Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Riding a Ducati in Chiang Mai.

In March 2015 I'll be trekking the Annapurna Circuit after blowing £250 on flights to Katmandhu. Nepal will be my first new country since Taiwan in August 2007.

It's very exciting. I was last in the Himalayas in 2006, trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge in China's Yunnan Province and visiting the Tibetans in Litang Town (Sichuan Province) at an elevation of 4014m. These mountains are the highest on Earth and hold a magical power over visitors. The name Katmandhu invokes visions of the exotic - where the Himalayas, Buddhism and Hinduism fuse against a backdrop of poverty and chaos. Should be good.

Chiang Mai Marathon

The alarm will be set for 0400 on Sunday 21st December as I'll be running 21.1km around the streets of Chiang Mai starting at 0500. I've paid the 600B entry fee and aim to finish in under 2hrs. I last ran a half marathon in April managing only 2h10m. It's good to keep setting goals.

However, I'll need to stop drinking and smoking with Paddy at the local shop. Here he is winning the raffle again! He must be the luckiest Farang in Chiang Mai.

Out and about. Even after 8.5 years in Asia the women still intoxicate. This lass works in the bars and at 31 I reckon she's nearing the end of her period of market viability. However, she can still command a lot more than a math teacher's hourly rate. I'm somehow reminded of this meme.

New mates

The motorbike wolf-pack is increasing. It started with yours truly, then grew by one with the addition of Malcolm. Now it's reached a dizzying three with Jeremy. I can't keep up. Here we are in the wilds of northern Lampang Province. My CBR250 feels inadequate compared to their CB500 and Ducati800.

On the way back I had one of the biggest thrills of my life. We swapped bikes for the last 15km along arrow straight roads. This beast was at 200km/h before I knew it. And there was still room for more. I've never experienced power like it. Exhilarating and scary at the same time. I was shaking as adrenalin coursed through the veins. With the visor pressed against my face I remember thinking: "time for an upgrade lad".

3G and GPS? Bollicks. I prefer old skool. This was at a reservoir in remote Lampang.

To the right is an exposed section of cliff face near Doi Inthanon.



After my first ever ride on a Ducati I was to also taste caviar for the first time. The small black slimy fish eggs taste like the North Sea. An acquired taste for sure but not repulsive as others have told me.

I like it. Up there with durian, deep fried insects and balut. Aroi mac.

Bangkok Blues

Geordie Neil was up from Bangkok for a break. It was good to see him after 18months and we got suitably plastered on Saturday night.

Canadian Steve also made the transition from city-slicker to country-bumpkin and seems happier as a result. 

We even had our portraits done although I can't help thinking all three faces look very similar. The artist reckons I look like Julius Caeser. To be fair, it only took him two minutes with a piece of charcoal.


I've become partial to writing poems when I'm drunk. Here's my first attempt:

been away, long time now
think of life
wonder how

left that place, long ago
looking for somewhere
to call a home

when we find, we never see
the places where we to want to be

a village boy
without a home
making his way
all alone

I wonder where
he is right now
lost in a world of a million souls

does the past haunt his mind
will he ever meet his kind


  1. Maybe see you there. Was thinking of going to Nepal after I am finished in Laos.
    Bom Shanka dude.
    Ps. Who did you book flight with?

  2. KL to Katmandhu return. 25 Feb to 25 Mar. Airasia.
    Would be good to see you there.

  3. "nearing the end of her period of market viability" - HA!
    Not a bad poem and you look like a poet with that far away look towards the horizon (or at least the end of the soi).
    Maybe you have a poetry career in front of you.
    Frank (bbqoy)