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Blog 122 Surat Thani to Nakhon Si Thammarat

27th January


There are 3 states of purpose in my mind as I ride; to be purpose filled so I know my quest - how to gain its attention, to know what it is and remember it - make a note. Or the simple desire to progress in some way to find purpose, install the newly found moment of inspiration and embrace that feeling. Or there is intent not have purpose - it's a purposeful action to do less, to understand that how much or little a journey can give you because much of it is served as a repeat. To maintain healthy expectations of a journey I look away as if seeing but not seeing. Eternally cautious about what journeys can do for anyone. But I still hate the rain - three days of torrential downpours.



Just past Ko Samui, carriageway, hard head wind, hotter. Straight lined roads scamper off to small hill horizon’s covered in trees and everywhere, electricity workers wearing blue overalls, at a junction box smiling. So normal.


A coach catches me off guard, far to close, his vortex catches my sleeve until a grimy 7-11 truck and double trailer flies past everything rattling and hard thuds on the shocks. At lights I slither across as if I'm an invisible snake - through all the reds. Stop at a Wat entrance opposite farm buildings and more coconut groves just like my last twenty stops. I carried on.  Thailand from the highway is a delicious mess.



I have a tinnitus call sign from the jungle when it comes close to the road. Or do I have tinnitus? Is it triggered by my passing, responding to jungle noises that are quickly deafening sending out a hard pitched chime; frogs, crickets, me ... is it me? Am I projecting this feeling out there, sounding out for the location of the jungle signal like sweeping for mines, asking the insects or collaborating with the latest fresh information about anything which might hurt me.


I take a right, the road is quieter, I’m just cycling on a dual carriageway through a jungle. There are birds here in the jungle, a tinnitus bird. He he an angry Bird / God because this highway was built through his village, and is he passing it onto me, the sounds are so loud and I can't escape because the lack of separation and slow speed is particular to cyclists. I am open. I am communicating like this in an instinctive way because it's the only way I know.



It was greying and cooling, hard headwind. 

 

I always hear the tweets of birds the moment I don't hear any cars. One cancels the other. Different sound scape. Crossover from car to bird song is instant. It feels a different place, one without the other, but where the 4161 splits off I continue on the 401. I am trying hard to see as much as can see. I key into the sound. Tyres pass, birds, occasionally the higher notes of a motorbike. Traffic builds up I need a tea break. 


67 kms to Nakhon

I see a 'Policeman on Duty' statue - honouring a deceased or is 'policeman as icon'. Red drinks at his fee, does everyone get to be a statue?


The immaculate Schindler Rural Road Sub Office is all custard yellow and standard council brown and it's the same next door, Sichon Forest Protection and Development Unit 1. Administrative buildings can be so pompous. Hot. Continue.



Is the extraordinary humdrumness, actions and lives so normal - that wires have be fixed, tyres, changed - wheel hubs for sale - food and cold drinks, gentle kind service stations, always 7-11. To keep the highway functioning, anything can be fixed. Clever.


But I’m a passing pebble rolling on by. Nice wide fully functioning four laneer with excellent hard shoulders doubling officially as cycle lanes. How substantial a start, well done Thailand. 

I continue on the 401 for 15kms. Posters advertising a new build; Pattaya Residency's…posh new build showing 3 cars in the drive with each having there own garage. Then I see a fella holding his 3 year boy at his bars and with his clutch hand carried a bag of food. Bit endless and grey going into the city.


Edge of town yellow gantries, a big white and grey distribution hub called Global next to a clock admirably placed by the new road as a heritage relic but sadly lacking the small town square it once lived in, binged me at 6pm, still enough light.


Map of the Day



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