(written by Dave)
We had a bit of a lay-in this morning as we only needed to cover 50ish k. When we finally made it outside our room and to the hotel restaurant,we both decided to one more time, try out the western brekkie at the hotel. The photo below should be the final reminder that this should never, ever be done. They toast was french toast. The meat was hot dogs and cold-cuts. The mayo covering the “salad” was thick enough to grease all of our hubs. And finally, the eggs were not over easy. The coffee was as good as it is going to get anyway, 3-in-1 instant coffee is morning norm in Thailand. To be fair, we did not have any choice really, they only had one option on the menu. Next time we’ll ride to 7-11. However, the staff were as pleasant as normal – really, even bad food can be fun if everyone doesn’t take these things too serious.
We had a climb right out of town, not a hard one but it would have been hot yesterday if we had ridden onward to Udon Thani. The road was very melted, we rode in deep ruts like a low seeded ski racer. We were ok as long as we stayed in our rut. Keeping with the worn and rugged road, our stop at the scenic water fall at the 3k mark was a bit of a let down. The car park was all chewed up, there was lots of broken glass and the road to that waterfall was overgrown with brush. We were thinking Multnomah Falls, or Federation Pass and we ended up getting Detroit or Redfern. At least it was cool and the rest of the trip in was nice enough. Once we reached the top of the climb it was gentle rollers all the way to Udon Thani.
I stopped quite a few times for photos. In fact, Nancy noted that while the day was short, she did want to get there at some point. In other words stop stopping so much. There were a couple nice wats plus I wanted to get photos of some of the ubiquitous Thailand flags that we see in great quantify every day. Below you will see Nancy posing with three of the more common sightings; the Thailand flag, the King’s flag and the Princess’s flag. The Queen’s flag is blue, and similar to the King’s flag – we did not get a photo of it. For some reason, the also ubiquitous King and Queen photos have been joined the last few days by similar numbers of Princess photos. We’ll need to talk to Forrest tonight at dinner to see if he has any idea.
Speaking of Forrest, we are meeting him for dinner tonight at 7PM. The three of us shared a beer in Australia about a year ago and we agreed that Nancy and I would visit Forrest’s home. Well, we finally made it. Almost 10,000k later and we are here. Forrest and I worked together at Polycom for 5+ years. We’ll try keeping the work talk to a minimum tonight. Work – what’s that anyway?
We had pretty good navigational luck getting into town and where the hotel we booked was located. We were so early that we actually checked out 3 hotels and ended up not staying in the one we booked. We are normally so tired that we take the first room we find. Nancy always picks the room, often returning from the inspection saying “it’s not bad”. Later we go to the room together and all the bad bits jump out at us. I was foolish enough in Malaysia one day to spot a few to many of these items and mention them out loud. Now, I pretty much only see perfect rooms – see, husbands can actually learn, we may just be slow. The hotel here, The Irish Clock, is not perfect but on the scale we’ve been using since Chiang Mai, it is actually very good. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Being a bit of a western hang-out area, the hotel has good food and good beer. We both had cheese burgers for lunch today and we are not ashamed to say that they were very good. I’ll have to admit that when I spotted the words cheese burger on the outside sign board, my mind did not register it correctly. In fact, I had to think twice to know that it was not just another bad spelling effort by someone who doesn’t speak English. It was indeed correct, but I think I’m starting to lose it. I see now how sometime the Thais have no idea what I say when I speak Thai, only to say it back to me exactly the same when they figure out what I was saying. Things don’t always register.
We are taking tomorrow off the bikes. There is a live band in the bar tonight. We are right above the bar. It closes at 11PM so they won’t keep us up all night but we may have a beer or two with Forrest. We’ll check out the festival schedule tomorrow and decide if we stay another day or not here in Udon Thani.