The route 1194
Total distance 169 km
Some shots from along the 1194
The good new middle section of the 1194 and its a shame its not like this all the way
Now back to reality and the really rough section begins
I let him get past first before I got going just in case he disappeared into one of those holes and needed pulling out
The Salawin, I was looking at the live map on my own website last night of wednesdays ride and noticed that there were tracks showing that went to the Salawin/Moei confluence so I drew a rough sketch on a piece of paper and hope to find it today
Now the start of todays long dirt ride
There were quite a few of these coming the other way, all empty but chucking up clouds of dust
After 5 km of dirt I take a right onto the track that I rode down for 2 km on wednesday
Two choices and I take the one to the right, but unknown to me both were wrong
Straightaway I am in a large village
I need to head south but its only that narrow track, I am pointed to a track to the west of it and off I go.
It leads up steep on single track then turns to loose that I need 1st gear for and cant stop for photos or I wont get going again.
I have every intention of turning around at the first opportunity as this is no fun
I come out onto this new track and decide to explore a bit further
It appears to be a new track thats been cut and its steep and not compact, I get up some of it in 2nd gear but the looseness of the dirt is really sapping the power and 1st is also needed a lot of the time, this happened in quite a few places today and the fan never came on once surprisingly
I have absolutely no idea if this is the right track or not but its heading south and although the GPS is just a blank I have pinpointed where the confluence is and hopefully it will be located
This gentleman stops to ask me where I am going and he tells me this is the way, I have to bear round to the left then at a village take a right and my target is 20 km away
Just before reaching this village I go down some seriously steep hills with loose bulldust and I am hoping I can get back up them
The Salawin through the trees
What I dont appreciate at the time is that is actually the confluence
I reach a crossroads in a village and take the right as that appears to be going in the right direction, plus I guess this is the village I was told to turn right in.
Also as I have rode 7 km since speaking with him this would be the correct distance, a quick asking of a couple of locals confirms my suspicions
The sign to look for
The surface is a mixture of compact where I can make decent progress and loose bulldust where I had the KLX sliding sideways round a downhill corner and some rocky bits thrown in for good measure
My third and final water crossing and they were all easy ones
I reach the village sitting on the Moei, now to head north a bit for the confluence
I asked at two places here about benzine only to be told no, I find this rather surprising considering its a reasonable sized place, maybe they didnt understand me and they do have some.
I have only covered 82 km since leaving Mae Sariang and will get back on a tankful even with the dirt riding
I am not under any illusion that I am the first westerner to come here but I have never heard this confluence mentioned before or ever seen any photographs of it.
Has anyone reading this ever been here before?
Well here is the confluence, it took me a lot longer to get here than I expected and as my legs are aching from standing up on the pegs I decide not to walk right down there.
I will visit here again and would love to see it when both rivers are at full flow
Mission completed and time to ride back
On the way back and I discover a vantage point where I can get a good view of the confluence, I cant help thinking what a lovely photo this would be in ideal weather conditions.
The GPS co-ordinates of this spot are my secret and are on offer to the highest bidder
A zoom of the confluence
In one of the villages on the way back fuel is available, N17.53.677 E097.43.137 is right outside the house that sells it
Just out of the fuel village is the steep uphill bit I was concerned about, I just gun it in 1st and apart from one of the corners which was a bit difficult to negotiate the KLX sails up it
Now a steep downhill bit that the photo doesnt show the true angle of, I stop here for the photo and even with the bike in 1st with the engine off the bike still slides downhill and the front brake is also needed to hold it
I dont make the mistake of turning right onto that steep single track going into the village on the way back and stay on the freshly made wide track.
It brings me back to the first water crossing where I should have taken a right that doubled back on itself
After 67.4 km of dirt riding I am back to Mae Sam Laep and heres another shot of the Salawin.
I had asked before over the years about a boat trip to the confluence from Mae Sam Laep but was told they dont go that far, fortunately for me the KLX did go that far
What I hadnt noticed in my rides past here lately was the fact that the bridge leading from the 1194 to Mae Sam Laep was destroyed, this must have been fun going across here in the wet season.
I ride into town to find out if the road to Tha Ta Fang is open, I am told yes.
I thought this must be possible as I noticed Tha Ta Fang was mentioned on signposts along the way, hopefully tomorrow I will try it out.
I get back to town and even with todays long dirt section the bike has done 169 km and the fuel light still hasnt come on
A large vegetarian pizza for 320 Baht at the Sawaddee