Right first off for those of you in countries with decent internet links go straight too…..
What can I say…. good effort
Back again, good, right now go and see Benny’s site at http://www.cyclingnomads.org/ben/ which I have only just found….
As for me.. well I am good thanks for asking 910km left to Singapore and opnly 50km left in Thailand. That makes it a good enough time to leave you with my top ten highlights of Thailand:
1/ Being offered amyl nitrate and cash by a Thai cyclist who accompanied me 20km on the journey towards Trang. Even better was his Bob Marley singing and when a particularly bad lorry went past belching black clouds of smoke he shouted “CAR-BON-MON-OX-SIDE” half a dozen times in my ear. I hope you got to Trang and I apologise for cycling off and leaving you to fend for yourself…
2/ The Thai guy who came alongside me on a scooter looking very urbane and serious before coming out with:
Thai guy on scooter (TGOS): I love you
Me: I love you too
TGOS: I love you (Then points to what I thought was his stomach but later transpired to be something a bit further south…)
Me: I love you too, but I have just eaten, Noodle soup mate, Noodle soup. Its great, only a dollar back up there pal.
TGOS: You want to come to my house
Me: No. I have to go to Trang. I meet my friends in Trang, but thankyou
TGOS: I love you
Me: Jesus wept, I have to go now but thankyou goodbye (at which point he rides off only to repeat this entire conversation minus the noodle soup bit 200 hundred metres down the road. It ended up with him blowing me a kiss goodbye with a very sad look on his face…)
3/ Sleeping in a rubber plantation and having the owner of the shop next door cook me dinner. Then her two daughetrs aged about 6 and 7 came with a yoghurt drink as a gift for me. Then in the morning after I had made my own breakfast of 4 eggs and a packet of biscuits they invited me to sit down and have the breakfast they had just cooked for me… when was the last time you ate so much you thought you where going to collapse? added to that when was the last time you ever stood butt naked behind a shop in full view of the road having a shower out of a 44 gallon drum? Thought not.
4/ The thai hells angels who where all on scooters I thought that a collection of open exhausts and ripped denim jackets with patches on was too good to be true but they where all very nice. Born to be mild eh…
5/ having how can i say it… problems that are saddle related due to the heat and then by sheer luck finding a can of http://grocerythai.com/thailand-prickly-heat-powder-gram-p-622.html and standing next to the road dispensing it into my shorts. The pain when this stuff touches skin, well I can only describe it as if somebody has decided to hold a cigeratte lighter underneath your scrotum. I then stop 10km down the road in the vain hope that changing my shorts would help, so standing in a state of undress its the perfect time to pose for a photo with a random thai guy who did an emergency stop on a duel carriageway in his car to come and say hello to me… I would very much like to get a copy of that photo as I can assure you I was not smiling on that day…
6/ Dave’s girlfriends mum’s peatnut sauce. That meal.. my god that meal… right you will probably never find sticky rice in tescos but you can all make this…
(I am copying this verbataim so you might have to play around with it a bit…)
3 tablespoon (tbsp) fish sauce (do not use chinese stuff if they do this with soy lord knows what they use for fish… http://boingboing.net/2006/07/27/soy-sauce-made-from-.html )
2 tbsp sugar (dissolve the sugar for a finer sauce, leave it for a crunchier one…)
1 tbsp lime or 1/2 a lime juice (like i said i am just writing this as it was given to me..)
pinch of salt
1 tea spoon (tsp) of msg or half a tbsp (?)
pinch of pork powder (not required)
Spring onion (chopped)
Corriander (small amount that is fresh)
3 tbsp of peanuts (crush then fry off)
1 tsp of red chilli peppers
Mix and serve with a fish that has been on the barbie, wrapped in lettuce leaves and sticky rice. Fry off some lemon grass whilst your at it as well.
7/ The random Thai people that have stopped and helped me. Be it bringing out buckets of water when I have been trying to fix a puncture, the countless meals that people have given me for free, all the places that I have slept for free, the never ending range of smiles from young and old alike or simply flagging me down and giving me drinks. Thank you.
8/ Scotty stacking a scooter twice in front of the guest house in Trang only to be given a banana for his endevours and the promise of free use of it the next day by the owners of the guest house… Where else can you ghost ride a scooter down the road into oncoming traffic and the owners reward you for it?! In fact where else can you travel where you go to see a waterfall and stop and have lunch in a little cafe only to be accosted by a bi-polar language teacher (his description not mine) who then gave Jane a minature human skeleton in a box as a present. (I want those photos please )
9/ Cycling past mile after mile of upmarket beach resorts that i could not afford to stay in, populated by people who would not make eye contact or return a smile. Speaking of which to the two touring cyclists who went past yesterday whilst i was sat in the road mending the fourth puncture of the day… ever thought of saying hello? Nice lycra guys…. Camping on a beach at the end of the strip was worth it all though.
10/ My little thai note that dave’s girlfriend wrote for me. Seriously this thing has been gold. “Hi, my name is andy, I am cycling from England ra ra ra” On the reverse “This is the 18th country on this trip and the people of Thailand are the nicest so far” A bit saccharine but it works a treat