Posts Tagged ‘puncture’

BaiYu to Dege

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

It would have been easy to stay in the cosy hotel room and hibernate for the rest of the winter, but I had put off leaving twice to do washing and visit the local monastery. It was time to pack up and go again. By midday I had the punctures fixed and the bike loaded, all that was left was to get more petrol for the stove. I has seen a petrol station on the way into town and figured it was the only one so would have to go back 1km to fill up. I left the petrol station about three hours later. I was waiting for the tanker to arrive and fill up the petrol station tanks. I made friends with the girls at the petrol station while I waited. During a lull, of people waiting, they grabbed my bottle and filled it up for me from the dregs of the tanks and I was able to carry on my way, this time to Dege. I had no idea of the road or route ahead. Just that it could take anything between two and five days depending on the road and mountains or lack of.

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It felt good to be back on the bike, the afternoon sun was warm and the road was only mildly bumpy. The winding road, dictated by the river to my left, was mostly in a gorge, progress was good and the small breaks I had were spent basking in the sun with my feet dangling over the edge of the rocks, looking down to the steep river banks below. The rest of the day progressed well with only one police check point, where the police did not seem to care about me. A few detours took me up the rivers that flowed into the one that I was following, to bridges that would allow me to continue on my northerly route.

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I started looking for a camp site an hour before last light, as I crested a small hill the valley opened up below me, as well as plenty of potential camp sites. I eased off on the breaks and started to bounce down the rocky road. A few seconds later a massive bang and pop camp from the back of the bike. I stopped as soon as I could and saw the back tyre was flat. Closer inspection revealed that there was a massive hole in the tyre. I still had my original tyres strapped to the back of the bike, so I set about unloading the bike and changing the tyre and tube. It was so frustrating to be about 500m from a camp site but not be able to wheel the bike there for fear of damaging the back wheel. Eventually I set off again and was soon clearing a good camp spot of stones and sticks ready to put up the tent.  However as I tried to put the last pole in the tent, it seemed like it was too long and would not fit. I fought and swore at the tent for half an hour before I gave up and resigned to only having two poles. It would be OK for one night, it was really cold now and I wanted to get into my sleeping bag. A big case of ‘I am going to get eaten by bears if I cook here’ came over me, so I stuffed some dry food in my mouth and went to bed.

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It was cold overnight but I stayed warm enough. As I started to prepare breakfast I was shocked to find that all the water had frozen overnight and I had not put any in the pans. I managed to melt just enough water to have a coffee then packed up to carry on. I was grazing all morning on dried food to keep my energy levels up but by lunch time I was getting really hungry, and knew I needed to stop and cook a decent meal. I had passed through some small settlements and most people had been friendly. As I cycled pass a clearing a group of men beckoned me over to their picnic spot. They made me sit down and I soon had a drink by my side, a knife in one had and a massive chunk of meat in the other. They made me eat lots, I relished the meat and there were plenty of other bit to go with it. I tried to share some of the food that I had but they refused. The group parted on the motor bikes and left me with a stash of food, we took pictures and said our goodbyes. I finished up the rest of my food and started to pack up the bike. As I was doing this another guy came over to talk with me. He lived in the house on the other side of the road and said I could sleep the night if I wanted. I thanked him but said it was early in the day and I wanted to try and get some more cycling done. His daughter came over and we chatted for a bit. Once my Chinese had dried up he got his phone out and handed it to me. It was his other daughter that worked at a hostel in Lhasa, she spoke fluent English. The phone credit died to quickly to get a conversation going but the thought and interaction was what mattered to me. Simple gestures and smiles make such a difference, I cycled off with a warm glow in my heart.

Kind local guys i had lunch with

I was still unsure how long it would take me to get to the road that would take me east and into Dege, I put a long play list on the ipod and made some fantastic progress. The road was rocky and bumpy but I was used to this now and it was a lot better than snow and ice and cycling at the lower altitude was like being a 10 year old and have endless energy to run everywhere. I got to the turn off and was amazed to find a sealed road with no bumps, I had done 40km, it was about 5pm and there was another 40km to Dege. I decided to keep going until 6pm then stop and have some food. Then make a final decision about whether to cycle into the night or not.

