After two massive days of climbing both myself and Paul were very happy to have a lazy start at our beautiful beach side bungalows. The owners were a lovely couple and gave us a 1pm late checkout so I used the time to dry my clothes on the bottom of a canoe and sat down to update my blog sites, check e-mails and call clients.

I could get used to this whole “digital nomad” thing.

Paul had been having a bad time with his neck so we did some stretching next to the palm trees before starting our ‘little’ 60km ride to our mid way stop.

After settling into our bikes we started the mid day slog in the sun and on our first little climb, all of a sudden *BANG!* Paul had an immediate flat. The gods of cycling must have been smiling upon us, as the flat happened to happen right in front of a little shop with seats and supplies.

Paul on the tools.

Paul whipped out his tools and quickly had a new tube in and we were off again on our journey before…. *BANG* another flat.
At this point we obviously needed to do a bit more investigation and as it turned out the rims were digging into the sidewall of the tyre causing a decent 5cm width tear in the tyre, given that we only had tubes… This was not looking good….

Repairing the tyre using a slingshot!

So now we had whatever was available in the little mum and pop home store and our brains, both as sparse and useless as each other.
As I was hunting around I saw a slingshot and I thought ‘BINGO!’ so after spending US .75c on the slingshot I pulled it apart and used the leather pouch to turn into a makeshift tyre patch. As luck would have it this was worked a charm and we were back on the road!


We plugged away at the hills for the next 7km before coming to the river inlet where our routing said we had a bridge, as we approached it quickly became clear it was turn around or swim the bikes time. By this stage Paul’s neck was really giving him grief and the detours were not setting the best mood for this ride. We turned around and headed through the local technical college campus where we were met with a locked gate on the other side next to the bridge, not fun… Luckily a security guard came 5 minutes later to let us through and we were back on our way, albeit a little hot under the collar.

Specialised Sirrus 2019 disc model. Ortlieb twin pannier bags. This was the ‘bridge’ we were meant to cross.

We kept on down the road knowing we only had another 40km to go, however by this stage we had both begun to get rather hungry. Although we had been keeping up with the Western translated news we obviously hadn’t picked up that the local TV stations had been running Covid-19 ‘scare campaigns’ all day with dead bodies and such on TV.
We pulled into a local fishing town which had a handful of street food vendors cooking up and as we always do I went and ordered some ‘yum talay’ (mixed seafood salad).
As I waited a local man who wanted to make himself appear important by holding a clipboard started demanding to know “where my mask!?”.
By this stage there was around 3-4 other Thai’s (including the one preparing our food) without masks, but apparently I was the one who was of the most concern. So I replied in Thai “I don’t have one”. And again “Where your mask?!” So I reply “I want one, will you sell one to me?”. And again “Where your mask?!” to which point I had gotten rather sick of this game…
So my reply was “I DON’T HAVE ONE!” and then proceeded to make the gesture of pulling one out of my arse while yelling “From where do I get one?”.
From the sound of his contempt and shock this gesture obviously translated perfectly, and it was quite clear it was time to move on from that spot sans dinner…. haha
The chuckle from a couple locals was worth it in my opinion… And I’m sure he felt slightly less important sat there with his clipboard…

By this stage our grumpy mood had begun to be overshadowed by concern around what the changing dialogue meant for our ride and our goal of getting back to our loved ones, but first we had to knock out the next 40km…

Amazing scenery in the Thai countryside.

After getting some decent Thai street food into us and the afternoon sun drawing longer shadows our moods begun swing around. I wanted to make a B line straight down the highway to our accommodation however Paul convinced me to take the back roads where we were greeted with the above scenery, stunning…

Ryan Cullinan 2020 road touring.
Ryan Cullinan 2020 road touring.

We pulled into our accommodation which was a dodgy roadside ‘love hotel’, but the rooms were cheap, the showers hot and they delivered us food to our doorstep.