Gentle Hills

2009/01/17: to Si Satchanlai 70 km 
I gingerly partook of the hotel’s buffet breakfast. The stomach demons of the evening prior had mostly settled, but I was tired. We got an early start and reached Si Satchanlai Historical Park, about 14 km south of the town itself, in time for lunch. As at Sukothai, you can rent a bicycle to get around the park, but we were already equipped. We spent several hours pottering about the ruins, which date from the same era as those at Sukothai. Despite it being a Saturday, the park was nearly devoid of visitors. It was more forested than Sukothai, and the odd sharp hill rose from the plain with a wat perched dramatically on the summit. The place had a peaceful feel, and afternoon light shone on the red brick structures.

Oddly, the food concession area this was the first time we felt the vendors were slightly pushy, gesturing to get us to park our bikes right next to a particular table of a particular seller etc.. It must have been because tour buses stopped there; we saw a few. We parked our bikes in a neutral location, and examined all options before choosing a place for bowls of noodles.

By 4:00 we stopped at a pleasant motel just south of town. Supper was outdoors just as the mosquitoes came out. Now we’re indoors and Chris has gone systematically around the room smacking them as he does when we get into our tent or in our bedroom at home. Here, however, we have a resident gecko or two to to help us battle the mosquitoes.

2009/01/18: to Wang Chin 76 km
Early start and early finish. When we start at dawn, which is most days, we see monks in saffron robes walking along carrying their alms bowls. I think the locals give them food and money, which is how they and the temples are supported. Most look serious and solemn. Sometimes one looks at me and flashes a broad white smile. I think they understand the idea of a journey.

We are moving into slightly hilly country, which is a welcome change. There are vegetable plots and forested areas. We rode in the mist for several hours this morning, before we emerged into clear sunlight. We’ve stopped early, because it’s another 75 km over a pass to Lampang and the next hotel.

White Bear has been travelling on the front of Chris’s bike for nearly a week, since he joined us at Thungsaiwittaya School. He gets a good view as he travels, and he’s thinking of starting his own blog. He will try to describe what he sees in plain English so that the students at the school where he joined us can read his blog. Who knows? Maybe he’ll meet other students who are learning English, and they’ll follow his travels too.

M

One response to “Gentle Hills

  1. What an incredible journey!! The pictures are superb and the journal is great reading. It’s so great to be able to followyour trip.Cathy

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