This is such an amazing life – to be able to jump on the bike and ride the day away, all the while filling the mind with incredible memories of meeting cool people in stunning locations. My morning took me past more mind-blowingly perfect coastal scenery painted by glossy water, clean white sand, colourful fishing boats and rocky scarps dropping into the sea. Around midday I found myself in the small fishing village. I rested for a few minutes while I watched a boatload of tiny fish being unloaded onto the jetty and wheeled onshore, then I began my search for a place to eat and hide away from the scorching sun. As I pulled up to what seemed to be the only restaurant in town, a family (mum, two aunties and two kids) started chatting with me and then invited me to join them for lunch. They were having a weekend away from Bangkok to check on their rubber tree ‘garden’. I was treated to a seafood feast, including the spiciest tom yum soup I have ever eaten. After the family left, and with a stomach full to the brim, I found it hard to keep my eyes open. I draped myself as comfortably as I could across the back of my bike (while sitting down on a bench seat) and began to doze. I was half asleep when the restaurant owner tapped me on the shoulder and invited me into his home (behind the restaurant) for a sleep, directing me to a Thai-style bed (a wooden platform). I snoozed for about forty minutes while the hottest part of the day passed.

In the afternoon I decided to ride through Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. The incredible natural beauty that greeted me made it well worth the extra kilometres it required. More stunning coastline brought me to Pak Nam Pran, which was busy with Thai and European tourists enjoying life in pretty beachside resorts. It made me think that there is so much of Thailand that Australians miss out on because they don’t know anything other than Phuket. The resorts were clearly beyond my budget, so I ventured inland in search of cheaper accommodation. If there were any signs displaying such a thing, none were in English and in the end I decided to seek shelter in a temple. I was given a space in a massive tiled hall with a golden Buddha overlooking my little home. After washing myself and my riding clothes, I ventured out for some street food, starting off with strawberry yoghurt frappe (25b / AU$1) followed by phad thai (30b / AU$1.20) and finished off with a banana/egg pancake (25b / AU$1). I am full and satisfied, in terms of both food and life.

Day 473 (pic)

Dusky Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus)

Accommodation Free-camp (Buddhist Temple)
Distance ridden today 106.86km
Average cycling speed 19.7kph
Total distance ridden 12,670km