Monday, August 6, 2012

Ko Samui - Part 3

Slowing down the pace...
Its our third day in Thailand and having done the hardcore stuff, we wanted to take things rather easy.
First, it was breakfast at the hotel.
Gone were the noisy, foul-mouthed tourists from Hong Kong.
We had a few other tourists for company and decided that it was best to finish up breakfast and head out on a simple ride.
Well, not so simple if you factor in the killer climbs enroute to Lamai beach.
So, we began our 15km ride towards Wat Kunaram to visit the mummified monk and Na Mueang waterfalls.
These places came highly recommended.
About half an hour out of Chaweng, we found ourselves at the first climb to a viewpoint overlooking the coastal resort.
Slowly, we pushed ourselves and reached the highest peak in the climb. The last 300metres, we got down to push the bikes as the gradient was too steep.

Beginning the climb
After the two climbs, it was a fast downhill roll towards Lamai beach.
There, we rode around the area and found some interesting food outlet and plenty of girly bars.
Later, we cycled to Hua Thanon beach. This is the entire Route 4169 that leads to Nathon.
It was a good workout towards Na Mueang.
The first stopover was the Wat Kunaram.
Tourists arrived by the truckloads to visit this temple.
Usually, the Thai temples do not allow visitors in skimpy outfits, but I guess that in Ko Samui, things are 'a little bit' different.
We saw some white folks with bikini tops and hot pants at the place of worship.

Hua Thanon beach
Wat Kunaram
The falls
Na Mueang falls is about 6km away from Wat Kuranam.
We rode under the hot sun and reached the entrance to the falls.
Its also an elephant sanctuary.
To get there, we have to climb to the visitor's centre.
Half-way doing it, there was a small traffic congestion.
We had to share the road with some modified Toyota Hi-Lux pick up trucks that were ferrying tourists to the falls.
When we reached the main area, there were free parking for cars and rented motorcycles.
We took the chance by pushing the bikes through a roadblock and managed to move on without a hitch.
When we cycle, we hardly leave our bikes behind.
Now, there's much hype about the two waterfalls in this location.
What I am about to say, may be disappointing to prospective visitors.
From the carpark, we pushed our bikes to a dirt track. This is roughly about 1.2km away from the waterfalls entrance.
I decided to look after the bikes while Michelle scout the falls.
Both of us had cameras, so, one would do most of the work.
There was a spectacular view of the island's foliage from the entrance to the falls. 
I waited while Michelle did her touristy thing.
Later, she came back and told me that some old fart had slipped and grabbed her to break his fall. As a result, her Canon Powershot S100 camera was damaged.

A little push to the falls

No great shakes: Na Mueang falls
Tube failure
When we were done, it was a fast downhill roll towards the park entrance.
We were shooting so fast, I realised a slight 'drag' on the rear wheel.
My worst fear was confirmed when I saw a flat on the tire.
I signaled to Michelle to pull over and attended to the problem.
No time was wasted as I patched a small tear on the inner tube. It was facing the rim, so, it had to be a tube failure.
Even with a patch, it couldn't hold the pressure.
I decided on a tube change but the inner tube that I brought along with me was meant for a 24" wheel. I felt like a fool.
Lucky for me, Michelle had a spare Shrader valve inner-tube. This was a snug-fit after I removed the Presta adapter that was fitted onto the rim.
I guess the excessive heat while descending at a high-speed might have caused the tube failure.
After a quick-fix, we were on the move again.

Working on the busted inner-tube
Chaweng-bound
We were done with the el-turisto stuff and rode back to Lamai for lunch. 
There, we found an awesome stall serving chicken rice and Khao Ka Moo (pig's trotter rice).
This was a treat for riding in the hot sun.
It was a good call as the food came in really tasty.
We chilled out in Lamai before beginning the climb back to Chaweng.

My splendid lunch!

The last leg of the ride to Chaweng
Well, we rode for 3hours 17 minutes to complete about 41.73km in total distance. In two days, we've done over 100km around the island.
The ride was an eye-opener as most of the nice places to visit are hilly.
Not a big thing if you train for it.

A little reward after a long and hard day's work..


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