Monday, 16 March 2015

Pinch me, I'm dreaming!

We got to the motorbike hire place at 8.30 as arranged. We were supposed to be renting a yellow Honda Wave ( already christened "the yellow peril") and another mighty Honda, a Dream. I'm not sure why its called a dream because it isn't as good as a Wave but there you go.
Anyway, neither bike was there. The guy said he'd sort 2 bikes out pronto and we went next door for a coffee. We wanted the little scooter type bikes as we didn't have any proper motorbiking gear with us and felt that if we took something 'proper' there was more chance of getting excited and coming a cropper. 
After a few minutes, they came into sight. "The Black Shadow" (kate bagsied it straight away) and "The Silver Dream Machine" for me. Imagine my disappointment when upon closer inspection I realised that the sleek bodywork was not actually silver but grey. Instant demotion to "The Grey Nomad".....
Anyway, we were off. The run out through the suburbs of Chiang Mai was a simple task. I can't say it enough that I reckon Thailand is such a great place to 'cut your teeth' in the sphere of Adventure Motorbiking. It's safe, cheap, friendly but still gives a great frisson of excitement and Asian mystique. If you're only half interested in doing something like this then just come here, you'll love it.
The road was flat and straight, the only down side was the filthy air quality. The farmers burn off the fields to prepare them for next seasons crop.  Mix that with the general dust and pollution and it was making our eyes sting and throats sore. We stopped at a 7-11 and bought some breathing masks.

If that's Wallace, where's Grommet?!

After an hour or so, we spotted a big temple on a hill so pulled over for a bit of a break and also some gratuitous bike photos. Feast your eyes on these beauties!

The temple itself was like nothing we'd seen before. A peculiar mix of the familiar and some pretty bizarre 'extras' including a pumpkin big enough to stand in and possibly a tribute to Steve Irwin

The reclining Buddha was massive but from a distance appeared to have some sort of bum fluff beard going on, which turned out to be wasps nests

We rode on to the town of Hot which lived up to its name

It was over 35 degrees in the little roadside cafe where we enjoyed our plate of 50p spicy fried rice

This guys bike made ours look a bit boring

We were now heading up into the hills. It was great to have an engine for a change. Long climbs just meant a quick down change of gears and a twist of the wrist, it made a mockery of that pedalling malarkey!
Kate getting her knee down (sort of)

Above all when Adventure Biking it is imperative that you look cool. Here I am doing my best Steve McQueen. What do we reckon to that?

Brochure shot???

More great riding through smooth(ish) twisty tarmac brought us to the town of Mae Saraing where we checked into a lovely riverside guesthouse (the river is a tad dry) with one of the nicest rooms we've had of the whole trip for £17 between us, including breakfast.

Oh, and for all you people who say/think we're adventurous, take a look at this

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