Easy day to Uttaradit (52/9334 ks)

(written by Nancy)

We survived the Smile Hotel – perhaps a creepy hotel room was appropriate on Halloween!  Actually, it wasn’t that bad – Dave only got a small rash from the bedspread (good thing we are carrying antibiotic cream) and thank goodness I didn’t see the big bug in the corner (alive, not dead) until we were getting ready to leave this morning….  Thankfully tonight’s hotel is much nicer.

We only had a short day today so we stopped at the Amazon Coffee shop just up the road and had a leisurely cup of espresso and ate our usual yoghurt from 7-11 for breakfast.  We weren’t sure what the terrain would be like today and we ended up with some ups and downs and one pretty good climb.  So Dave was probably right in stopping yesterday – it would have been a hard climb in the heat yesterday afternoon.

We went through a manned police checkpoint today – it’s a bit odd that they have these on relatively major roads and they completely stop traffic.  We can’t really tell what they are checking for as they don’t really search the vehicle, they just briefly talk to the driver and occasionally pull a car over for what appears to be more discussion.  We passed through without issue.

We had some nice views from the top of the big climb today The mist burns off slowly off the mountainside and we could see for quite a long way off to some distant peaks.  The mountains are nice to look at when you know you don’t have to ride over them.  After the pass, we crossed another province border riding into Uttaradit Province.  Their province “saying” is “Dream Land, Heaven on Earth”.  It was a nice ride but I’m not it was that nice!

As on many other days, today we passed by roadside stands selling fruits and veggies.  This area’s crop seems to be garlic and chillies.  There were stands and stands full of garlic piled high in neat little bundles and bags and bags of dried chillies.  We stopped to get of picture of one stand – I think they had garlic in every form.  There were dried bundles of garlic heads tied together, bags of garlic cloves and pickled garlic in various forms.  We could smell the garlic just standing there.

We made it into Uttaradit before noon and made our way to the Seeharraj Hotel.  It is a decent hotel – nice clean room, big comfortable bed and a shower with a shower curtain.  When I checked in the man at reception asked me if I was with the bicycle tour group – turns out there is a tour group stopping here for the night.  It looks like a relatively big group of people that are riding from near Bangkok up to Chiang Mai on a charity ride (they call themselves the Tour of Hope, www.thetourofhope.com).  Dave chatted a bit with a few of them this afternoon and I am sure we will see more of them later on this evening.

We went out for lunch and only made it out to the first little restaurant/food stand right by the hotel.  It looked quite busy and the food looked good so we sat down and with some help from another patron that spoke English we got a plate of chicken and rice and a plate of pork and rice.  Very delicious and hit the spot.  After another iced coffee we headed back to the hotel to do some bike maintenance and clean the water bottles.  They were getting pretty slimy on the inside so I took a tip from a CGOAB journal and soaked and scrubbed them with some antiseptic wash.  They are clean now but it now smells like a hospital in the room and my hands smell lovely…

Tomorrow we are going to try to get to a resort along Hwy 12 towards Lom Sak, which should be about 135k from here.  The original plan was to go to the city of Phitsanulok and then go from there to Lom Sak the next day, about a 110k day.  After a bit of research it looks like the second half of the leg between Phitsanulok and Lom Sak is a pretty tough ride with lots of climbing.  So we will try to shorten that day by going part-way tomorrow – that’s the plan anyway.

We’re off to find some dinner and supplies for tomorrow.  We may not have internet access tomorrow so don’t worry if you don’t see a post – we’ll catch up when we can.

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4 thoughts on “Easy day to Uttaradit (52/9334 ks)

    • Yes we have. Our friends in Singapore gave us some. Actually, if memory serves me correctly, 2 of the 4 family members there are fans. The other two, not so much. I actually like the smell, reminds me of Singapore and Malaysia.

    • Thanks Jane! Resort is often a bit of a misnomer here, generally not what we think of when we hear the word resort. It usually just means bungalows or cabins as opposed to rooms in a hotel. Actually the Rain Forest Resort was nice though we didn’t get to experience too much of it as we arrived in the afternoon pretty tired and left early the next morning. Dave is such a taskmaster you know. One of these days I will find a real resort and lash out on massages and other spa treatments.

      We are looking forward to Laos too – more new things to figure out!

      Hope you are enjoying your time at home and not looking to go back to work for a bit.


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