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Blog 125 Narathiwat to Dabong (Malaysia)

30th January


Chatted to garage man owner, putting my mac on, looked like rain.  Took ages to process what I was doing, referring instead to a pattern of conversation when you meet a stranger, passing through, you stick to the skeletal bits. What happens if this stranger comes back and knows my story. Last man in Thailand. Quiet, nothing shown on his face, as if he hasn’t come across this before. His reverse response only strengthens his need to not travel. For him it's not something essential he has to do.


I'd just crossed Ban Cho Mong Rd. It looked like any other, Photographs of the King. Thai's are good drivers in the rain, long descent then short climb, past another Wat. It's raining harder. I'm soaked again.


I shelter under the roof of small hut almost too afraid to look around, storms can last days - why is it raining, I thought the monsoon was over - skies clearing, getting dry. Cloudy, nice benign conditions, traffic easy. Border 23 kms. Anonymous bush lines the roadside, the jungle has come in closer to the road, to me. This road is so small; 1950's English country road style. No hard shoulder. Rather beautiful, everything.


Suddenly rain then shine, as if by calculation or divine intervention to suit the mood. Two lane light grey single yellow plus two small lads on one bike.  No shops, nothing open, no 7-11’s. No banks or ATM's nothing.


I carry on.



Nikon San Toneng village at the top of the smooth descent then up to Nikon Waeng Wat . Up the hill then slowly over the top and on the left traders are all packed up cardboard keeping stuff dry but it was a dump. Bird chirps as I pass him, like a fast signal. Cars start up, we're all back up to speed. The border. 10 minutes and through.


Hillier, mountains. Trees, rivers, wetter, the quality of what I knew from Thailand is all disconnected isolated so faraway whilst fearless boys ride fast on their small bike's no helmets.


I'd just crossed Ban Cho Mong Rd. It looked like any other, photographs of the King. Thai's are good drivers in the rain, long descent then short climb, past another Wat. It's raining/


I shelter under the roof of small hut almost too afraid to look around, storms can last days - why is it raining, I thought the monsoon was over - skies clearing, getting dry.


So I ride into Jeli, crowd of women, hanging around, they weren’t using it, gobby. Didn’t work. Rode back and the guy said go to Dabong where there’s an ATM. 10 miles up the valley, into clouds. I’m at the ATM, it doesn't work. No money, I have nothing to trade for a bed and food. Straight into the town at Rose Cottage, a guest house - it's painted pink - I go to the ATM it doesn’t work either. Went back to Rose Cottage man, he showed my his inclusion in Lonely Planet for best place to stay in Dabong. Great place for restaurants, a base for exploration. Maybe not. Too quiet everything closed but he said he'll take dollars and include the cost of dinner. Gave me biscuits and tea, I showered, ate, blogged, got the team to help organise the transition to the Australian leg. 


So I ride into Jeli, crowd of women, hanging around, they weren’t using it, gobby. Didn’t work. Rode back and the guy said go to Dabong where there’s an ATM. 10 miles up the valley, into clouds. I’m at the ATM, it doesn't work. No money, I have nothing to trade for a bed and food. Straight into the town at Rose Cottage, a guest house - it's painted pink - I go to the ATM it doesn’t work either. Went back to Rose Cottage man, he showed my his inclusion in Lonely Planet for best place to stay in Dabong. Great place for restaurants, a base for exploration. Maybe not. Too quiet everything closed but he said he'll take dollars and include the cost of dinner. Gave me biscuits and tea, I showered, ate, blogged, got the team to help organise the transition to the Australian leg. 


I am in Dabong, the prayers have started.



Nikon San Toneng then smooth descent up to Nikon Waeng Wat . Up the hill then slowly over the top and on the left traders are all packed up cardboard keeping stuff dry but it was a dump. Bird chirps as I pass him, like a fast signal. Cars start up, we're all back up to speed. Another 107 mile day.


Map of the Day


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