed at 22:20, I slept like Lazararus waiting to be woken by Jesus (very solidly, I slept.) 547km/2000km completed. ONE QUARTER OF THE WAY TO SINGAPORE!!

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