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Myself and Paul sat down the previous afternoon in the rustic and half completed outdoor area that overlooked the mangrove girt river. Across the small stream we could see families loading fish onto a long boat, no doubt headed for Bangkok. We decided to get our daily riding itinerary somewhat in place.

A river boat that had seen better days just 1km from our accommodation.

The riding is all based on the premise that ‘one minute in the morning is worth 5 minutes in the afternoon’. We are riding south and at this time of the year there is a very strong headwind and given that it is also fast approaching the hottest time of the year in Thailand, this can be a deadly combination. By leaving very early in the AM you can avoid both of these.

  • 5AM: Wake up
  • 5:31 AM Start ride
  • 23-25km an hour riding.
  • The first stop is typically at 7:30am at around 40-50km. We try and make this one a ‘quick stop’ at 7/11 for some water, a banana, protein shake and straight back on the bike.
  • 9am. Lunch at around 60-70km This is usually a sit down breakfast, it seems that Khao Tom (Rice and pork soup) is the go to riding meal!
  • 10:30 another stop at around 85-90km which is usually a ‘scenic’ stop where we know we only have another hour or so of riding to do and we can relax a little bit.
  • Hotel before 12pm (mid day) is the target.
  • Shower/nap/chill out in hotel until 4:45
  • 5pm quick ride to a beach side restaurant for dinner.
  • Bed by 9pm
Khao Tom: Rice and Pork soup with coriander/ginger and pepper.

THE RIDE!

View our route below on Strava.

Today’s ride saw us head out along the salt flats from the tiny fishing villiage just south of Samut Songkran and along the salt flats. This is very nasty riding during the mid day heat so we were happy to be busting it out in the early sunrise with no breeze. I wish there was more to write about today’s journey, but alas it was rather uneventful and pleasant!

The salt flats had locals collecting and grouping the salt into neat piles. Back breaking work.
On the road! Headed for Phuket. Very disapointed in my camera phone….

We did meet a lovely South American couple who had touring bikes fully loaded with gear in their quality Ortlieb Bags. They had to make it from Chaosamran all the way up to the airport for their flight home THAT DAY. Paul shot into ‘work mode’ as a holiday tour operator and started to give them options. Who knows where they ended up, but I fear they would have been ‘locked down’ from the Corona virus. Maybe a couple extra weeks of cycling holiday will sort them out. 🙂

Paul helping out the cycle tourists we run into at the 7/11

As we passed the city of Hua Hin on the back roads hugging the railway line, we popped out at a lovely cafe owned by Paul and his wife Natt’s friend at 95km. So Pauls wife Natt decided to make the 45 minute round trip down to Hua Hin to meet us for lunch.

Myself and Paul catch up with his wife Natt for lunch.

From there it was a quick 15km ride to our accommodation, we decided to head to another hidden secret sea side restaurant. Since Paul lives here and does lots of bicycle tours, he knows ALL the hidden gems and really does make the ride something special!
I had an amazing steak with wedges and tomatoes which was superb and especially for the AU $20 it cost!

The view from our dinner table!

That’s all she wrote for today! This was certainly the ‘easiest’ 110km I have ever ridden and I’m feeling very strong and confident in the saddle at the moment.

Desolation: Ryan Cullinan 2020