Burning through Bangkok

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
New World Lodge

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, March 25, 2011

Although it was an unusual setup, the bungalow holiday resort type place made for a very peaceful start to the day. We ate breakfast under the shade of some beautiful trees and if you really squinted your eyes you could fool yourself that you were on a French campsite.  The puncture in my back wheel needed repairing and I did this in between the banana cakes and croissants.  (How many punctures is that now?  I'm sure that when we left India we had a firm count, then there were quite a few in China and not many in Vietnam.  A prize to anyone who can come up with a current total).

Polly was still in pain from her persistent heartburn.  The drugs she had been given by the visit to the doctor last night had no effect and she spent another night without much sleep.  Not a great way to be in between a 90 mile and a 70 mile day.  She battled on anyway but found the first couple of hours tough.  Later we discovered her back break had been rubbing, this had certainly not helped on the morning ride.

Another puncture (add that to the total you have just come up with), this time to Polly’s back wheel.  The day was not going too well but the main concern was how the pain for Polly was relentless.  We had to get to Bangkok to get further treatment but we knew that the ride in was going to test our concentration and biking skills.

The traffic was at a standstill, all 4 lanes and we were still 30 miles from the centre.  It really slowed us down and although we were mostly able to weave in and out of the stationary traffic we were down to about 8mph.  From there it was one of the most challenging rides into a city we have done.  5 lane expressways flew over our heads, the signs were not matching any district names on our maps and the traffic was so heavy.  We stopped for iced coffee and used Wifi to determine our location, the i-touch maps is a saviour in these situations.  We found that we were still 10 miles from where we wanted to be so on we went.

When we were waved away from a toll entrance on the main road I had planned to take us in, it took for some pretty quick thinking to pull a U-turn and find an alternative route.  We finally came to a couple of streets which linked up with the Central Bangkok map and from then it was a case of just enjoying the last couple of miles.  We even spotted what we first thought was a crocodile in the canal.  On closer look it was more like a Komodo Dragon (do they swim?).  It was about 6 foot and we were more than pleased to be watching it from the safety of the banks.

We found a hotel and then went through a very strange checking in procedure where we paid a tout outside who then went in to book us the same room we had just viewed for a cheaper price.  So tired and hot we were just pleased to be out of the rush and noise of the Bangkok traffic and in a cool room.  It was another exhilarating ride into another of the world’s largest cities, next up Kuala Lumpar in 2 weeks time.

We went straight out to try pharmacies.  A very helpful lady explained that most of the medicines Polly had been prescribed were not for acid reflux at all, one was even for anti flatulence (Polly has kept this and has been sneaking it into my meals).   The Gaviscon she produced was a reassuringly familiar treatment and we hope that this, combined with a day (or two if needed) off from cycling will make Pols better.

After this I enjoyed my first Thai Green Curry, it was beautiful and I really hope Pols gets better soon to start enjoying food again (I had to eat her spaghetti bolognaise as well turning the meal into a Thai–Italian fusion).  I also went for a stroll around the infamous backpacking zone of Khao San Road but felt like a loser on my own, so returned to check on Polly. Bangkok looks amazing, I really hope Polly is better tomorrow to enjoy it.

Miles cycled: 72 busy Bangkok miles
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