Mar 012009

The route 4057, 4115, 4241, 4271, 4060, 4013, 4060, 4271, 4241, 4115, 4057

Total distance 231 km

It started raining hard here at about 8pm last night and persisted all night long finally stopping at around 7.30 this morning, I left at around 9.30am and I had a dryish road for a while along the 4057 but once on the 4115 it was really wet where the rain had only just stopped. I stopped at Sukhirin at the Muslim restaurant for another chicken Massaman for breakfast, then noticing that they also had the rotiburgers had a beefburger for good measure. Now 60 Baht lighter in my wallet it was time to do what I came here for, exploring new roads. I got on my bike in now hot sunshine and bone dry roads

I headed off and was soon on the 4241

A narrowish not superbly surfaced road but enjoyable all the same

At a small roundabout I go straight ahead and now I am on the 4271

A bit of a roadslip here, theres a few cracks for about 50 metres here

This road is only shown as a minor road on my map and this looks like it has been recently made/upgraded

Its great out here this morning and my only concern is whether after my large breakfast I will have room for a pizza for my evening meal

This is a great fun road and its one of the two finds of the day, the other find wasnt so pleasant

This road comes to the crossroads at Si Sakhon where I stopped and had a drink at the checkpoint on my way from Betong to Sungai Kolok. I now notice that I am in for some wet weather looking at the sky. I take a right along the 4060 for about 1 km then a right onto the 4013 which according to my map runs parallel to the 4271 and will make a good return route. The reality is its a very badly potholed narrow track

Along here its starts raining, I see a sign saying rafting and it looks like theres plenty of water for doing it, I noticed that the water level is a bit higher today at a few places because of last nights rain

Its getting heavy now and I put the waterproof liner inside my airflow jacket and zip it into place then ride on. I get stopped at an Army checkpoint and am asked where I am going, I say back to Sukhirin. I am told not to use this road as its a very dangerous road that goes up through the mountains and I am likely to get shot at, the Soldiers use the Humvee when they go up there for the same reason. I dont need telling twice, the rain, potholes and the like are easily overcome but I dont need any larger holes in my airflow jacket so its a complete turnaround and I ride back exactly the way I rode out

Its torrential rain for a good while now and the second find of the day is that the waterproof liner in the jacket is a waste of time as theres a wide strip going from top to bottom either side of the main zip that isnt protected and the rain pours through. I am riding along thinking this weather is only suitable for ducks when I see an assortment of web footed creatures out enjoying themselves in the road

The rain certainly isnt spoiling their day

Part way back and there is a brief stop in the rain and I want to see the difference in the views from this mornings sunshine shots

Just past Sukhirin and the roads are soaking wet again

Then the rain comes back with a vengeance

I eventually get back home and leave a trail of water everywhere, theres not a single dry piece of clothing on me but I am not cold like I would be if this was in the UK, it was a fun days ride as usual and certainly a lot better that staying in watching it rain.

This is the heaviest rain that I have ridden in for years and I am getting a taster of what to expect if I come back to do a monsoon season tour. At least I know that the airflow liners wont keep me dry so I will bring my waterproofs that I wear over my leathers in the UK out with me plus some wellington/rubber boots. Waterproof gloves and a clear flip down visor will also be required. Hopefully tomorrow will be better as I am not getting as much distance covered as I hoped to, but as I am writing this its pouring here again

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