Monday, September 17, 2007

Cycling along

After Lampang if was off East. I had a look at my map and deciding that Phrae was a long way away I would split the ride and stop at a hotel indicated. So I set off on starting with a climb out of Lampang. The destination a small town with the rather odd name of Long. After another big climb (and walking and pushing uphill) I got to the summit of the hill and whizzed down the other side. Stopping off for a quick snack and drink at a roadside stall, I turned left to complete the ride on fairly flat ground. After asking lots of people I found the hotel and had a nice little bungalow for the night. I headed out for a look around stopping off at a restaurant for a late lunch at Sunflower restaurant. It was a family run place and was invited for more food/fruit but I was stuffed. I had a look around town in the afternoon, then tried to flag down a songthaew to return, but they were having none of it, and I had to walk back. I went back to the same restaurant for dinner where I ordered a glass of beer, but got a pitcher, oh well such is life :)
Next morning up early to head on over to Phrae. More hills! But not such a long ride and got into town in time for a late breakfast of Pad Thai wrapped in an omelette. Phrae is another quiet town, I had a few days rest here as my leg was still feeling not quite right. Lots of old wooden houses, apparently it is famous for the teak growing here, and on the ride out the road was lined with furniture shops. Not quite sure how they all stay in business, seemed to be loads of shops and no customers, but I guess one order is a lot of money. The ride down to Denchai was straightforward. Back on a main highway, so a bit more traffic, but a short flat ride no problems. Found a guesthouse eventually tucked into the back of the town. Finally get the shower working after nothing coming out of the tap. Later on I asked somebody in a shop if there was an internet cafe around and ended up getting driven around town on the back of his motorbike. First place was shut, second place only had games - no internet, third place somebody had died and there was a wake on, but fourth time lucky I found a place to check how many goals Scotland had sunk France by, just the one :)
Late afternoon because it was just a short ride this morning, I went for a leisurely whizz along the path between the paddy fields in the back of town. Even saw another foreigner in his Hawian shirt, must be a resident or very lost. Next day not quite off as early as planned, but should be an easy ride, but... Somebody put hills in the way again, I though it would be a flat ride and the railway runs down this way, but they diverge a bit and the road takes the "scenic route". But I find a turn off for Uttaradit and head down the marked 7kms. I arrive at a small fountain in the middle of a crossroad. Hmm, I thought this place would of been a bit bigger, but I find a nice hotel. That night I have a stroll around and find out the centre of town is a couple of km's away. I happen across some sort of event where I buy my twenty baht entrance ticket to see whats inside. Like a fairground event with some Thai bands and lots of food. I have a cup of sweetcorn with butter, mayonnaise and a spoonful of sugar. Hmmm. I think I prefer it savioury. Also try some rice which is a sweet. Sticky & chewy, but not bad. After that I head for the large tent with the pumping dance music and within they have... dodgems! Not quite sure people were understanding the concept, people would sometimes apologise when your rammed them, haha! I then had a go at knocking down the tins to win something, hmmm, these tins are sturdy, wouldn't dare suggest they are filled with sand!

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