Local family

At 7pm the bike was packed up and my belly was full, the lights were set up on the bike and I was ready. I had set myself a target of doing three lots of 10km with only short breaks in-between for water. It was going to be hard as I was not used to this discipline any more. As the first 10km were approaching I was desperate to stop and rest but kept telling myself to carry on. I negotiated a pack of dogs that chased me down the road barking, their eyes lit up by my bike lights every time I turned to check their progress to me. Then the road changed to a bumpy dirt track and climbed up a short steep hill. At the bottom I finally had reached my 10km goal and stopped for chocolate and water. The rest of the ride was less eventful but I had to push hard to reach my targets fighting the urge to stop and rest.

About two thirds of the last 10km, I went passed a street light, I was shocked and excited at the same time. As I got further more and more houses appeared and round the next corner a bright neon light saying Dege Hotel greeted me from the top of one of the tall buildings. I took my bright yellow jacket off and turned off some of the bike lights. It was strange enough for a guy on a bike with bags attached to it to turn up in town but one turning up at 10pm looking like a Christmas tree was just weird. I eventually found the entrance to the Hotel. It was late and I was tired so my negotiating was not as good as it should have been. £12 a night again but I had hot water and a huge room just for me. I was getting soft but deep down I knew that having the luxury in-between the harshness of the riding would help me to continue. I got settled into the hotel and even found a place to get some food late at night. That night I slept soundly I had done nearly 80km the longest day in a month. I felt good but exhausted physically and mentally.

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The last Day Batang to BaiYu

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Local family last camp before BaiYu1

I woke up before the sun had had a chance to work its magic on me and the frozen kit.  There had been a barking dog during the night so I wanted to get packed up incase I might have been camping where I should not have.  I pushed the bike up the steep slope that had concealed me during the night.  I was about to wheel out to the main road, cycle a few kms, then find a good spot to cook some breakfast and thaw out.  It had dropped to about –15 in the night and my wet boots and socks had frozen.

       ice bike snow cycling the last day before BaiYu


On my way the family of there that were driving their cattle up the road on foot waved and smiled at me.  The seemed relaxed at my presence, the sun was starting to appear of the tree tops and warm things up, so I decided to stay put instead.  Soon coffee and porridge were sat in front of me and my socks and boots were drying in the morning sun.  I sat on my foam mat bare foot allowing my toes to air and soak up the suns rays.  Half way through breakfast the family came over to say hello.  They were so smiley  and seemed to radiate happiness.  Weather it was my presence or their life that was making them happy I did not konw or care.  I relished in their good vibes, and we chatted as much as we could in Chinese and sign language.   The father said that I should have slept in the small hut on the other side of the road, I tired to explain that it was late when I got here and I was not sure if there was anyone living in the hut and I did not want to wake them.  Also I carry a tent and stove so am generally self sufficient.  How much was understood I will never know.snow cycling the last day before BaiYu3

They watched me pack up and check over the bike.  I was worried I had cracked a rim on the rear wheel, but a clean with a rag and hot water got rid of the ice and mud revealing shiny rims with no cracks.  I said goodbye to the family and cycled of down the road, wobbling around as I got used to the snow.  As the morning progressed I gathered confidence and as was soon whizzing down hill over the snow and stripping layers of cloths of as the sun rose higher in the sky.  My confidence took a knock mid morning when I hit a patch of ice and suddenly found my self being thrown of the bike and doing octopus style forward rolls over the snow.  Eventually I stopped in a tangled mess of the snow covered ground.  I did a quick mental check and realized that I had fallen of the  bike but nothing was sore and as I got up I was relived to find nothing was broken either.  I hopped back on the bike and carried on bouncing down the hill.  A few hours later a few more falls and one puncture the snow had melted and I had hit tarmac.  I was so happy.  I took some pictures and pushed on, only 14km to town, a bed and a shower.

First sign to Baiyu

I arrived to civilization and lent my bike against a shop wall and celebrated with a coke and some biscuits.  A crowd soon gathered around me, but only a few people seemed brave enough to come and talk to me, the rest just stared from a distance.  I finished my celebration drink and popped into the hotel next to the shop, No Water! Undeterred I set of into town and found a few more hotels, all cheap but again without water.  Eventually some young kids who had been following me and understood what I wanted, helped me to find the one hotel that had a shower and running water.  These luxuries came with a 12 pound price tag four times as much as the other places that gave you a bucket to wash with if the water came back on.

 tarmac snow cycling the last day before BaiYu

The water at my hotel was not due to come on for two hours so I carried all my stuff up to my room and went to go and find some food.  I found a small restaurant and was made very welcome by the family that run it.  Yhey did not seem to have any of my usual favourites but they suggested I try this big round piece of bread.  They assured me it was nice, so I sat down to drink my tea while they heated it up.  The bread itself was hollow but inside was a meat stew, it tasted lovely and the top of the loaf was great to dip in the sauce.  I finished the whole thing and then went back to the hotel to turn on the taps, hot water came out and I was soon underneath it scrubbing the dirt from my body. 

