My body is utterly destroyed. I haven’t encountered hills like today since I was on Flores Island in Indonesia. It was all uphill between Tak and the Hill Tribe Market, a distance of about 35km. The road was busy with massive trucks, big utes and passenger vans competing for space as they strained their way up the mountain. At one point I helped two Thai guys push their car into a U-turn. It wasn’t strong enough to make it up the hill and it had well and truly carked it. Upon turning around they started coasting back down the hill towards Tak. I would have been afraid if I was them, not being able to engine brake. Soon after the Market, I came across a real life pair of cycle-tourers, the first I have met since my visit to the Perentian Islands in Malaysia.  One guy was Korean and the other was Vietnamese. The Vietnamese guy was repairing a puncture but didn’t have any glue so I gave him one of my glue-less patches. They had just passed from Myanmar into Thailand so we were able to swap information about each country. They told me about a church in which I might be able to stay for free while in Yangon.

By the time I had reached the Hill Tribe Market I was already ruined, but not even halfway through the hills. The next 40km took me through big ups and big downs (but more up than down). I struggled my way to the impressive peak, where an amazing shrine is nestled below rocky cliffs. From the shrine it was an 8% downhill slope with just a few gentle inclines to disturb what was a glorious downward run. I couldn’t help yelping in delight as my shattered body relaxed and my body cooled as the air rushed by. I was bemused at one point when I passed a sign saying ‘Magic Downhill – Start Point’, only to come across another sign just 50m later that read, ‘Magic Downhill – End Point’. For me, the magic downhill continued well beyond these signs, taking me all the way into Mae Sot, which I reached just as it was getting dark.

Day 509 (pic)

Could it be?

Accommodation $ Guesthouse
Distance ridden today 93.53km
Average cycling speed 14.1kph
Total distance ridden 13,619km