Jungle is Massif!

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

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Where I stayed
Le Ranong Cafe and Bistro

Flag of Thailand  , Ranong,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knowing we had a long day, I ordered two breakfasts and wasn't disappointed by either of them – mango, muesli and yogurt was the best one though. We set off expecting three fairly boring days ride and so were very pleased to hit the jungle only 8 miles in to it. The road rolled up and down through beautiful palm tree covered hills, and the insane bus drivers we’d been warned about was nowhere to be seen. (I basically think after India and Vietnam all driving seems very civilised to us.)

After 20 miles my back tyre’s slow puncture needed dealing with so we stopped for a drink. The ladies at the roadside café were smiley and friendly as all Thais seem to be and happily provided us with a tub of water to fix the inner tube and a back log of three other which had built up. The sun had decided to reappear today and so it was very sweaty work.

The next 56 miles were long and pretty tiring. We managed to find a fabulous place for lunch, where Mikey bravely munched down the scary looking squid all over his noodles. The views and friendly locals at drinks stops kept us going, but in the heat the hills were tough work. 80 miles on the flat with a tailwind has been pretty straightforward but add an incline and its starts to get a lot tougher and take a lot longer.

One lady obviously saw we were flagging as at a 50 mile drink stop she gave us some funny, really sweet coconut stuff baked in banana leaves. She had a good laugh when Mikey bit straight into the leaf rather than unwrapping it.

Just as the sun got too much for me and I put on my sleeves, gloves and ridiculous bonnet hat (see photo) a tropical storm hit. It turns out the bonnet hat is also effective as a rain shield and kept my face nice and dry. The rain was absolutely torrential however, so heavy that it actually stings when the drops hit. It lasted about ½ hr, and the accompanying lightning was actually a bit scary. I can never remember what the situation is if you get hit my lightning and are not earthed – rubber tyres? I think that’s better, but presumably getting hit by lightning is very bad anyway.  I made sure I was only touching the rubber bits of my handlebars just in case anyway.

The cooling effect of the rain did mean we sped up however and by the time we cycled out of the storm we only had 10 miles to do. The pass before Rangong turned out to be only a mile, with a spectacular view at the top before an enormous decent. The pass was obviously a local cycling clubs favourite route as we saw lots out for evening rides. We even got a second wind and raced a couple into town. We had no information on Rangong and just followed our instincts through the town. Just as it was looking like we should have stuck on the highway we hit the jackpot. Le Ranong Cafe and Bistro had immaculate rooms for £14 and the bistro below was heaven. The owner was baking brownies when we came down after our showers and recommended spicy chicken for Mikey and pork with black pepper for me.  She not only gave us home-baked macaroons afterwards, but told us where we could find accommodation on our route ahead. Ridiculously, over the course of the day we realised we must have Google mapped to the entrance to Phuket Island, not Phuket town, and oversight which has added 30 miles to our journey. We know face taking an extra day to get there or doing two 90 miles days. Hmmm…..

Miles cycled; 76 stormy ones
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