Sunday, November 3, 2013

ToST II - Part 5

The scenic route to Khanom..

On route 401 towards Surat Thani

Excellent road conditions
We rolled out of Sichon after a good fill at the Prasansuk villa's restaurant.
The meal of the day was bacon and eggs.
To re-join route 401, we had to roll across route 3017 and 4015.
Basically, its a quiet countryside route and we have roughly about 53km to cover to reach Khanom.
Over the past two days, the weather has been good.
But on this particular day, dark clouds were looming across the horizon.
As long as we could take shelter, there's no issue about getting wet.
We pushed on as far as we could and thinking that the terrain was undulating, Roger did warn us about the climbs.
But luck has it in such a way that the route was rather flat as we rode around the mountains.

Rigging up the gear with the rain in the background

A photo session at the outskirts of Khanom
And here it comes! 

The sky opened up with drops of water coming down.
We were reaching the Surat Thani - Khanom junction on the 401 when it poured.
I signaled to pull over and found a nice place to take shelter from the rain.
Roger, who was up front, saw a coffee shop and told us to move our bikes forward...

Late breakfast: green curry with stewed pork and egg

Taking shelter with good food and excellent coffee

Chilling out!

Roger and Sin with the awesome Thai dish
We saw some locals having their meals. 
One particular noodle dish caught our fancy and Sin, who is a food blogger, wasted no time in ordering his pick.
The noodles was excellent.
I saw some hot rice and ordered a plate with stewed pork. It was a bliss! 
What I like about Thai fragrant rice is the fact that its fresh and you can eat it on its own!
Time flies as we waited for the rain to stop.
Khanom is roughly about 20km away from the junction and as far as distance was concerned, we've covered plenty of ground...

The beach..

I've never been to Khanom.
And from Roger's description, I had imagined it to be like "The Beach" starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
From the junction, there is a short distance to cover.
Our choice accommodation was a motel costing b490 a night.
It was called the Panita Resort.

Riding on the wet road

Forward to Khanom
The gang..

Nadan Beach
We drew closer and closer to Khanom by mid-day.
Since we had double breakfast near the junction, none of us were hungry.
At a junction near the town area, we found a route to the beach.
There was a nice resort at the end of it and our mission for the day, was to locate the b490 resort.
So, Roger chanced on taking the right turn towards Khanom Seafood restaurant,which was about 7km away.
We thought of having dinner at this place by staying near the beach, but the situation had proven otherwise.
Bit-by-bit, we covered more than 7km and hit the end of the beach area, which was a hilly place.
And right there, Khanom Seafood restaurant stood still. A really nice and classy place.
It was about 11:45am. 
We placed our bikes and sat at a table. The guys ordered some carbonated drinks while I oogle at the live blue crabs in the tank.

As fresh as they can get!

Our grill master working his magic!
Fresh off the grill!

These made our day!
There was free WiFi at the restaurant and we took full advantage of it.
I ordered one kilogramme of live blue crabs (b450 per kg) and while we quenched down our thirst with the Colas, the crabs were slowly cooking on the grill.
It was really fantastic and worth the effort having our early lunch at the restaurant.
Our total bill came up to b750 (crabs and steamed cockles with a busload of EST colas).
Not a moment of regret here as we slowly rolled back to town to find the b490 motel.

The hilly terrain leading back to Khanom town
Over the last two days, my bike was kinda misbehaving itself.
The bottom bracket was making a lot of noise. 
In times like these, one has to be really patient. The issue did not hamper our journey as we slowly moved on..

Another puncture..

Fixing Sin's flat tire
We were approaching the final kilometre before the junction to town when Sin had suddenly shouted out.
After pulling over to the road side, his front tire was flat.
We moved the bike to hut by the roadside and tried to find the source of the puncture.
After peeling off the inner tube, I found a bump on the tire.
It was cut by a piece of beer bottle's glass.
We had the shard removed and put in a new inner tube.
Then, I found out that the direction of the tire thread on Sin's front tire was on the opposite direction.
It took us about 35-minutes to fix this problem before we moved on..

Panita resort in Khanom

The cosy motel
Panita resort, brand new and very impressive...

There's really nothing much to see in Khanom town.
We rode past the junction where we came in and down the road about two kilometres away, there was a signboard.
The motel that we were looking for was smack in the middle of town.
Its barely a week old and after some negotiation, Roger managed to get it for us at b450 per night.
We were happy to oblige by checking-in.

Night shopping

A simple dinner
We had ample time to do some laundry as well as cleaning up the bikes.
The motel had ample space for us to dry up our dirty clothes.
Later in the evening, we rode into town for dinner.
We found a makan stall by the roadside and enjoyed a good meal.
It was my turn to get the beers, so, I bought four bottles of Singha beer from Tesco Lotus and Sin sponsored some mini sausages manufactured by CP foods, one of Thailand's largest producer of processed food items.
We recapped the day's experience and called it a day for the long ride to Surat Thani..
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