December 7, 2012
We woke up well before sunrise today, brought our bikes and gear down to the street and loaded up. We bought coffee from the lady across the street who makes an excellent espresso for only 20 baht, or about $0.65. We also bought some fried sesame dumplings and some egg and corn puff things from some food carts on our street. With that fuel in our stomachs, we rode south west towards the
We crossed the river at the iconic Rama VIII bridge which we posted a picture of a few entries ago. The access was up several flights of stairs, but luckily there was a narrow bicycle ram cast into the steps which made it possible to push our heavy bikes up onto the road deck.
After crossing the river we rode in pretty heavy, slow moving traffic for several miles weaving with a pack of motorbikers around busses and cars. A new elevated highway was being constructed in the center lane of the road we were on which made it very difficult to make a right turn to get north of the congested main road. The next road was less congested, but still very busy. After riding along for a few miles, the continuous wall of buildings on either side of the road began to yield as small undeveloped swamps began to appear here and there. Before long we started seeing short stretches of rice and orchid fields.
Around this time I realized the GPS routing algorithm was on “automobile” mode, and even though it was avoiding major highways, we were also avoiding small roads. Once switched to “bicycle” mode the GPS began routing us through small villages off the main roads. We were still making good time on the small roads and we were able to relax and take in the scenery, which was very rural at this point.
After several miles of rice fields we crossed a medium sized river and arrived at the Hidden Holiday House. I had randomly come across this guesthouse on the internet when looking for a waypoint to put in the GPS to route us out of Bangkok. I figured it would be in a village center, but it turned out to be in the middle of nowhere. At this point it was around eleven and getting very hot, so we decided to take a break and check out the guesthouse. It turned out to be a beautiful spot right on the river overlooking rice fields. It didn’t take much convincing to end our day of biking, plus I think Jenny would have killed me if I wanted to continue. We stashed our panniers in a raft house floating on the river, our bikes in the garage and had a wonderful home cooked Thai meal for lunch. The raft house is a single room built on a dock floating empty plastic oil drums. There was very little river traffic, so it was a very peaceful spot for reading and sleeping.
I went swimming in the river for a little while to cool off, then we went to a nearby town to look around. We had a simple dinner of fried rice and shrimp. Jenny had the owner of the guesthouse make her a note that said in Thai “I am vegetarian, I eat eggs, shrimp and fish”. She felt like a dork handing it to the guy at the restaurant, but it worked perfectly. We rode back to the guesthouse and went to sleep just after dark.