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I spent the next two days relaxing in the town, apart from a trip to the monastery there was little to do apart from eat and relax and get ready for the next adventure.

Pray wheels BaiYu Monastary, Sichuan China BaiYu Monastarty

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Day 5 Batang to BaiYu – Morning tea and a warning about bears

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

By 10am I was bouncing down the track towards what I thought would be a reasonable size village where I could pick up a few supplies.  Then I was going to try and get to the top of the second summit.  The issue I had was that I was not really sure how far I had gone as my bike speedo that gives me my daily distance was broken or had been malfunctioning at least.  So quite how far it was to the top I don’t know.

   Thumb_0003the road1  Batang BaiYu road after first pass after Shama

The English forest track in China  

The track was lovely, pretty smooth and I passed through the occasional wooded archway and felt instantly at home, like I was in an English forest.  I passed a couple of local women walking, they were shy and did not say or respond much.  I offered them some tea and nuts and raisins as it was now time for my morning break but they declined and carried on.  After my morning tea I carried on down the path, it was mostly flat with the occasional ascent or descent,  I was not sure how fast I was going but it felt supersonic compared with days on the other side of the hill.  I came upon a house, the first for a while and a family was working on an extension or something similar,  I was invited in and given some hot tea.  It was the same women that I had seen on the road a while earlier.  I was now upstairs in a Tibetan style house watching TV with the kids.  My attempt at any kind of conversation was met the shy smiles, despite my best attempt with Chinese.  I think perhaps the men that were working downstairs would have been more open to conversation, it was the father of the family that invited me in the first place.  Still it was lovely tea and the old mother of the house grabbed one of my empty water bottles before I left and filled it up with more tea for the road.

  Thumb_0002pray flags Batang BaiYu road after first pass after Shama7

Prayer flags by the side of the road

I arrived into a big village early about 1pm.  I was keen to stock up on a few snacks, I was pretty sorted for food as I did not bank on finding the town or there being much here.  To my surprise it was much bigger than I expected and buying a few packs of biscuits turned into a spectator sport.  I had over 50 people crowding around me and my bike, mostly staring but the brave few were talking.  One guy in particular was keen to know if I needed a women, I said I was married and that I would be quite all right thank you.  Feeling a little overwhelmed at the crowd I cycle out of town about 500m and the locals went back to chatting and playing pool.  I was followed by two young guys who sat on the bikes and watched me have some food by the side of the road.  They were actually really nice and I think just genuinely shocked and amazed to see I guy with white skin and a beard on a bicycle in their town.

Thumb_0004a third of the people croud village  between first and second pass Batang to BaiYu road

A few of the crowd from the village

I pushed on eager to get some more kms done before sunset and make the most of dry and good roads.  The road started to climb steadily and by 3pm I was exhausted.  I realised that I had not had any lunch in the excitement of getting to the town and being a bit overwhelmed by my reception there.  I stopped to have some more tea and nuts and raisins as I pondered what to do.  As this rate was unlikely to make it to the top and I was out of energy really, so I decided I would carry on for another hour or so, camp, eat lots and go for the summit fresh the next day.  Another 4000m peak was probably not best attempted on an empty stomach.  Just as I was packing up to set of a couple of cars stopped and the guys got out to chat with me.  I explained what I was doing and asked about the road ahead.  They seemed amused at my journey but impressed at the same time.  Then they said ‘what about the bears, do you have a gun.’  ‘Err, no’ I said.  ‘But in the tent the bears will come and get you.’ was the summary of their reply.  Just so you know my Chinese is not that good and by this point sign language was very much in play, not that that helped matters.

