Today is the last day in Thailand, we are really sad to be going but it is time to move on. Thailand has been a fabulous country to visit and a brilliant place to cycle, we recommend it to anyone, please visit. The people are friendly, you will always hear a shout of hello and see a smiling face. You can have the madness that is Bangkok and the beauty and quiet that exists just off every main road. Goodbye.
Today should have been cycling mainly away from the main road but it didn’t turn out that way. It started very well, a lovely traffic free (well apart from the scooters) minor road. Then the route so meticulously planned last night took us up a red clay track which after the rain did not look inviting so we detoured around this only to go onto another track and worse still the next road just did not exist!
Last night was a very comfortable night, we could have easily stopped in bed a lot longer. This is unusual in Thailand as the majority of beds are very hard with a huge pillow so you head feels like it is 45 degrees to your body.
We started by following a small road out of town before a short stretch on the main road. Again the side roads proved to be virtually traffic free.
The route today was a little longer but mostly on small roads so we started out looking forward to todays cycle.
There was a short stretch on the main road but we quickly turned off this onto side roads. The side roads were very quiet to traffic free and had the usual mix of tarmac, potholed tarmac, concrete, potholed concrete and dirt (with everything).
Up and out by 9:00 am, it had been lovely stopping here in Sikao, the resort owner was very kind.
We left Sikao on the road out to the coast, it was quiet all of the way to Hat Pak Meng where it turned South right at the beach.
We didn’t rush out today but still left at 9:00 am. Today’s route was similar to yesterday, almost 50 km on different types of road.
The first section followed Route 4, even though it is a dual carriageway we did not see very much traffic at all and in common with our visits to the 4 previously there is a shoulder wide enough to drive a car along.
Turning off the main road it was almost immediately traffic free, it went from a tarmac surface to concrete slabs to dirt track before returning to the 4 for a last short visit today.
Three quarters of the route today (that is 33 km) reverses how we got on to the island of koh Lanta.
Before we went anywhere a repair was needed as Janet had another flat tyre!
Eventually it was up and over the bridge then a climb up and coast down to the ferry. At the ferry there is a separate queue and ticket office for scooters, pedestrians and cyclists. 50 Baht later we waited 10 minutes for all the cars to get on then us and some scooters.
We had planned to cycle down to Old Town Lanta stop there for a night and get some sort of ferry across to the mainland from there. All the best laid plans …. in fact we started off the day by walking down to the pier area and asking about a ferry to the mainland, there is only a small speedboat which cannot take bicycles going eventually to the mainland. That nice bridge brought the demise of a number of ferry routes as it is now easier to drive.
In case you had not heard, Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat just after lunch today. It is moving Northwest across southern Thailand causing widespread destruction.
We are south of this area and across towards the west coast so have have persistent rain all day with moderate winds.
Today was spent watching the rain live from inside our room and watching the Thai news on TV.
Having cycled down a lot of the east coast last month, you can see from our pictures most of the ocean front restaurants and businesses are a simple wood / bamboo construction, unlikely to survive the storm conditions.
We can only hope everyone stays safe over the next 48 hours.
Only one picture today, the dog who lives here by the hotel desperately wanting to come into our room.
After looking at the path of the tropical storm Pabuk we have decided to wait here a couple of days. We are likely to be on the edge of it here when it makes landfall so will only get the torrential rain and strong winds.
Areas in its path are being evacuated with sea surges of 7 metres expected on the west coast. It has been 30 years since the last storm like this hit Thailand. Everywhere is closing down on the coast.
We will be watching it rain from the comfort of our room.