The chain of events that led to Bangkok

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Flag of Thailand  , Nonthaburi,
Saturday, December 3, 2011

I got some breakfast from the buffet at the hotel. People largely left me alone and that was a relief. I was really exhausted, I had just about no sleep the night before. There was loud music until 2 in the morning and then the mosquitoes started in and I became their breakfast buffet. It was the first time I've been bitten on this trip and strangely in the same hotel in the very next room to the one I stayed at a few nights before. I tried putting on the air conditioning to stop it but nothing worked and it kept me awake all night. When the alarm finally went off I was shattered. Still, breakfast and coffee perked me up a bit and I loaded my gear onto the bike. I checked the chain and adjusted it up slightly so it would be ok or at least as ok as it was going to get. It was bone dry and ragged but it should get me into Bangkok with no trouble.

I headed out into the main road and up towards route 4 which leads directly into Bangkok. Unfortunately, my GPS pointed the way directly forwards and my sense of direction agreed but the person who designed the roads had other ideas. I tried to get back to the 4 but every road that lead there suddenly veered off at a tangent and ended up in blind alleys, offroad or in somebody’s yard. If my chain had been in better condition I would have just ridden off through the fields but from the state of the fields that might not have been a good idea, most were flooded or awash with clay. Eventually I found a long straight road which seemed to intersect with the main road. Finally it did but the main road was suspended by several concrete polls several metres up. I had to cross a rickety bridge over a stream to get near it and then make a U-turn in front of several Thai drivers who seemed oblivious to my indicators. In the end I was back on the road and heading towards Bangkok.

I spoke to a guy in Nepal who had a gel seat, in fact the same one as I have and fitted by the same guy in Kent as me. We’re both having the same problem, when it gets hot it gets slightly uncomfortable and by slightly uncomfortable I mean it’s like sitting on red-hot razorblades dipped in salty lemon juice. It made the short(ish) ride into Bangkok far less pleasant than it already was.

For a while it was ok and then as I hit the city sprawl i hit the traffic. I had been warned about the traffic and it was every bit as bad as they had said. I slowed to a crawl and still had no working satnav. Without it I just had to guess where i was going. In the end I asked directions and was told it was straight on. Then the straight on road went off in two different directions. I found a sign to the airport which also should take me back to where i wanted to go. That also went off in two separate directions. Then I saw the sky-train and followed it along until I led me back. Nice and simple.

So finally I got to the hotel, the same one I stayed at before. They didn’t have a room ready so I went to the shop and got some bits I needed to tidy up the bike. I got some oil to keep the chain moving and some washing gear to take the first layer of filth off the bike. Tomorrow I planned to strip off some parts and maybe even change the oil but first I needed to get a chain.

Tonight I was planning to meet Dave. Dave has a similar bike to mine, well actually a vastly different bike with the same engine. Well a similar engine. He’s been travelling on and off for the last 5 years and now lives around SE Asia. I found out he was living in Bangkok right now so we arranged to meet for some food and beer. He called me up and offered to try to find the chain for me. I gladly accepted.

So then I had my first problem. Bangkok is effectively closed for the next few days thanks to the King’s Birthday. The country take their royalty quite seriously so my chances of getting a chain are roughly equivalent to walking through the streets at night without a prostitute coming on to you.

I don’t really want to be stuck in Bangkok, it’s expensive and not very friendly, it’s a big city full of traffic and smog. I fancy moving on but with my chain as poor as it is, i’m not going far. I’m considering Pattaya or Hua Hin again, both are much cheaper and not too far out, I can get to either within a few hours if I take it very easy and I know my way around both of them fairly well.

I stripped down the GPS but it wasn’t dirt. The digitizer screen was faulty. I could get a new one but not the right size meaning I will need sealant and other tools. I did find a way online to repair the one I have requiring only that I set fire to the screen so I will give that a go, I really have nothing to lose.

So eventually I packed up to head out to meet this biker. I was tired but it’s nice to meet new people, especially ones who share your interests.
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cimek on

So, it's eventually had happened and I was not there. The historical moment, after you kept saying it for weeks, you stripped down your garmin and I missed it. God damn.

jtw000 on

I washed the bike today as well....

cimek on

Don't say you've adjusted head light.......

jtw000 on

I don't need to adjust it, it's perfect just the way it is. I would have written a blog for the last few days but I've been constantly sat on a toilet. Not exactly fascinating.... How are you?

cimek on

I've cleansed my stomach eating in macDonald and Pizza Hut for 3 days and now I am furting healthy like the day we started. Trying local food again, but carefully and watching efects. Still can't have rid of cold and spraying everything green when sneezing. Resently sleeping with aircon turned off.

jtw000 on

I've not used the aircon for days either. I have been feeling really rough the last few days, just stayed in Bangkok and slept basically. Not good. When I get the chain sorted (and my anus) then i'm going to ride into Cambodia and Laos. I'm bored and want to carry on riding.

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