Banana pancakes and omelettes for breakfast, doesn’t get much better. 50% chance of rain forecast. We lose the bet and it’s wet for our 8:00 am kick off. Gentle off-roading through the beautiful village and paddy fields before our first big climb. Thai minority villagers are so friendly, and expert at weaving colourful clothes. No space on the bikes, sadly. Passed through villages processing bamboo into chopsticks. It’s a big industry. Could probably be automated, but it employs large numbers of people, although using big saws to chop up the bamboo isn’t without risk to fingers. Health and safety isn’t so strong here.
14 Km to the top of the mountain, sheer drops to the side but couldn’t see them as so foggy. Very little traffic or sounds as we pedalled upwards. Lunch before our downhill cruise, perched on stools in a roadside shop where we were provided with a thermos of hot water to make our coffee. Grand. Added a couple more layers before heading down through the fog. Feel we’re missing out on some amazing scenery but the cool temps make the cycling so much easier than in the summer heat and humidity.
Huge stretches of newly tarmac’d road make for some great cycling in between the construction lorries. Final transfer on the bus, close to the border to a big new hotel. Bit worried about the wedding party next door but were reassured they would be finished by 9pm. Hadn’t anticipated the karaoke across the road, right outside our hotel window (think of the worst of X factor contestants, amplified. A lot).
It’s now 9.30 and the Karaoke is getting noisier, and even less tuneful, if possible.
Hey ho. Might go and join them. Probably not.