I’m at the coast! And I might finally be able to use the snorkel and goggles I bought roughly 15.000km ago in Istanbul.. Talking about silly-things-to-buy-on-a-bicycle-trip.
A motorbike might be a close second.
But everything else I’ve gotten is highly useful, and absolutely necessary. Like a cowboy-hat, trousers, another pair of trousers and ehm another pair of trousers… Shoes, I lost my crocs while dragging the bike in and out of trains, oh. That’s where the first breakdown comes in.
I finally managed to break free from Bangkok when suddenly my back wheel stopped turning. Even though I peddled like crazy, it did no good at all. And this just after a lovely day trying to navigate my way through the industrial outskirts of the city. I did have a nice lunch with a bunch of English teachers; surprised to see another ‘Falang’ in the area.
Turned out there is this thingy that connects the round bit with another thingy and that snapped. sooooo….
Had to get a new one, in Bangkok.
After being escorted to the train station by three Thai students eager to practise their English, and a Chinese man who helped me dragging the bike in and out the train (where I lost the croc) and then took me out for dinner while he was showing me the way,
I got sucked in again… Bangkok.
And I was just so happy I finally left! But what can I say. Don, My friend-with-a-Bullet from Nepal (he’s actually from Australia, I just know him from Nepal) had arrived. Together with the bike. I had a go and went straight down KhaoSan Rd. with Cristine (remember? from Vientianne/Nepal) on the back.
For the first time I actually went and did some sight-seeing, together with Don and Cristine I saw and did some of the main things to see and do in Bangkok, a temple, a reclining Buddha, markets, a big night drinking including karaoke, funny hats and a pingpong show… don’t ask.
Not feeling like cycling through the mayhem once again I dragged the bike on a train out of town.
And arrived in Kanchanabury. Famous for the bridge over the river Kwai. But I was more interested in this ‘tiger-temple’ I kept hearing about. But after hearing the tigers are sedated and lame I lost interest.
But my eye fell on an add inviting me to hug a giraffe! Sure, I’ll hug a giraffe. So with Don, who just bearly made it on the bullet and went back to Bangkok two days later to fix the machine, I rented a scooter and set off to the ‘open zoo’.
There, finally, we saw the tiger we’ve both been trying to spot in national parks all over Nepal and India…. Ok, the area was about 1 square km, but hey! You can’t tell on the picture… now can you?
And yes. we could hug the giraffes who stuck their heads into the van to try to steel the carrots we had to feed them. Never knew they have black tongues.
On the way back our tyre burst, lucky we survived due to Don’s wonderful driving skills. We also stopped right in front of one of them random really good coffee places, you find them all over Thailand, in really random places.
Taking this as a sign we enjoyed some real good coffee, got the bike fixed and returned home.
Where I set off the next day into the big unknown on my bicycle again (well, after making copies of Don’s very detailed map and lonely planet… maybe not that unknown..)
After visiting some temple-cave’s, there is a few of them around, I cycled into a village where a little Thai girl asked me if she could help me. She could, and she did. She actually took me to her student dorm and let me stay for the night. She also showed me around town and dressed me up like a Thai lady. I look nothing like a Thai Lady. Thai lady’s faces don’t burn… And my fingers don’t bend freakishly far backwards.
It’s pretty easy-going around here. One morning I wasn’t 5km out of town yet when an eccentric old gentleman asked me how many countries I’ve crossed. I like this question ’cause I know the answer (better than:why?) He then told me about his own travels and showed me his house where a little hut jam-packed with souvenirs and pictures from all over the world dubbed as his ‘guest house’. He has students staying there from time to time since he is a retired university professor himself. He offered me to stay and take a break (from my strenuous two days cycling). I got company as a girl my age joined me in the guest house. In the morning the professor cooked us breakfast in the slightly cluttered open air kitchen.
What a wonderful encounter!
this is Thailand.
Sometimes I stop for lunch at a restaurant where nobody speaks English, actually.. most of the time. But this one time I pointed at something on the menu (it was in Thai) and a plate appeared in front of me filled with a salad. Doesn’t sound too bad, if only the main ingredient weren’t cockroaches! Yuk! I sort of eat around the most obvious bits, couldn’t really enjoy it though..
I usually order noodle soup, I love it! Just think it’s a little strange that soup seems the only dish Thai eat with chopsticks.
And then I reached the coast! ….
Full of apartment blocks and dead-end roads that lead to private beaches so I got stuck on the busy main road.
Expensive restaurants and people asking for money to use the road (ok, the road did go through a national park…)
But things where about to improve.
I found this wonderful secluded beach and a German to share a tent with. Beautiful scenery, nice & quiet. WRONG!
It happened to be a Saturday night. So Thai people try to find the quietest corners to set up their karaoke-installations and build an instant party. And that they can do!
We figured we better join them. And we had a great night! Dancing and singing and drinking a beer or two. Great crowd, didn’t get too much sleep as we witnessed the sun rise.
So the next day i was a little tired and just as I sat down recovering two more bicycles showed up. I joined Rob and Marike for the day which woke me up a bit, men they have some pace! But I survived and in the evening we were joined by Ruud, another dutchie and a superhero! He just rode his Bullet Enfield all the way from Holland on his way to Indonesia! And he is 65!
We had a great night over a all-you-can-eat Thai style BBQ. And a beer… or two.
The last two days I’ve been joined by a Spanish couple.
Together we went to some interesting places and I’ve had a go at coconut-scraping and fishnet-weaving… I also stepped into a bit of glass that went straight through my shoe into my foot. ouch!