  Thumb_0005local kids  between first and second pass Batang to BaiYu road

Cheeky kids on the way out of town

The guy said I could come and sleep at this house and the head on tomorrow.  Where was his house I asked.  In the village I had jut come from, that was over 5km away and it had been a bit of a slog to get up to here.  I politely declined his offer said I would be OK and the bears would not get me.  My new friends left and wished me luck.  I set off back up the hill, in my head I was going through all my options.  As the road progressed the road got narrower and narrower and I soon found myself in a gorge flanked with trees on one side and rocks on the other.  There was also a stiff breeze building up and storm clouds approaching.  Great I thought to myself.  I was either going to die in my tent from a falling tree or rock; be hit bit a drunk driver who did not expect a guy to be sleeping literally next to the road or be eaten by a bear!

 Thumb_0006rock art 2  between first and second pass Batang to BaiYu road

Rock art where i got my bear warning

I decided my best option was to carry on, about an hour later I was finding everything very hard, I checked the bike over and discovered that the back tyre was slowly going down.  There was only an hour and a half of light left but not to far ahead there was a small clearing that was probably just safe enough from falling trees or rocks.  By the time I got to the clearing the tyre was almost flat.  It was time to admit defeat and camp.  As I sat be the side of the road taking stock of the situation the wind started to pick up and the trees so the side of my started to sway more and more until a few of them started falling down.  My little clearing was still looking safe enough though.

As I assessed the best route over the rocky ground to the clearing I heard some noises ahead in the distance. I froze and listen carefully, I had no idea what it was and did not really want to find out.  A sort of high pitched yelping sound that I could not identify, man or beast I though to myself.  The noises did not get any better and my not so great camp site was now looking rather, unpleasant.  I lay the bike on the ground, pumped up the tyre with the bike fully loaded and started up the hill to see what all the fuss was about.

I turned a small corner and was delighted to see a group of locals with two big trucks heaving some massive logs off the side of the gorge.  They were using smaller trees as leavers and expertly dropping logs the size of a small bus on to a truck just below them.  I cycled passed and waved, they waved back and carried on with their heaving and yelping in unison as another log fell onto the truck.  The tyre seemed to be holding out but the wind getting stronger.  The thought of camping now was not appealing, it could not be that far to the summit I thought.  A few kms later I had a new plan, cycle till 7pm, have a quick dinner until 7.30pm, last light then cycle to the top. 

At 7.15 I was down a small embankment sheltering from the wind eating a bowl of noodles, not the most energy giving food but I thought two packets and a coffee would be enough to make it to the top.  At 7.45 I was back on the road with my bike lights and reflective jacket on slowly going up.  The road did not seem that steep but cycling was becoming harder, the altitude, my lack of energy and the general uncertainty of what lay ahead had taken its toll and I was tired.  I continued up the hill, alternating between cycling and pushing. looking out for the occasional bear that might be looking for a cyclist to snack on.  Not long after dinner I had decided that singing was good, it would keep up my moral and hopefully scare the bears away until I could get to the top and then fly down the hill and find safe spot to camp. 

Just after 10pm I was laughing in my head as I sang and pushed my way up the hill thinking how ridiculous the situation was.  I had passed a large clearing a few kms back with lots of prayer flags and was now confident the summit was just around the next corner, things were looking up.

At 10.30pm the noticed the bike was feeling particularly sluggish again a quick look at the back tyre told me all I needed to know.  At almost the same time the wind picked up and with it white fluff was starting to fall to the ground.   At 10.35 the bike and I were covered in snow.  I laughed again only louder this time but still in my head.  It was time to call it a day, a slowly started walking back down the hill to the clearing that I had passed a few kms back.  The wheel would just about hold out I thought and things would look a lot better in the morning.

Thumb_0001after two mintues of snow  between first and second pass Batang to BaiYu road

After 5 minutes of snow

At midnight I was finally tucked up in both sleeping bags, warm dry and cosy.  I had munched a few chocolate bars for good measure.  I was so tired I knew that the thought of marauding bears would not keep me awake and was also comforted that any self respecting bears would not be out in the snow and the wind anyway.  With that final thought I put my head on my pillow of clothes and fell straight asleep.

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Beautiful bays and beaches

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Having watched the football and then stayed up chatting in the bar till 4am, we awoke with hangovers an d no desire to cycle, however we rolled ourselves and our bikes out onto the road and managed about 20km to  a lovely beach on the east coast called Saphil. I sat on the beach reading whilst Chris (with the much worse hangover thanks to old captain Morgan) stayed inside watching a movie.

