My friend had never been so he didn’t really know what to expect. When I told him dirt, smell, trucks and chaos I think he thought I was joking. We arrived at a quiet period, but after reaching our waypoint, we got out as quickly as we arrived. With no particular place to go, we headed for Tha Phraya National Park, after all, it was all about the ride!
They Say ‘Life is Like a Box of Chocolates’
By this point we had done nearly 400km when we reached the area of the national Park. It was a Forrest Gump moment as we turned back as soon as we got there without stepping a foot in the park. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDE BRO!” Sadly, my derriere had other opinions, screaming and begging me to stop riding. It was a “So wrong yet so right moment!” We couldn’t stop despite the pain we were both in! We eventually agreed that we needed a proper break, food and a bed for the night so we headed into the main town of Sakaeo. We found an odd looking, new but old place. A place that doesn’t get many visitors so maintenance gets forgotten about. Modern, contemporary rooms that look great but had an odd whiff about them. ‘You never know what you’re going to get in Thailand’. We paid 640 baht, about 12 quid which is a little steep for us. We’re used to 500bht and below being two smelly bikers n’ all! Besides, neither of our backsides had the energy to find anywhere else cheaper. After a shower, an hours rest and the attire of a civilian, we searched for food and beer. It was knocking on. 7:45pm in fact, and after downing two bottles of beer, it was time for a sleep ready for the morning’s ride. Or so I hoped!
Sleepless in Sakaeo
I lined the wife and asked how she and the daughter was. Passing pleasantries and boasting about her antics the night before. Did I keep you up darling? She asked. Completely forgetting my romantic and tactical side, I told her the truth thinking I was helping. “Don’t worry, it’s this severe eye strain I have that keeps me up all night”. Can you call me later, I’m just having my hair treated, she replied. I twigged on moments later, but I had a Henry Kissenger moment using a ‘self-made’ crisis to my advantage. That’s one in the emotional security bag for me, I thought! She’ll try harder next time, or she might go on strike for another 6 months. Damn!
On to Pastures New
6:30am, another sleepless night and probably a kick in the passionate nuts department, I am running on pure adrenalin at this point. Holly cow, I stayed up watching 22 blokes kick a ball around a big garden!
We left the hotel to find some breakfast, but it was a little too early for most shops in the area. The Coffee Hills coffee shop which opens at 6:30 actually opens at 7am, so we headed to the beautiful Pang Si Da National Park. We arrived at the security gates and was greeted by a soldier who asked for our driving license and charged us the Thai rate.
For both of us it was 150bht, or there about. Foreigners are usually charged 400bht each, and some are complaining expat residents and permit holders are being charged this when they are taxpayers. Let’s not talk about discrimination towards white folk! Thanks to the soldier, we’re 700bht better off which served for fuel.
We grabbed some recently slaughter chicken which was BBQd to perfection, and just what we needed before our swim.