Elephants and Monkey biz, healthcare the Thai way, pizza due the dog factor, and the squiggly lines Resort. Also….time to talk traffic.
We came all the way here to see things we don’t see in Canada. So far, we’ve not been able to report any elephant sighting until yesterday. They weren’t exactly in their natural habitat. Strangely enough, as we were pedalling down the road we looked up and in the back of an open air truck were two elephants being transported to somewhere. Not something we see at home!
The other wildlife sighting was today as we rode along and spotted a side road that looked intriguing so we hung a left. About 50ft down the road our eagle-eyes that are always scanning for dogs noticed something else. Monkeys! On the road, in the trees beside us, and one just 20 ft away sifting through some roadside debris. Monkeys everywhere! And the locals seemed to pay them no mind. We of course were snapping pictures, hoping they’d keep their distance because we’ve heard they can be very curious and proficient at re-allocating anything they spy that catches their eye. So, we felt it necessary to protect all our bags and their contents by keeping a distance.
Last evening we wandered over to the Big C (again) and decided to look for some antibiotic ointment for Randy’s irritated eye. We located a pharmacist we hoped might recommend something. He looked at the eyeball, wrote a prescription, packaged up some antibiotics, and five minutes and $3.50 later we were done! It really made us ponder the reality of time and inconvenience it would have been at home.
We had a reasonably situated Resort in town last night, near a whole lot of commercial activity so we thought venturing out to a restaurant we located on Trip Advisor would be easy. Not so. After hanging a right to follow a narrow street, about 50ft in a few dogs came at us. They barked up a storm and out came 20 or so of their friends. They had the upper hand…many more of them than us. And they owned that alley. We were not going down there, risking a dog pack attack. So we backtracked and went for pizza at the Big C. We’d been curious anyways about the pizza here. Now we know The Pizza Company has great food but anything that’s not Thai food is on the pricey side. All relative of course….still cheaper than what we are typically accustomed to at home.
Let’s talk traffic. We are becoming pro at this whole left-side-of-the-road thing. We even prefer the divided four-lane highways now due to the fact that that there’s always a slow lane in which all the scooters, motorcycles, and other slower moving transportation modes can use. And that’s where we ride. We fit in nicely. But when we get just a two-lane road the shoulder also seems to shrink and we are sharing the road with very fast moving cars, trucks, tankers, motorcycles etc. without the benefit of any passing lanes. We frequently experience heavy transport trucks passing in the oncoming lanes with no regard whatsoever for giving us a little space. We find ourselves just a few feet away from oncoming vehicles travelling well in excess of 100km per hour all the time! It’s like we become invisible. So, we feel safer in the congested city areas with multiple lanes.
Each day when we have reached our destination we have a procedure we need to complete. Hand-washing the days laundry, charging our lights and other devices, washing water bottles, seeking water to rehydrate with and then start planning the next day. Sometimes we have absolutely no idea where we’ll stay because every Thai sign is just a series of squiggly lines to us. Unless they use pictographs or numbers, all written indicators are meaningless. So today we blew up the google map really big to look for icons that looked like hotels. We spotted a possibility that may or may not be a hotel so we do a Street View, snap a picture of the sign and run it through google translate (which doesn’t work very well). The sign apparently translates to SO219 Arabia Mountain View and said Room Service. Well, that’s the teeny tiny sliver of information we had to go on, hoping that when we get there it’s a place to stay. We lucked out! Not only is it a little resort, but it has a most excellent gigantic salt water swimming pool! We’ve died and gone to heaven. And there’s a mountain view to go with it! We love the Squiggly Line Resort think we’ll stick around a few days. Our legs are feeling the wear and tear of 1200 km on the bike so far.