The next day we got on the road heading for Bang Saphan. It was a hot day and we were hampered by several punctures. Stopping and mending the inner tube each time is tedious and just bad luck really. However we discovered much later that a piece of glass had wedged itself inside the tyre and was actually causing the repeated punctures. Despite removing it and fixing the inner tube, Chris’s tyre still kept going down – still a mystery now as to why!  It was a hot day and there were several hills, so by 6pm we were both tired and a little short tempered, the punctures were not helping! A nice man on a scooter came by and stopped to see if we were ok, then headed off. A few minutes later he returned with a bottle of ice cold water for us and then went back on his way…

We stopped to find somewhere to camp however we couldn’t find a suitable spot, so seeing a sign for Boet we headed 4km toward the coast, resigning ourselves to staying in a hotel or homestay for the night. I immediately cheered up once we reach Boet bay and was glad that we had to turn off. The sight of the fishing boats in the bay, the sparkling water and big headland was a welcoming view. That night we ate big prawns in batter, fish in coconut soup and pork omlette, with two pepsis, brilliant!

My shorts are a bit baggy on me now, partly as I’ve lost so much weight, but also cos the lycra has gone, so they move around whilst cycling. With the heat I was sweating a lot and somehow managed to end up with some serious chafing, to the point where I could hardly sit down to eat dinner. Grimacing at the thought of sitting and cycling another 80km the next day, we decided that to work the next day and not cycle to allow my skin to recover a little. We had an equally nice dinner the next night, sitting in a wooden structure next to the beach, accompanied by Thai Karoeke – not for the faint hearted!

We had a lovely cycle up the coast, with the road to ourselves and it was overcast for a while. As we reach Bang Saphan and joined the main road (4) the sun came out, but we didn’t notice (and didn’t put suncream on). After 76km, flying along the highway, we stopped to sleep. Later that evening we realised that we had got sunburnt, Chris quite badly – oops! Despite being in the sun for months now, our skin is still easily burnt – it’s just so fierce.

The next day we got up and and headed to Pruchuap 80km north, passing the narrowest point of Thailand.

We were speeding along at 20km on the highway, ipods playing and rolled into town late afternoon, back at the seaside again.

We were greeted by a pretty town, very laid back, with a nice seafront and found Yuttichai, a recommended guesthouse, where we ended up having a great stay… meeting cycle tourer Felix; Landrover explorer Harry; Chris from Korea, David from the USA and several monkeys…

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All the way here…

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Leaving Ranong we set off in the rain, donning waterproof trousers for the first time in months, in the hope that my cycling shorts would not get wet (therefore avoiding chafing issues!). Being so hot I decided to roll them up and make them waterproof shorts…

We cycled along, the road was very new and took us up and up a winding route, with the water pouring down the gutters and drains like small rivers as we rode. Reaching the top we then whizzed down the hill and passed a sign saying ‘Scenic Area’ – with the cloud so low and the rain and spray so dense, it was hard to see anything scenic at all, but I’m sure it was a great view! We both enjoy cycling in the rain, it’s very refreshing and quite good fun, not too different from stomping in puddles with wellies on!

We stopped along the road side for a Beng Beng and a cheese sandwich made with the little bread and cheese we had left – felt like old times, cheese sarnies by the side of the road in the pouring rain.

The road continued to go up and down but through very pretty, leafy, lush areas, before we came to Kra Buri. I zoomed ahead and then realised I had lost Chris. I waited for a while then turned the bike around and went back to see if he was ok – probably stopped to chat to someone. But no he had a puncture. After fixing the puncture it was about 4pm, so we went to get a hot meal and come up with a plan. We decided to stay in Kra buri and went to Pannika Resort, which is a small place off the highway with little ‘bungalow’ rooms, that look like gingerbread houses from the outside. The lady who runs it has lots of cycle tourers staying with her, it’s in one of the Dutch guidebooks I think, so she was used to people turning up on bikes and spoke great English, making us feel very welcome.

Chris promptly fell asleep and then later we watched Bridge over the River Kwai on the laptop – we are going to Kanchanaburi, where the bridge was built, Chris had never seen the film so we downloaded it to watch.

Acts of kindness and a disaster

Next day we had breakfast, which ended up being free and the lady gave us a bag of sugared mango strips to take on our journey to Chumpon – so kind!

The road was flat compared to yesterday and we speeded along, once again with the threat of rain. We reached the Kra of Isthmus which is where the border with Burma meets Thailand and you can see Burma across the river. We stopped briefly as it was now raining quite heavily!

