Nun called me at 1am. She was ready downstairs. I grabbed my pre-prepared backpack and climbed sleepily into the passenger seat of her Toyota. I kept up some conversation in an effort to keep Nun awake. Nun had just got home after being at work for the previous 14 hours. Chances were she had only had about five hours sleep in the previous 24 hours, and now we had embarked on a four-hour road trip down south. After a while she gave me permission to sleep and I couldn’t resist obeying. I dozed on and off until we arrived at our destination around 5.30am. A farmhouse stood next to a large pond in the midst of fields of pineapple and rubber trees. We both crashed into a couple of beds and fell asleep straight away.

Waking around 10am, Nun disappeared into town to cast her vote about whether or not she wanted to accept proposed changes to the Thai constitution. She also swapped the Toyota sedan for an Isuzu ute, which was much more practical for our next task. We drove across the property to a ramshackle settlement where the Burmese who maintain the farm live. A little shelter housed the rollers used to press the raw rubber into mats, which were strung out all over the place to dry. It was the family’s job to tap the trees for rubber and prepare the mats for sale. We loaded the ute with over a tonne of rubber mats and delivered them to a distributor to whom Nun was selling them. Nun does this about once a month.

Job done, we collected the Toyota and made the four-hour journey home. I continued to doze and at one point we stopped for an hour so Nun could have a nap. I think Nun must have been a race-car driver in a previous life, but I felt safe enough (most of the time).

Day 493 (pic)

Natural rubber mats

Accommodation House of a lovely Thai family
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 12,943km