Wednesday, May 9, 2007

DAY 5 : PAK BARA

30th Apr : Trang - Pak Bara



We left Trang Hotel @ 0655, as usual early. Surprisingly this early and today being a Vesak Holiday, traffic was rather heavy. I have always found Trang to be busy and have poor road-signages relative to the other towns.


I recalled getting lost once in the town, couldn't find my way out to Krabi. I asked a teenager, "Krabi, Krabi" gesturing with my hand that I was not sure of the direction. He explained in Thai, also with plenty of hand signages. I got more confused. Realizing the failed conversation, he gave a hand signage asking me to wait. He disappeared and came back on a cub chai. He gestured me to follow him. He must have felt good - a 750cc tailing a 50cc cub chai. Several left and right turns later, he stopped. "Kelabi, Kelabi" pointing to the road ahead. That's Thai hospitality.


So again I said I never felt intimidated in Thailand. On this cycling trip, the only thing that pushed my heart rate to the maximum were the barking dogs. They just loved our sunburnt legs. Must have appeared like roasted bones to them!


Once out of town, we right turned at a junction where a "ship" hotel stood. I guessed the owner had made his fortunes in shipping and wanted to be remembered as a shipping magnate, even on land. However, judging from the condition of this "ship", it must have been sailing through rough winds and choppy seas. The Captain and its crew had since abandoned ship!





The abandoned ship

A fair part of the morning ride was in the cool shade of trees lining the road. However as the sun rose, the roads too opened up with less and less vegetation. It was getting hotter and when the road heated up, speed slowed down. And when speed slowed down, the brunt of the sun got worse. But it was all part of the journey.


As we headed further and further south, the presence of Muslim communities became more predominant.




We had lunch past 2 pm at a wet market in Thung Hwa. The wet market was clean, absence of any foul smells peculiar to wet markets. One of the men at the market spoke Malay, and hence ordering was made easier. Not that we ever had much problems ordering.




The Tuarers


The next stop for a drink was at Langu, 26kms after Thung Hwa but a mere 10kms to Pak Bara, our destination for the day.


As we approached Pak Bara, fresh sea breeze and a rewarding sight greeted us. It was a spontaneous decision for everyone to stop, to soak and breathed in the freshness of the sea breeze and for photo taking.


Photo session time at Pak Bara beach




Fariz & Suhaimi



While enjoying the cool weather, dark clouds were also forming. A slight drizzle ensued. By this time, a decision to stay at Bara Resort was already made, a Baht 440 a night.




We settled in well. Rain began pelting the rooms when we checked in. Dinner was at the resort itself and as usual, no other activities except to rest the tired bodies.

RIDE STATISTICS
Ride Time : 5 hrs 55 mins
Distance : 114.7 km

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