The route : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/187812902 104km, 5559km total
Having woken feeling like a troupe of obese elephants had been dancing on us all night, we downed the bike tourists morning cocktail – coffee and ibuprofen (who surely must have seen their sales in SE Asia rise dramatically in the last few months). Today’s ride was another 115km biggie involving a 1000m climb and then an outrageously cruel 60km of undulating false summits – we did more climbing today than any other since the start of the tour. Fortunately, the weather today refused to play ball, and the intermittent but heavy thunderstorms offered chance for me to rest/Andy to model some rather fetching rainwear.
The ride from MS to Hot had been described by various bloggers as being like a roller coaster, and having slogged up, then down, then up, then down repeatedly for 6 hours we really really understood where they were coming from. A tour highlight (for me and my knees anyway) was reached about 90km in when, at 1000m we started the last descent of the day, and the last of the tour – no more mountains – whoopee! The momentous occasion was duly celebrated with an assortment of energy drinks and bars – we know how to party.
Arriving in Hot was anything but – drenched after yet another rain storm, and with no hotels (or none signed in English anyway) to be seen, we spent some time exhaustedly cycling round the backstreets very slowly and cursing quietly. Eventually we found a resort (well, more of a truckers motel really) 3km out of town. Unfortunately the nearest noodle stalls were 3km away – no problem said the (scarily over enthusiastic) owner, just take my motorbike. I can’t see the manager of Halifax Travel Lodge offering free use of his brand new motorbike (with no kind of deposit) to 2 dishevelled travellers he’d known for all of 1 minute – another example to note in the “reasons we love Thailand” list which is growing longer by the day.