So far we have come from the Padang Besar crossing to Chumphon.
So far we have lost (and in some cases found):
– The power bank – 10mile round trip to fortunately find it in the grass where we’d stopped to eat suprisingly and extremely spicy food
– The solar charger – a sweet man rang the place we’d stayed at the night before (as English is hardly spoken here but this man is a rarity in many ways) to ask if they had found it, he then told his Buddist head monk who thought we should speak to the manager, and later asked his boss, the chief of the local police, to call them. And the next day we found it in a bag (!) (very embarrassing)
– One of the presciption lenses from Thomas’s sunglasses after he dived in for a swim with them in his hands – Thomas said he didn’t like the idea of cycling the whole way home with one eye 🙂 so I sat on the side praying and he kept diving down looking for it, holding his breath for ages which amused the many smiling kids swimming there too, and which scared a teenage diver who had just arrived and wasn’t expecting to find a strange white man lurking 8ft below the surface! This led to the only English I’d hear that day as he lept out shouting: “WTF!” as his friends and me were (lovingly) laughing. 30 minutes later Thomas emerged triumphant with the lens in his hand and his smile back on his face. Those waterfalls were lovely.
Our cycling gloves – we think one of Thomas’s is now living with some palm oil trees we camped between, also a favourite spot for frogs, one of which joined us in the tent briefly though we have no idea if any of them are poisonous so we ushered it out. Today we purchased new gloves, and at the same shop had our broken spoke sorted. Two broken spokes so far, we’re going to have to get good at fixing those ourselves soon but it was too tempting to hand it to the expert today!
The aforementioned sweet man has been our highlight so far. He saw us cycling along at the end of the day, caught up with us on his moped, told us of how he dreamt of the exact same thing once, of cycling through Thailand on a tandem and trailer with his wife, and invited us to stay. We stayed 2 nights, at the place he never intended living at, but was cycling through it by himself and found his “paradise”, so has stayed 2 years. He is 82 but looks 62, swims in the sea every day, has adopted two great kids, is called Speedy from when he worked with the American soldiers in the Vietnam war, was the Thai Champion cyclist one year in his youth which means he was the fastest, though when telling the story he laughs and stresses how as soon as he rode over the finish line all the others were right there too 🙂 He fed us, showed us the sights, introduced us to the coconut tree sap people then ferment, was so happy when Thomas could put ‘candle in the wind’ (he was a big Diana fan) and ‘San Francisco’ (memories of meeting his wife) on his phone. He had a humble abode, and a gentle, genourous, love-of-life spirit.
The kindness also continues: all ages of people calling you over to give you cold water, tasty fresh coconut to drink, lovely cold soya milk, and today two cold pepsi’s handed out of a car window, with a “Welcome to Thailand”
(still not letting us upload pictures, we’ll put them on our Facebook accounts and see what we can do – apologies to the faithful readers!)