16 February 2012
...but the sun's not going to stay up for me.
I start the day with a fried breakfast at the bar on the corner, grab some provisions at 7-11, and hit the road. A few kilometres connect me back onto highway 3, which I follow west.
Just before the town of Rayong, where I'd originally planned to stop last night, I branch off onto highway 36. This road cuts a corner, taking a shorter inland route instead of following the coast. Initially, it's all car dealerships and petrol stations, then it bleeds into a boring and noisy nothingness.
After about 70km down I want to get on highway 7, but it's clearly designated motorway, so I stick to 36. Getting picked up and escorted off a motorway by Thailand's finest isn't something I want featuring in my day. I have a snack session shortly after I've crossed the motorway.
After 36, I take a right back onto 3, going north through Sri Racha. Chonburi is the target, but it's a case of kilometres done today shortening the run into Bangkok tomorrow. As it's around 4pm at Chonburi, and I still have around two hours of daylight, I press on.
Unfortunately, accommodation options suddenly become rather sparse. The road becomes this odd hybrid of motorway and regular road - the motorway forming some sort of core and the road I'm on kind of stuck along the sides. It's not pleasant riding: noisy, polluted and bumpy.
When I branch off this combo road back onto 3, the road has shrunk. Most traffic must follow the motorway these days. There are factories and there are huts. Uh-oh.
I stop to chat to a couple of Westerners with bikes. They seem pretty impressed with the 140km I have on the clock so far. They're headed down the coast to Chonburi and Pattaya. They also tell me there's a small town up the road that might have accommodation. I set off.
Across muddy pools that are perhaps fish farms, I have a clear view of the disc of the sun falling slowly. It's still daylight when I get to the town, Khlong Dan, but only just. I poke about in town, but can't track down a place to stay. I resolve to learn to read a bunch of accommodation-related Thai words.
As I scoot out of town, I don't have much of a plan. I'm still riding fairly strongly, but without daylight progress will be slower and much less safe. The matter is resolved by a small 'resort' appearing a few kilometres west of Khlong Dan. It's not cheap, but it's not off the scale either. It's the right choice.
165km, 23.7km/h, 6hr58min, 5935km