First Days: Ayuttaya

2009/01/08: to Ayuttaya 111 km
We left Bangkok at 6:00 a.m. and stopped to consult the google map printout as we looked for a bridge over a canal. Our pausing precipitated an offer of assistance from the traffic police, and we were efficiently led to the correct bridge by a friendly motorcycle policeman. We soon found ourselves on busier roads than we’d planned to use, however, and somewhat off our carefully laid-out route. Chris used the GPS (on his handlebars) to get us back on track, and we were roughly on our planned route as the temperature climbed steadily. I had a flat due to broken glass, and it was 35 degrees by noon. I hadn’t drunk enough and had stomach cramps,so we spent several hours in the shade by a gas station.

It was asking a lot of the old bodies to deal with the heat and a 100+ km day that soon after a long flight, nine hour time change, change of diet, anti-malarials, and riding on the left. We rode slowly on through small Muslim villages in the late afternoon, and found a hotel about 5 km south of the centre of Ayutthaya, where we booked for two nights, knowing our bodies needed down time after an unaccustomedly hot 110 km. It’s a Thai business travellers’ hotel, and Somjate, the director, spent time setting us up with a modem this evening.

Despite the relatively heavy traffic on some of the roads we’ve travelled, and the motorbikes and smaller vehicles that drive the wrong way along the shoulders one feels pretty safe on the roads here. The drivers in Vancouver could certainly do with a dose of this calm and deferential Bhuddist approach.

2009/01/09: Sightseeing 37 km
Today we used our bikes to toured the historic centre of Ayutthaya, visiting several wats, strolling in an historic park, and making a loop to cross the river on a small ferry. Ayuttaya was the capital of Siam from 1350 till it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767.

There were elephants giving rides. Julianne, I told you we’d see elephants!! I hope to see wilder elephants further north.(Julianne is our three year old great niece.)

Off early tomorrow, heading north, and unlikely to have internet for a few days.

At supper at a cafe, Chris ordered beer. It was a large bottle, and then we accidentally ordered another due to an errant hand gesture. He finished both bottles with only a very little help from me, feeling he should do so to be polite. I had to guide him back to the hotel and he slept very well.

M

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