26 February 2012
Today's a highway day, but I manage to clock quite a few kilometres off it, and those that are on it are painless.
I do 15km on road 1041 before joining the highway. At around this point, Thailand is at its narrowest - it's only 12km from the sea to the Burmese border. The low hills I can see to the west are likely on or just over the border.
The narrow part of the Malay peninsula that I'm riding towards is called the Isthmus of Kra, named after the Thai town of Kraburi. Supposedly the 'buri', meaning city, has the same root as 'burgh' and 'borough' in English.
My highway kilometres are easy. There's great tree cover along the roadside, which deadens the wind and provides good shade. Out of the sun, I can feel quite comfortable thanks to the airflow I'm making for myself.
With 63km down, I take a left onto road 3459. 4km later, a right onto 4007 takes me south towards Bang Saphan. Road 3374 takes me into the town for a 7-11 stop, and then out again to Suan Luang beach. I get a beach hut about twenty metres from the breakers. I know the Tilly Smith drill: if the water suddenly recedes, run.
It's perhaps hard to believe, but on this trip I've so far failed to go for a swim. I pad out to the water and edge in, spying for jellyfish, which often ruin swimming in Thailand. There's a few small ones, but I decide it's safe enough and plop into the water. What starts to get to me are the invisible babies: similar to a nettle sting, these little jokers are unavoidable. After a few spells in the water I tend to get used to them, but today I'm not finding it comfortable - I fail to get a proper swim in and stumble back up the beach for a shower.
94km, 23.4km/h, 4hr2min, 6400km