Now we're smokin'
Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
270Trip End May 27, 2010
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Chaiwarit Hotel, Wiang Pa Po, Thailand (200 baht)
Hot, hot, hot
Chiang Rai - Pong Daeng - Wiang Pa Po (94 kms)
Well, we're not sleeping in a bus shelter and we haven't cycled 180kms, we are staying at the Chaiwarit Hotel in Wiang Pa Po, pretty much half way between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. As you come into Wiang Pa Po on the right (from Chiang Rai) there is a Homestay and the hotel we are at is at the end of town on the left. I'm going to put together a summary of our trip so far on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum, in case other people find the information useful and because we have used it such a lot on this trip, it's only fair to give something back.
It was a fairly easy day, apart from the last hour when we hit a load of short, steep hills, of course when the weather had warmed up considerably. It was very smoky this morning on our way here, we passed a lot of areas that had been burned and some were still burning. This area is the one mentioned in the news the other day as being particularly badly hit. I don't think these are wild fires, I think they are being used to manage the land. We also passed by a few tribal villages (they don't all live in the hills) and saw women with their beautiful costumes and head dresses.
We passed another cyclist heading towards Chiang Rai this morning, he clearly didn't want to stop and chat as he just waved and carried on, despite my having stopped looking ever hopeful that he might do the same thing. I don't understand it, why not stop just for 5 minutes? Cyclists can be funny creatures.
I bonked this morning. Bonking is the equivalent of the wall that runners hit just a complete loss of energy, the legs won't go anymore and you start to get shaky and light headed. It's happened a couple of times in Thailand and it's my own fault, I should have eaten sooner. We had banana porridge at 0630, then a jam sandwich at 0900, I should have eaten again around 1100 - 1130, but we kept going and it was almost 1300 by the time we got to a place that sold food. I had to stop on the side of the road and have another jam sandwich to get me here.
Talking of food, lunch was a bit of a disaster. We stopped at a stall opposite the hotel and they had a few dishes on display, so I chose the pork and egg to have with rice. I did all the right things, pointed, tried to say it in Thai, got a positive nod in response, I was convinced it was going to be OK. Then madame came over and asked if we wanted omelette, 'oh yes' says Dave, thinking it was in addition to what we had already chosen. Turns out lunch was omelette on top of a plate of rice. Now I'm not an omelette fan at the best of times and I certainly don't want it on a plate of dry rice, so I felt quite miffed, what happened to the stuff I pointed at? What did she think I was doing when I pointed at the pork? Anyway, I had to live with it so I smothered it in sweet chilli sauce and chillies in vinegar and ate it. We won't be eating dinner there.