Mar 162008

The route 108, 1266, 108, 1194, 4003

Total distance 232 km

I took the 108 northwards out of Mae Sariang as far as Mae La Noi

At Mae La Noi I turn right onto the 1266 and head for Huai Hom up in the mountains, before I left this morning I was told that the road is good all the way, it certainly wasnt when I last rode here 4 or 5 years ago. Its a good surface for the first 14 km like this

Then it turns to this, occasionally theres a bit of tarmac, the unsealed surface is a lot better than it was before and its been widened and lots of it looks ready for tarmac, but alas that lovely black stuff is not on it yet

I arrive in Huai Hom and the first thing the lady does is gets the coffee on, after 3 cups its time to look around

These 2 ladies have drove from Mae Hong Son to buy some weaving produce, the other industry here

I am shown around the orchards, this is a small coffee tree

One solitary green coffee bean

A larger coffee tree

This ones in bloom and you can just see the small green beans growing

Lots of coffee beans on this tree

The path goes a long way and there are other things that they grow but I dont fancy walking any further

A nice view from up here in the orchard though

A lime/manao tree

Looking out of Huai Hom the way I came in

More of the village but I am told only more of the same to see

The green beans, they are dried for 5 to 7 days in the sun, I dont know if they do this before roasting them here or only if its the green beans that Starbucks buy and take back to the US. I buy 1 kg of ground beans and 1 kg of whole beans, the ground ones are 400 Baht a kg and the whole ones are 300 Baht a kg. Starbucks get theirs for 120 Baht per kg but I guess they buy in a much larger bulk than your average person

Its time to head out, this is looking back at Huai Hom

As I come out of the village at the top of the hill if I turn left this apparently goes to Mae Chaem

Its great scenery up here even though its now a bit hazy

Now back on the tarmac section and its a twisty fun ride

This would look so much nicer in november

I ride back to Mae La Noi then turn left onto the 108 and ride back to Mae Sariang, I drop the coffee off then take the 1194 to Mae Sam Laep, I ride on 2 kms on the unmade road to relax by the Salween river

Its well lower now than in november when I last visited, those rocks were not showing then

This one was also only just visible, I go in for a dip but this is one hell of a cold river, plus the current is really fast

I head back and about halfway back there is a new road to my left, the 4003, it wasnt tarmac before but now it is so I try it out

This road just climbs and climbs and it feels like you are really high then looking across theres an almighty drop but ahead its even higher

There are a few of these, this is one steep road, the sign says 8% and its a low gear road. I ride for 4 km then the tarmac stops and its hard dirt, according to the km marker there is another 9 km to go, but not for me today and I turn back

Another hairpin

Todays ride was two different trips but I managed to get them both done in the same day as I got an early start for once, I enjoy a nice chicken steak and French fries at the Sawaddee Restaurant opposite my guesthouse, the Goodview restaurant next door to it is my usual but today theres no one there but the foods good in both of them

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