Day 172 – 20.000 miles over land (well, kilometers really)

Waking up to this cool but eerie view.

Waking up to this cool but eerie view.

Getting up in the Khao Sok National Park, we got a taste of why it is the wettest region in Thailand. It didn’t rain as such but thick clouds were hanging so low that everything was covered in fog and thus also quite damp. Though Silver Cliff had been an awesome accommodation with really good food last night, it was slightly too expensive to stay for breakfast. Instead, we hit the road early looking out for a roadside food stall.

The second one we tried had at least coffee so we decided that it would do. Food-wise, only curries were served: Big pots with fish, chicken, pork and beef curries. But nothing vegetarian. Given that I wasn’t that keen on curry for breakfast anyway, IΒ found some sweet buns in a nearby shop. Flo dug into the pork curry in the meantime and was rewarded with a plate full of cucumber and beans as a side and a bunch of bananas as dessert.

The moment when the fog broke ... wow

The moment when the fog broke … wow

After breakfast, the sky started to clear which made for some great shots of the National Park. The road was fun as well so our spirits were high. Leaving the National Park behind, we had to come up with a plan of where to next. A great dam was advertised as a tourist attraction so we went there to have a look. Leaving the dam, we saw that we missed the iconic “55555” on Rocinante’s display by 4 kilometers and then realized that we have made more than 20.000 kilometers on this trip alone now.

To the North, the direction in which we’re going, Thailand becomes really narrow and most towns buzz from the transit traffic between Thailand and Myanmar. Nothing that we have to stop and see at the moment…this will come up for us rather sooner than later anyway. So we decided to push it, do a 400km ride up to Thap Sakae. Why Thap Sakae? Well, Silvia and Klaus had stayed in Thap Sakae in December and had recommended their accommodation. With another 400km day within only a couple of days, we were looking forward to a rest day. What better place to rest than one that comes recommended?

decent dam

decent dam

So we put on an audio book, got into cruise-mode and continued northwards. Apart from a “cold drink” stop and a “lunch” stop at a motorway resting area, we only stopped for coffee in the afternoon at a very lovely cafe. They served iced coffee and iced chocolate and were interested in our travels even if the language barrier is still too high to communicate much. It resulted in lots of mobile phone pictures being taken when we left.

As we got closer, we tried to call but couldn’t reach anyone. Being just 70km away now, we gave it a shot. Thap Sakae is a smallish town with the accommodation towards the edge of it. Thomas and Dui have four, very attentive dogs which all started barking the moment we stopped in front of the gate. Lucky for us, as it made Thomas realize that he saw a motorcycle from the corner of his eye and was expecting exactly this today. Well, actually, he was still expecting our phone call…

Out flat is bigger than the camera can capture!

Out flat is bigger than the camera can capture!

Compared to everywhere else we have stayed so far, the place is huge. Despite us going for the cheapest option of a room with a fan, we were booked into a flat with a kitchen and a living room area in addition to the huge bedroom. So much space!

To cool down, we jumped into the pool and under the shower afterwards. A blog entry later, all four of us hopped into the car and drove for a lovely dinner. Thomas and Dui are vegetarian as well so we ordered five dishes and shared all of them. So much food! I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted because Dui had already given us a plate full of fried vegetables and sweet rice packets when we arrived. I still got to try everything though. πŸ™‚

For dessert, we drove to a roti place to have one of the rich, creamy teas that I have come to love.