Just reached Kanchanaburi after leaving Hua Hin a couple of days ago with my co rider Merle Oates from Narrogin Western Australia, Khun Ning guide and Khun Bird the mechanic. We’re now resting up before changing the training mode, that being an introduction to some steep climbs in the Khao Laem National Park area.
The laden saddle bags haven’t altered much to my formula of time over space over ground in other words getting to our destinations before the tropical sun is at it’s peak.
I’m still fascinated by the locals, mainly women out in the fields in the extreme heat working and hacking away with their tools preparing the earth for new sugar cane crops. All I can say the women in this part of the world are bloody tough.
The tarmac below passes under me endlessly as I clock up the required training kilometers each day, but at the same time I try not to avoid lifting my head to view out to beautiful Thailand - the distant mountains, rice fields, corn crops beautiful temples and the people themselves going about their way as they’ve been doing for hundreds of years.
I’m away from the tourist haunts which to me isn’t real Thailand, but at the same time I’m very understanding that tourists find the bigger cities like Bangkok, Pataya and Phuket to their liking.
Like in most parts of the world, country folk are more hospitable, easy going, polite, non aggressive, not so money driven and take the time to smile even though they’re doing it tough. At the moment I’m in that zone, certainly whilst riding off the beaten track for another 10 days at least.
Kanchanaburi today is another city becoming bigger and tourist driven due to a more recent border post opening up close by linking Thailand to Myanmar. Regardless, I’m here for a rest day and taking advantage of easing those tight muscles before moving on tomorrow along the adjacent road of the infamous Thai Burma railway to Khao Laem National Park to test the body on some big mountains as mentioned.
Wikipedia: Khao Laem National Park is a park of about 1,500 square kilometers in western Thailand, located in the northern area of the Tenasserim Hills, Kanchanaburi Province. It is a part of the Western Forest Complex, a system of protected wilderness in the Dawna-Tenasserim Hills area of western Thailand.
The park surrounds the Khao Laem Reservoir in Kanchanaburi province about 340 km northwest of Bangkok. It is cut through by Road 323. The vegetation consists of mixed deciduous, hill evergreen and dry evergreen forest. It is adjacent to the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, which is situated to the northeast of Khao Laem National Park. Large animals of the area include tigers, elephants, gaurs, sambar deer, barking deer and wild boars.
Truck Sams and riding crew on The Long Ride Home training in Thailand