Just yesterday Maria’s saddle suddenly snapped off. So as we stood around a motorbike pulled up asking us where we’re going. As we didn’t seem to be going anywhere at that time he took us home and showed us around his rubber-plantation. That seems to be good business. He then went on by inviting the three of us for dinner and arranging a luxurious bungalow right on the beach where we could stay for free!
This morning I left early leaving Maria and Xabi behind. I need to make it to the border of Burma where I’m gonna hop across to get another 30 days visa. This one is going to run out soon and I still need more time for the compulsory Thai-beach parties and lazy-island-days.
Oomph, it’s a hard life.
some body’s gotta do it
16 thoughts on “Beaches, Beers and Breakdowns”
Leuk om weer te zien en te lezen wat je allemaal meemaakt. Ziet er gezellig uit allemaal, lekker die stranden, toch anders als hier. Hier alles goed, nog 7 weekjes! Liefs Karin
lieve Mirjam Fijn om weer eens wat te horen en te zien van je,Je ziet er nog steeds goed uit,De foto,s zijn weer zoals altijd geweldig mooi,Ik vond het heel leuk om je te zien op mijn verjaardag,dat was echt een verrassing,We hebben ook bezoek gehad uit australie van Fhillip en Jill,Ze zijnmet een trip door europa van zes weken en ze zijn ook bij ons geweest,Het was wel leuk om ze na tien jaar weer te zien,tien sept,vliegen ze weer terug,zo zijn weer wat nieuwtjes naar je toe,we wensen je zoals altijd veel fiets plezier en een goede reis groeten van ons beiden en een dikke knuffel,oma
HALLO MIRJAM, HET GAAT EN GAAT MAAR DOOR, GELUKKIG ZIT JE HEERLIJK IN DE WARMTE EN DAAR VOELT MEN ZICH OVER HET ALGEMEEN PRETTIGER BIJ. IK STUUR JE ALVAST DIT MAILTJE WANT IK GA EEN KLEIN WEEKJE NAAR DE CAMPING EN NEEM MIJN LAPTOP MEDE, KAN NU OVERAL INTERNETTEN DANKZIJ EEN STICK VAN KPN.GEWELDIG DIE TECHNIEK, EN DAN GA IK RUSTIG JE VERSLAG LEZEN EN ALLE FOTO’S ETC. BEKIJKEN. TOT ZOVER WEER ALS VAN OUDS, VEEL GENOEGEN, VEEL NATUUR NIET TEVEEL REGEN, ALLEEN MAAR GENIETEN EN ALS LAATSTE VEEL GEZONDHEID. (TANTE) RIET.
Alwéér een leuk stuk met mooie foto’s. Steeds weer erg leuk om te bekijken. (Ik heb de vertaling al weer rondgemaild..)
Fijn dat je vanochtend even sms-te.
Dus je bent weer terug uit Burma. Het is gelukt met het visum, neem ik aan, kun je nog een poosje langer vakantie vieren daarginds… 🙂
Geniet er van en we horen wel weer hoe het gaat.
papa & mama.
Relax, enjoy, sleep, get some tan, get a hangover…:-) just do all those things that we can’t to overhere because of work and weather!
Wow, busy, busy, busy!!!!!! and meeting so many people! Do you remember our conversation in Derry when you wondered if you’d be lonely? Ha, ha… What a wonderful time you are having – it makes my 4 day trip to London to see George Michael and Notting Hill Carnival rather tame. Still, someone has to do it.
England seems to be enjoying some sunshine, finally as Autumn is officially here so I am off walking around a nature reserve today – no chance of a tiger or a giraffe sadly.
Keep on havin gthose marvellous adventures, you lucky girl.
Goed te lezen dat jij ook nog steeds on the road bent en je vermaakt! Thailand is inderdaad geweldig en zekers het beste voer ter wereld! Ik fiets op dit moment door Chile. Zuid Amerika is anders dan Azie maar zeker geweldig! Cycle safe and enjoy the journey!
Mt Abu, Rajahstan
………..hoe r you?
I miss you so much
..where r u now ?
Hi Mirjam, just came back from a holiday in Europe where we dropped in to see your Grandparents in Lelystad. They showed us how they are tracking your trip on the world map. Have just finished reading your last couple of reports. You seem to be having new experiences everywhere you go. When you get to Australia we hope you can drop in and we can give you some more experiences to remember. Take care and enjoy.
How is life? Still cycling?
Haha! During you’re One trip, I’ve made Five trips abroad. :>
My latest is 33 days in Cuba. If you like you can see my film ‘Salsa en la Calle’ on >> http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=WuuSUjEs0ZA
We are preparing for a longer trip of one year as well. They cut down the pension, we have to work untill we’re death…so we’re thinking of having it before we will!!
Enyoi the life, the environment, the food and the people girl!
Oeps wrong movie….
So here you go for Cuba!
lang niks van je gehoord, reageer eens op m’n mail verdorie… Hier alles goed, volop van het goede landleven aan het genieten 🙂
leuke site. We zullen je volgen. Wij zijn sinds 20 sept weer in Nederland. de fietsvakantie is goed bevallen behalve dan die 5 dagen natte moesson.We zijn alweer aan het bedenken waar de volgende fietsvakantie naartoe gaat.Benieuwd waar je nu uithangt. groetjes rob en marike
a month without my mirjam fix….. its become winter over here. cold and dark. sure you dont want to come over and swap…
Zo, een nieuwe banner? Leuk! Ergens op een Thais eiland, neem ik aan? En dan zul je nu ondertussen in Maleisië zitten, neem ik aan? (en er zijn blijkbaar inet-café’s daarginds 🙂 ) Nou, we wachten het nieuwe bericht wel af, én de foto’s, uiteraard.. Veel plezier, kus!