27 February 2012
I get up at 6:20am to watch the sunrise over the sea. I'm not the first up.
The guy in the next bungalow along is already sat on his deck, gazing at the sea. Has he moved all night? Is he still alive? I think some folk must rock up here and mong out for the duration of their visa. The accommodation is basic, but there's a couple of places to eat, you can get a cold beer, and the beach is beautiful.
I keep expecting the sound of the waves to stop, or at least change verse, but it continues relentlessly. The sun is winched higher, and the temperature starts to creep up.
The air is very moist, straight off the sea, and my shorts aren't fully dry. The road's wet in places; there's either been heavy dew or rain. About five raindrops fall as I'm riding, but I'm not sure it qualifies as rain, something I last saw on my ride into Ha Tien, back in Vietnam.
Some mental weakness creeps in today. The main cause, at 26km down, is a road sign saying it's 98km to Chumphon. I'm expecting to ride high nineties today, not mid one-twenties. I start to doubt my route planning, get concerned about the extra energy required, think about changing my eating plan, and generally get in a bit of a tangle.
Of course, the road sign is wrong. After some 45km I see a kilometre marker which agrees with my numbers. In general I find kilometre markers more reliable than signs.
No highway today. The whole route I'm riding through plantations, mainly coconut, rubber, pineapple and palm oil. Some new sections of road have appeared compared to my map, but the route's easy to follow, despite several turns and changes in designation. For anyone planning to follow: 3374, 3411, 4015, 3253, 4004, 3201, 3180, 5056.
I throw down a flimsy bowl of noodles at 60km before realising the restaurant has other stuff too. I have a roadside snack of milk and a banana cake as well.
At 65km down, I notice something very wrong with my right pannier. One of the bolts that holds the pannier hanging rail to the pannier has come undone. Fortunately, the bolt's not dropped out, and the nut's inside the pannier. What's odd is that every other bolt is solid as a rock. I do it up as best I can, and keep an eye on it.
The rest of the ride's uneventful, and I roll into Chumphon in the early afternoon. I have a shower, a snack and then go for a nap.
102km, 21.7km/h, 4hr42min, 6502km