Phuket! At least we made it to this ferry.

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

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Where I stayed
Imperial Hotel

Flag of Thailand  , Phuket,
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting out of bed after a day where we cycled 108 miles is not straightforward. Fortunately the hotel room was far enough away from luxurious to get us up and packing.  I remember the sign on the way down the stairs claiming 'clean restroom'.  I think the management were keen to impress that at least they had one clean room in the building.

We fell on our feet for breakfast, right across the road was a good local dive which served no nonsense fried eggs and plain rice, very good cycling food.  It was important to fuel up as we were facing another long haul ride.  Phuket Town was 83 miles away, a distance which no longer seems to phase us.  However, as the day went on, the exertions of yesterday caught up with us and the heat, more intense than ever set us up for a real slog home.

We were excited however and the now very familiar Thai smiles kept our spirits up.  Tommy has a flight to Kuala Lumpar booked and will meet us this weekend.  This was brilliant news, so out of the blue.  A family passed us on the bikes, there was mother and 4 children on the same moped.  Who needs a family car, let alone a 4x4?

Lunch was great, more Thai friendliness and good fruit ice shakes to cool us down. The Thai people have blown us away with their friendliness and warmth.  I really want to come back here in the future and would particularly recommend the stretch of coastline we cycled along today.  Signs of the 2005 Tsunami remain.  Evacuation routes were signposted along the way and the Santa hat resting on a gatepost was a very poignant reminder of the devastation that hit this part of the world on Boxing Day 5 years ago.

The rebuilding has been rapid and effective and we passed far too many places where we wanted to stop and spend a few days on the beach.  Just before lunch I spotted an advert for ferries to Phuket.  This would save us 75 miles so I pedalled off route to check it out.  The result was negative and I had done an extra 4 miles in scorching heat, oh dear!

We passed through the very touristy Kao Lac.  An area which seems to be completely built on the diving tour industry.  They even had a McDonalds which pretty much sums the place up.  Have I mentioned that I have taken a real disliking towards divers.  I don’t want to use the family friendly travel blog as a forum for my pet dislikes but having previously ranted about bus drivers and the England football team, I would now like the opportunity to share my thoughts on divers.  They generally tend to be from the north of England, have tattoos and enjoy going to McDonalds.  OK, so I have tattoos and like going to McDonalds but give me a moment here.  They think they are real action men because they go 30 meters under the sea and hunt down sharks and stingrays.  They really like to talk loudly in bars and restaurants about how they really are action men.  But they are not!  If you remove the oxygen tank and drag them out of water they could not actually take part in any form of sport, other than maybe darts or snooker.  I really don’t  like divers but hey, maybe they don’t like cyclists.

As the day went on we battled away counting down the miles.  It was hilly and super hot and even when we crossed the bridge onto the island of Phuket, the going remained tough.  In fact the traffic got quite heavy, Phuket is certainly not the laid back island we were looking for.  We did finally hit Phuket Town and after some faffing around checked in for the night.  The town did not have much to offer but the Italian we found did do a particularly good pizza (I think I am addicted to pizza).

We had come to Phuket to start our island hop.  We could not work out much about the connecting ferries, the biggest and most important unknown was whether they would take bikes.  We booked the first one to Ko Phi Phi and after some phone calls it looked good for the bikes.  On we go.

Miles cycled: 83 on our last legs.
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Faith on

I have read every day of your trip thus far and have enjoyed it very much. I cannot wait to get to your american part of the journey?!!. HOWEVER, as a diver I must comment that perhaps YOU should be drug underwater with tank and see just how well you do?!! REALLY

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