Archive for January, 2010

Awesomeness!!!

BANGKOK to PHUKET

Ask Shane, and he will tell you – it is 1,020 kms from Bangkok to Phuket. This was no holiday, or easy ride – it was 12-day, body bruising, real adventure – and one we were pleased to have shared…

From Bangkok, we took the main highway, first west then south. This is not the most enjoyable riding, especially when it’s raining and your being chased by dogs, but it was necessary and got us out of the capital and down the coast quickly.

Ban Krud was stunning and provided our first real “tropical” riding experience. We literally pedaled along the beach and through the palm trees – and yes, you do have to watch out for falling coconuts!!

Chumpon, 550 kms south of Bangkok, was our half way mark, and it’s fair to say, no one was looking forward to our planned day off more than Shane. Right on the beach, it was the perfect place to rest our sore muscles and aching backsides.

From there, we crossed over the jungle covered mountains that divide Thailand, and got our first glimpses of Burma and the beautiful Andaman Coast. It is rewarding riding, but hard work in this heat…

After a long day, and running short of time, we had to seek refuge with the monks in the temple at Khao Fa Chi. Staying with them was a great experience, that is of course, you don’t mind getting up early – the day here starts at 4.15am!

Khao Lak is the real gem along this stretch.  Relaxing on the beach, it is hard to be believe, this stunningly blue and tranquil water, could have delivered such a devastating tsunami.  Funny too, that we didn’t mind having to take a first floor apartment, because all the beachside bungalows were booked…

The final day into Phuket was a real tough one – even for us, which doesn’t happen so often these days – but Shane could smell the finish line, and no mountains were going to stop him getting there now.

I think the victory photo on the beach tells the story pretty well… Congratulations, mate – you made it!  Awesomeness!!!

We certainly had earned our dinner with Luke and Carly (Jess’s brother and partner) who just happened to be out holidaying in Phuket too.

Jules & Jess

 

The start line - Shane's apartment in Bangkok

The start line - Shane's apartment in Bangkok

 

A happy man, after 95kms, and the end of day 1

A happy man, after 95kms, and the end of day 1

Jess & Shane after having survived another dog chase

Jess & Shane after having survived another dog chase

 

A hilly detour through Sam Roi Yot National Park

A hilly detour through Sam Roi Yot National Park

 

Lunch time

Lunch time

 

The joys (and horrors) of petrol station toilet stops

The joys (and horrors) of petrol station toilet stops

 

Real "tropical" riding, Ban Krud

Real "tropical" riding, Ban Krud

 

How sweet! Our own table set in the garden by the hotel staff

How sweet! Our own table set in the garden by the hotel staff

 

Not a bad way to wake up in the morning...

Waking up in the morning in, Chumpon

 

Over the mountains that divide Thailand

Up and over the mountains that divide Thailand

 

That's Burma over the river !!

That's Burma over the river !!

 

Our room in the temple, Khao Fa Chi

Our room in the temple, Khao Fa Chi

 

Early start from the temple (we've been awake for 2hrs already!)

Early start from the temple (we've been awake for 2hrs already!)

 

Khao Lak, a real gem

Khao Lak, a real gem

 

Tsunami territory

Tsunami territory

 

Jess sweating it out on the hills into Phuket

Jess sweating it out on the hills into Phuket

 

Congrats mate, you made it!  1,020 kms Bangkok to Phuket

Congrats mate, you made it! 1,020 kms Bangkok to Phuket

 

The celebration dinner with Luke & Carly (Jess's brother and partner)

The celebration dinner with Luke & Carly (Jess's brother and partner)

Silly Season !!

 

HO CHI MINH to BANGKOK

Cambodia was the setting for our “silly season” – and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be…

The people were incredibly friendly.  Their smiles are so big, you couldn’t help but join in.  The road condition was also much better than we had feared.  The only real hazard, was avoiding the numerous speeding government officials in their luxury 4WDs!  Cambodia is poor, so you have to be prepared for that, but it was a great country to cycle through and really does offer a lot more than Angkor Wat!!

Speaking of which, Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) is where we spent our Xmas.  It was a relaxing (and lazy) break.  A hotel with a pool, lots of yummy food, and when we finally got sick of that – a ride around the amazing Angkor temples.  We usually get “templed out” pretty quick, but we must say, these are worth the effort!

We then pedaled to Bangkok, to spend New Year’s Eve with our good friends, Shane and Joop.  Bangkok has never disappointed, and didn’t this time, which largely has to do with Shane being such a perfect host.  We counted down to 2010 in style at an Italian restaurant, watching fireworks from the roof, wearing silly hats and blowing annoying trumpets.  It was the perfect end, to an incredible year!

Shane has now decided to join us for the ride down the coast to Phuket.  It is going to be hot, and involve crossing the mountains that run down the spine of Thailand.  It is about 1,000 kms, and will take us just under two weeks to complete.  But what makes it most impressive – Shane can’t even remember the last time he rode a bike!!  It’s sure to be a great adventure – stay tuned.

Jules & Jess

Classic Cambodia!

Classic Cambodia!

 

Two cyclistas in Phnom Penh

Two cyclistas in Phnom Penh

 

Jess "on the road" in Cambodia

Jess "on the road" in Cambodia

 

A typical Cambodian house

A typical Cambodian house

 

We are not alone!  Another cyclist leaving his mark

We are not alone! Another cyclist leaving their mark

 

Where we spent Xmas... by the pool

Where we spent Xmas... by the pool

 

I scream, you scream, we all scream ice-cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream ice-cream

 

Dinner out on the town, Siem Reap

Dinner out on the town, Siem Reap

 

The daddy - Angkor Wat

The daddy - Angkor Wat

 

The many faces of Angkor Thom

The many faces of Angkor Thom

 

Bumper to bumper elephants riding between the temples

Bumper to bumper elephants riding between the temples

 

Ta Phrom... choked by the trees

Ta Phrom... choked by the trees

 

Pedaling to NYE in Bangkok

Pedaling to NYE in Bangkok

 

Shane & Joop

Shane & Joop

 

Silly hats & annoying trumpets

Silly hats & annoying trumpets

 

Happy New Year 2010 !!

Happy New Year 2010 !!