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Blog 124 Songkhla to Narathiwat

29th January

It's about feeling. Not seeing but I see lots of Laundarymats as I leave the sleepy city. Like my life, rinse and repeat; it rained all night, now everything is cleaner, a little newer, the dust has been washed away, now blustery moody medium grey, getting hot, cross wind nice and fresh. A man rides past me on a bike with a goat in his side-car.

Flat straight, lots of traffic. Check. Traffic not so busy, but I'm fending off a strong cross breeze whilst pulses of cars, a few trucks then quiet, just the sound of me peddling. There is cloud cover for nice periods to let my roasted body, skin, head face heat up such a lot. I’m on my way to Narathiwat. A centre of southern Thailand. A target for insurgency. The British Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel in the region.

And here are:

Three Girls Wanting to Have Fun

I’m familiar with everything in the road. I am beginning to know how Thai people use it. They are kind watchful drivers, nothing to fear. I dodge along, shelter if I must at junctions using the lee-side of passing cars, never hardly wait at lights. Saves hours. But when the sun sets the bird sounds in the city at junctions is a complete orchestra. Most of the electricity wiring centres profusely at junctions where the birds perch.

48 kms to go and a truck goes past filthy dark blue and a lady in her shawl, moped rides carefully towards me. The wind has whisked up to wake me from a slumber. Construction here and there but really this road is a filament of life, tiny slices across a big jungle, just a finger width across from the main road, just fields.

16 kilometres to go and it's a black night sky A man rides one handed while holding a baby and speaking on the phone; a lesson in time efficiency. At lights everyone sticks to the rules. Everyone smiles back.

Where highway 42 crosses with 4300 and look down allyways and see villages looking dark and narrow.

At 10kms to go boys are playing football, but it's nearly dark - 18.10 the sun has set. The day can stretch and breathe.

Map of the Day

Longest ride of the trip so far. 203kms (126 miles)

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Jan 29
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love the birds on the wires.

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