Thursday, 3 January 2019

A man. A bike. A book. A bird.

Book

Managed to get it published on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats. While setting up a link (to the right) I noticed the blog has had north of 200,000 visits. After some digging it turns out 15,000 people have read How I lost $250,000 while 12,000 people have researched Chiang Mai Soapies.

Financial loss and shagging ..... who'd ave thunk?


Bureaucracy

On it again as always. One year visa extensions, work permit renewals and bike tax. We're now up to 2562. It was 2552 when I got my first teaching visa in Thailand. Or 2009 in old money.

Aroond the Hat

Met a canny young family at Sakom Beach on one of many bike trips around the south. They persuaded me to shave the ridiculous growth.

Trip

One of the best things about teaching is the holidays. Three weeks off at Xmas can't be bad. I set off for Trang to visit Stefan and his young family .... well .... they're not so young anymore. When I first met him in March 2009 he was young, free and had the world at his feet. Now he has two kids, a house, a car and all the other responsibilties of modern family life. Looks stessful man .... it ain't for me. However, he has two mint little genetic legacies that I'll never have.

After a night in the salubrious KoTeng Hotel (200B) it was off to PakMeng to see Norwegian Ole and Old Richard. The morning was spent on Ole's yacht in HadYao before a few beers with Richard in the afternoon. Good times.

Even got a shot on his Kawasaki Vulcan 650. Niiiice. To think we both started on little 200cc Honda Phantoms in 2009. Now look at us .... (reminded of Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen sketch).

I then rode to the southern tip of Lanta Island. I didn't enjoy Lanta. Twatpackers, shit roads, miserable Muslims and expensive. It all starts at a ferry terminal where you get the feeling the locals have had their fill of tourists. Speaking Thai doesn't help either. It's alternative reality Thailand. I won't be back although I did manage a smile as I forced this minging coffee down while sheltering from the rain.

It was a relief to get off Lanta. I rode to AoNang in Krabi. This place has changed beyond recognition since I was last there. It's a full-on McHoliday now. Perhaps it always has been? Perhaps I see things through different filters these days? I watched a beautiful sunset with thousands of other people from all over the globe. The sunset broke up two wonderful oil massages with the lovely Nat. I won't forget her in a hurry.

Again, I couldn't wait to leave. Breakfast in PhangNga Town before bumping into Fritz at AoKoey Beach on the PhangNga/Ranong border. I sat alone for an hour enjoying the solitude of this desolate beach.

"Sprechens ze Duetsch?" snapped me back to reality. We chatted (in Anglais) for an hour before I headed further north. Fritz had cycled there and started preparing his tent as I left. Top bloke. Can't believe he's 70.

I was supposed to visit KohChang near Ranong. However, everything seemed to go wrong here. There was a group of gormless looking Falang twatpackers hanging around the ferry terminal. The boat I wanted was 0930 the next morning. I went to find a room but they required a passport and I only carry a Thai driving licence. This is likely a local policy given the proximity to Burma? I find another place but they won't let me park the bike there for a couple of days. So f*ck it. I leave. It's getting dark as I ride to remote Phato District in Chumpon Province and find digs. Back to normal Thailand. What a relief.

The next day I see some kids playing beach football by the river. Cool.

Before heading over to LangSuan district and spotting this riverside temple near the mouth of the LangSuan River.

The next few nights were spent exploring the coastal roads of Chumpon and Prachuap provinces. I slept at HadSaiRee, AoBangSon and BangSapan beaches if anyone feels like finding them on a map.

This is sunrise from HadSaiRee and this room at AoBangSon could be the poshest one I've ever stayed in. 600B. Had everything. Including a deserted beach. I even had a Full English at HatThungWuaLaen beach.

Prachuap Town was the final destination. Coffee, beer and Aussie steaks were consumed with Matt who'd come to escape Bangers. 6 nights. 220B room. Chilled.

Bike action. That's what these trips are all about at the end of the day.

The last supper on the way home. 


The final point of interest was a ride to Laem Thalumphuk in NakhonSi Province. It's a spit of land jutting 20km into the Gulf of Thailand .... so I had to ride to the end of it ... obviously.

After 6km of pot-holed-dirt-road I made it to a swamp. Socks and shoes off as I waded through it to the foot of a viewing tower. This is a photo from the very top. That pavillion marks the northern most point of the spit. Beyond it the sea. This side is swampy shit. I think.

OYNB

Got back to the Hat at 6pm New Year's Eve 2018. Paul persuaded me to drink piss, sing karaoke and light fireworks to see in 2019. I did. It was great. But it was also my last night on the lash. I plan to do One Year No Beer like I tried in 2017. Except in 2017 I didn't quite make it. I hope to in 2019. The Buddha said Existence is suffering .... and I agree ... when a lack of self-control is exacerbated by brutal 2-3day hangovers. Meh .... it's time to ditch that shit and focus on health.

Look away now

2018 was the year I swallowed a dose of fiscal responsibility. First, navigating the UK government's incompetent bureaucracy to back-pay 11 years of National Insurance. And second, purchasing Stocks and Bitcoin. Needless to say the moment I pile into anything it'll tank. And that's exactly what happened. In 2018 BOTH the Stock Market AND Crypto shat the bed. He who dares Rodney, he who dares.

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