Passing time while rain passes. Lotte and Seppe. A wedding, and cannonballs at the pool. We have arrived at the Beach!
Yesterday we left Chanthaburi and only travelled 3km before we noticed the gloomy grey sky. There was rain on the horizon, the first we have seen in four weeks here. We decided to pass time under the shelter of an outdoor restaurant where the menu was a mystery to us, but we were hungry. There was a woman cooking something so we indicated we’d like some of what she might be making and we waited to see what would materialize. Randy got a bowl of noodles and broth with a chicken leg inside of it (this is normal here) and there was a deep fried wiener on a stick as well as some sort of chicken balls. All yummy! A few gentlemen dining nearby prepared to leave after about 20 minutes. They went and spoke with the owner, and after a few moments they approached our table and gifted us some little covered dishes containing something that looked white and creamy. We had no idea what it was but surely it would be delicious and we were very grateful for their thoughtfulness and kindness. The Thai people are so wonderful, everywhere we go.
In four weeks we have only seen one other cycle tourist. Imagine our surprise when we were standing outside of our hotel checking in and suddenly we notice another couple on touring bikes! Of course we stopped and exchanged stories from the road, then later in the evening we met up over a beer to talk more. Lotte and Seppe have been touring in the same way as us, cycling each day to new places, never knowing what the next day may bring. Lotte and Seppe started in Belgium and have been touring for a year. Their stories from the past year are inspiring and we talked until late at night. Perhaps we’ll see them again in Canada some day!
Every hotel we have been to has been almost empty. When we checked in last night it was quite unexpected to hear that the hotel was full for Saturday night. But there was a pool, we were hot and we wanted the single room that remained. In the morning when we woke up we noticed hundreds of beautifully dressed people, happy children everywhere and a bride and groom. There was a Thai wedding taking place and we were fortunate enough to be able to witness some new cultural traditions. Such as being married early in the morning (6:30 am early!) By the time we emerged from our hotel room for breakfast the celebrations were well underway.
It was a rest day for us, no cycling. We decided to spend it at the pool. It was filled with laughing smiling happy Thai children, and we were the only foreigners. At one point Randy hopped into the pool and all the children took notice. Initially they were a little shy, but then he began to instruct one child how to squirt water with just his hands. Suddenly all the children gathered around for the tutorial. Then came the cannonball. It wasn’t long before children were saying “cannonball time” and leaping into the pool making big splashes. They appeared to very much enjoy splashing Randy and Randy in turn laughed along with them. Laughter is a universal language!
We have traversed Thailand from Chiang Mai to the shore of the Gulf of Thailand. We rode 1287km to get here through hot sun, dry forests, unpaved roads, four-lane super-highways, mountains, cities, small villages in the middle of nowhere, and past beautiful orchards of durian, mangoes and bananas. We have reached the Beach!
Thank you to Suehanna (sorry if I spelled your name incorrectly), and all your wonderful nieces and nephews at the pool today. You have made our day happy and memorable!