23 February 2012
No main highway today. It's good to have a break from the noise.
After a quick guesthouse breakfast, I continue my love affair with 7-11, picking up a snack and a large water. I'm trying to boost my on-the-road hydration, in an effort to avoid the late day slide in power output.
Getting out of Phetchaburi is straightforward - road 3177 takes me out to the coast, where I make a right turn onto 2021, the road that brought me off the highway yesterday. One thing that's become apparent: the rural road system here seems to function better in the concrete than online map services imply. Once you're on a main artery, signs and distance markers guide you along it well, despite the scary morass of piddly little roads that seem to run everywhere.
It's on road 2021 that I run into Caroline and Sergio, a German and Spanish couple who've been working as architects in London for several years. They have ambitious route plans, involving Tibet, India and South America. Their ride today is the rough inverse of mine, though they plan to stay near the shore rather than in Phetchaburi town. When I check out their blog later, I realise their route up from Malaysia is similar to my planned route, but they've been doing a much better job at staying on small roads. After all that highway 1 madness in Vietnam, I feel able to take on pretty much any highway, so long as it's not unsafe to ride. I keep thinking about a UK trip along the path of the old Great North Road, much of which tracks along the present day A1.
2021 dumps me into Cha-am, which seems to be full of moto-riding grey-haired western men. I cheat on 7-11 and pick up a KitKat and drinks at FamilyMart. As it's a short day, this pitstop replaces lunch.
In Cha-am I join highway 4, except that it's not really: this is a coastal loop of the highway with reasonable traffic. It runs me right into Hua Hin. The headwind I rode into yesterday is still with me, and I suspect it's going to be a major factor in the run south.
72km, 20.9km/h, 3hr25min, 6192km