The rain cleared however and we stopped to have a small rest near a house. As we were leaving the lady of the house came out and gave us a bag of mangostine fruit, with a smile and then rode off on her scooter. The fruit lasted us days and is similiar to lychees.

We were making good progress, Chris was ahead of me slightly on the fast roads and as i approached an Army checkpoint (for vehicles, drugs testing) I smiled and prepared to carry on through. One of the solider signalled to me to stop and pull over, slightly bewildered I looked around and saw that Chris was already sat with two Army guys  -  they had invited us to join them for coffee! I sat down and had a cup of tea ( not being a big coffee drinker). We chatted to them for 10-15 mins, Chris smoked a cigarette or two with them and we explained about our trip before heading off again. Chris has said how nice the coffee was and before we left, the army man gave us a big bag of coffee to take with us!  What an amzing day this was turning out to be, people everywhere were so friendly and welcoming.

As we set off I knew i needed to stop somewhere to go to the loo. Public toilets are very uncommon in Thailand, so I usually just dive into the bushes, behind a tree or something. So I said to Chris that I would pull over and go now, but that i would catch him up. After a quick wee I hopped back on the bike and pedalled to catch him up. As I came round the bend in the road I saw an accident up ahead. My first thought was that Chris was involved, and I felt the panic rise in my stomach, however as i got close I saw that it was two vehicles. I looked ahead and couldn’t see Chris ahead of the accident, he must have got further along the road. The two cars (4×4 style) were right across the road, smashed into each other, with glass and debris everywhere. I stopped my bike and got off. As I did the driver of the vehicle most badly damaged, staggered out of his car through the broken windscreen and I saw his face pouring with blood. Chris carries our main first aid kit, but i carry a small one too. I quickly opened my bags and found it, my hands shaking as i did. I wanted to help, and having done two first aid courses I knew the basics, but it’s still the first time I’ve actually had to use it. I found a large swab bandage, good for applying to a wound with pressure to stop the bleeding, but i had no gloves and little else except plasters and wipes. As i turned around i saw that there was a passenger in the car too, the driver opened the door and I saw  a young woman, conscious but she fell forward and was helped out of the car.  I could see she was badly hurt, her head and eye was badly bruised, swollen and bleeding. Several Thai people had stopped by to help and they took her to the back of a pick up truck and lay her down there, with a pillow for her head. I passed the large bandage to one of the people helping and pointed for them to help the woman. But with virtually no Thai language other than words for food and greetings, I wasn’t really able to explain much and there was so much blood – it was hard to tell where her injuries were. The injured man got in beside her, obviously in shock and his nose still pouring with blood.  They lay her on her back and so I gestured for them to turn her on her side into something of a recovery position, and mimed breathing and pointed to her mouth, they turn her on her side but I don’t know if they understood about her airway and to check she was breathing as they travelled. Then before i had chance to do anything they sped off. The nearest hospital was 30km north, same place we were heading, I could only hope they would get there and that she would be ok, hoping that it all looked worse than it was.

The man in the other vehicle was fine and I stopped to ask him if he was hurt, but he motioned that he was ok. His vehicle’s air bag had deployed but the others weren’t so lucky. I cycled away, feeling a bit wobbly myself. The roads here are very good, fast and wide but this road has many sweeping bends. They are blind bends, yet the Thai regularly overtake on a bend, at speed, and I can only think that that is what happen here. I was cautious as i continued and stayed close to  the left side of the hard shoulder, watching the traffic in my mirror constantly. I really wanted to catch up with Chris now, but with stopping to help, he was probably quite ahead of me. With my adrenaline still pumping I pedalled hard, going about 26km an hour,  and caught him up, relieved to see his relaxed, smiling face – he has stopped to wait for me. I told him what had happened and that i was worried that the girl might stop breathing and no-one would know what to do, maybe I could have done more to help, but it all happened so quickly? We stopped for some food and a drink, before continuing so that I could calm down a little.

As we got closer to Chumpon the  roads were straighter and busier and it was like entering a city. At the lights we saw a monkey on the back of a coconut truck, he didn’t look very happy.

As we continued I saw several hospitals and was glad, I knew that the injured couple would be there somewhere, being looked after.

In the hussle and bustle of Chumpon we looked for some accommodation. As we did the heavens opened and we got soaked in under a minute. It sure does rain heavy here! We found accommodation and I was relieved to stop to sleep after such an eventful day!

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