Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Cycling

Sunday - Chiang Rai to Akha Hill House - 23km

Akha Hill was only 25km or so away, so I was in no hurry to leave. About 11.30 I got unyderway. A pleasant ride with little traffic. I was stopped after about 10km by a man in uniform holding up the traffic as a funeral procession heading towards a wat. A single rocket whizzed into the air before exploding. I progressed onwards cyling down past the river, until a sign stating Akha Hill pointed left along a dirt track. Along there I headed making slow but steady progress. It was getting hot and no shade was to be found. I struggled on for a bit in the lowest gear before getting tired and resorting to pushing it uphill. The gruesome climb turned out to be a real monster. After an hour or so I struggled to the summit absolutely drenched in sweat. Then downhill, it was that steep that it felt like I was going to go over the handlebars! I made it down to a village and promptly bought a nice cold bottle of water, aaah. Still Akha Hill was another few km over rough road and a final very steep hill. But I had made it! Not exactly luxury rooms, but as it was up a mountain you have to share with the locals. The locals being mozzies, flying ants, giant spiders as big as my hand and the ever stupid moths. The Akha people are one of the hill tribes resident in the north of Thailand, each hill tribe has it own customs, clothes and even languages. Most of them there don't speak Thai.

The rainy season is here though and that's what it did. Still at least I had a nice view, as I read my book under the cover of my bungalow roof as the rain splattered down into the valley below. There was a couple of Austrians there the first night, and a couple of Mexicans and a Candian the next night. After a couple of nights I was ready to leave and get a decent sleep, and not worry about what was making that rustling noise during the night. Not quite sure what's worse seeing a giant spider above your head, or seeing that the giant spider is no longer above your head. The mosquito net was tucked in tightly!

I took the easy option out and threw my bike in the back of a pickup truck and got a lift back to Chiang Rai.

Tuesday - Chiang Rai to Mae Chan - 35km

A simple ride along the major highway, well it was once I located the highway. Plenty of space to ride, almost a lane to myself. I tried to eat a whole pineapple from a side of the road vendor for 10baht. I failed though, and gave the rest to the a nearby mangy mutt. The dog was owned by the vendor and I'm sure it thought, "Oh no not pineapple again!"

I found a place to stay easily enough, it even has a strange kind of porch/sitting room with a fridge with nothing but 2 bottles of water and a moth in it. I had a quick cycle about town and then headed back and finished off my book. I strolled into town just after five, to find it was all shut. Although I did find this Internet cafe place that I now type of. Harded to find somebody to but a ticket to use the computer though. I shall head off for a spot of dinner soon, if I can find an open restuarant!

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