What a great start to our trip. We have experienced everything I missed from traveling in a short time. Tasting culture, meeting people, having good conversations, spontaneity, living in the present and experiencing a particularly free feeling.
We are warmly welcomed by Tea, Paul and Jam. I have been in contact with Paul in advance via Warmshowers but he and his girlfriend Jam are still in the middle of a renovation, so he has referred us to his neighbor who is setting up a homestead. Tea is a great person and has made us feel completely at home.
The first evening they all took us out to a nice place with a party atmosphere and delicious food. There was live music and the service was super fast with topping up our glasses. It was Nina her birthday so the waitress brought a candle on the fish and the whole bar sang happy birthday to her. It was a bit difficult to communicate because of the loud music and karaoke. You can see that the Thai know how to have fun.
The next day was all about putting our bikes together. Despite the jetlag, it is here 6 hours later than at home, we woke up at half past six. We had a quiet breakfast and had coffee and went to work. Everything went relatively smoothly. Only the pedals we couldn’t attach to it. The pedals always remain a difficulty for us. We need help every time when picking up and getting it up again. Fortunately Paul was able to help us with this later in the day. We were ready around noon. Had a nice lunch with tea and just rested before we set off to discover the neighborhood.
We explored the city in Bangkok with the two of us. Visited different markets, went to temples and tasted many different dishes, but what we especially remembered is the people who have received us at their home. Tea is a beautiful person. We talked for hours, went to the market together and cooked. She is such a warm appearance with whom you immediately feel at home. Paul and Jam are also super relaxed people. They are helpful and interested. We know we will be back in Bangkok in a few months. So after four days we say goodbye and we get back on our heavily loaded bicycles for the first time in ages.
We leave the city and follow a route we have received from Paul. Paul and Jam have cycled a lot in the area and know what the best way is to leave the city. Usually that is not the nicest part for cycling. But I have to say. We found Bangkok isn’t to bad for cycling at all.
Cycling goes surprisingly well from the start. Q mainly suffers from the heat but I think it is better than expected because I have prepared myself for the worst. Everyone says it is now cool due to the amount of rain that still falls. That is not normal for the time of year but it brings us a nice side effect.
We quickly cycle into the countryside. Take a break in between and snack that we buy from a lady and cycle on again. We hear other types of birds whistling and see other animals such as a kind of small caiman with a rat in his mouth that shoots past our bikes. We don’t know exactly what it was.
We are already tired at lunch. While we are sitting there in a restaurant along the road, we fall asleep in the chair for a short time and that does us good. We then continue with new energy. Now it is getting really hot and the sun is burning on our skin. We are no longer used to that, so we wear long sleeves for protection.
We take a short fruit break before we cycle the last bit toba temple. When we arrive at the temple we ask if we can pitch our tent there. The monk walks along with us with a big smile on his face to refer us to another monk who comes across as a little more serious. Without change in his face, he points us to a building on stilts. Below that we can pitch our tent and next to it is a building where we can shower and go to the toilet. Perfect!! We are enjoying the surroundings for a while before we look for food. If all goes well, there should be several markets and restaurants in the area, but it is disappointing. The markets mainly sell sweets and snacks and the restaurants are all closed. Fortunately we still have instant noodles and boiled eggs.
While we have been looking for food, we have been noticed by more people. One man tells us that we should sleep at his home, there is air conditioning, it is way too hot here. But we do like it here and we accept his offer. We are also not the only one who is going to sleep here. Several people are getting ready for the night. Meanwhile it’s poring rain. When we have already pitched our tent and I am showered, there is a family talking to Q with the same man. The mother and daughter speak a little bit of English. “Come with our home, the bikes can be put in the back of the truck!” They show on the map where we would go. Well then, we pack all our things again and load our bikes into the truck.
We arrive at an office. Where a mattress is ready and our bikes are driven inside. We get some food on the market around the corner, chat with the family and discuss the plans for tomorrow. They would like to take us to Ayutthaya. Without really thinking about it, we say yes. Even though we would also cycle past the place the next day. They indicate that they pick us up tomorrow morning to go there together by car, in the evening we will sleep here again. We look at each other with a questioning smile. Why not .. They are lovely people and this way we really take the time in Ayutthaya without worrying about our things.
What a special start. After one day of cycling we immediately go into a rest day with strangers who want to show us their hometown. Here too, hospitality is overwhelming! After the family leaves for their own house and the man withdraws somewhere on another floor in this building, we go to sleep at eight o’clock in the evening. Good night!!