10th, 11th, 12th and now 13th November
I think the original plan was two nights in Mae Sot, but that was extended to three nights and then four as last night I was sick with a fever and Aad was very tired, so we’re staying put here in Mae Sot again today and will head upcountry tomorrow.
Karen has located some accommodation in Chiang Mai, and we’ll camp for a couple of nights on our way there. In Chiang Mai I’ve got a service arranged for our bike as there’s a BMW Motorrad shop in town, and I’ll get new tyres to replace our worn TKC80’s. Unable to locate any Continental tyres we’ll be switching across to Metzeler Karoo 3’s – an unknown quantity for me but hopefully they’ll do a good job. I do like the TKC80’s as they are very confidence-inspiring – very predictable and forgiving.
Karen has also tracked down an Olympus store who has been able to source a new digital camera for her – a TG4 – the model we’ve been trying to get our hands on since her old TG3 died somewhere in India. The Nikon AW130 we bought as an interim solution just doesn’t cut the mustard – it’s slower shutter speed and darker lens doesn’t capture sharp images from the back of the bike as we’re riding along, and our photos are our only souvenirs as we don’t buy any momentos along the way, so we’d like to get some reasonable photos at least.
The past few days have been relaxing, off-bike stuff. Karen has caught up with her 31-day backlog of uploading photos and attaching them to old posts, and that’s been a massive job – taking two days and evenings to complete. I’ve been trying to track down tyres and doing some forwards-planning for the next parts of our trip – Laos, Cambodia, and back to Thailand again. We’ve also started to look into the logistics of flying the bike back into Australia, and Ivan from Bikes Abroad is helping us with that.
Breakfast is included at our nice little Hop Inn Hotel – an egg on toast, with a few tinned sausages on the side and some salad. There’s a coffee machine in the breakfast area that also makes nice hot chocolates, and they go down very well.
We had planned to go see 007 last night but I was feeling exhausted – I didn’t realise it at that stage but I was just starting to get sick – so we all ordered pizza except for Karen who had mushroom pasta, and we all ate our dinner in our room, watching the last Moto GP of the season on tv, as Mike had been able to download it a few days ago.
We had gone to Tesco’s around midday yesterday – we caught a taxi there and a three-wheeled trolley-motorcycle contraption back to our hotel as the sun was blistering. Lunch was KFC and then – to Karen’s absolute delight – desert was an ice cream sundae at Swevenson’s (or something like that). We did a bit more shopping for our upcoming camping trip, but it’s that hot here that it’s perhaps unlikely we’ll be camping out too much.
So in a nutshell all four of us – Aad & Mike, Karen and I – are relaxing and recovering from the hectic riding schedule we’ve endured over the past month or two. It’s been great to not have to pack up the bike every morning and move on every day. With that said I’m sure we’ll be looking forwards to exploring the back roads of NW Thailand from tomorrow onwards, once we are all a bit more rested.