Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ToST III - Part 4

An early departure

We packed our stuff, got rid of some stuff that we don't need and took the chances by hauling some food rations to Ranot, our next destination.
From our resort, we rode into town and had breakfast to the stall where we had a real good makan the previous day.
And as usual, the good and cheap Thai fare did not disappoint us.
After a good fill, we prepped our bikes, ready to roll out.
While we were at it, there were monks receiving their morning alms from residents in the area.
This is a sight to behold as the givers receive their daily blessings..

Making sure that the bikes are roadworthy
A resident receiving her blessings from the monks
Riding along the King's 80th birthday bridge 
The King's Bridge

We had a short distance to cover and the road to Ranot is connected by an elevated bridge across the wetlands.
This was built to commemorate the Thai King's 80th birthday and it stretches from Ranot to Patthalung. 
It's a real beautiful place to cycle as there aren't many vehicles in the morning.
We rode up to a viewing area and took some photos to preserve the moments.

The Sun, rising over the horizon as seen from the elevated road

The ToST III crew

The Fellowship of Foldies..

Adventure Joe: Roger and his Tern Joe D24

Cycling along the elevated road..
Tourists on boats beneath the bridge..
This structure never failed to impress me and it also showed that the Thais really cared about their environment.
You can hardly see thrash and litter on the road as the whole area is clean.
After exiting the bridge, we rode towards a coffeeshop on the right hand side, but it was closed, instead, we rolled down to a salted fish stall and took pictures of the commodity there.
Fishery is big business in this area as the aquatic life of the lakes provided a source of income to the people living around it...

Along the King's road

Getting nearer to Ranot

Capturing the commodities on sale

Riding into Ranot..
Although we had short distance to cover after exiting the bridge, it felt like an eternity getting into Ranot.
Headwind from certain stretches made it rather tough, and averaging at 13km/h, we slowly made our way into the entrance of the town.
Our priority was to find a place to bunk.
So, we checked out a resort near the bridge area which was fully occupied.
The search led us to a new resort near some paddy fields. This is a really nice place at 500 baht a nite. But it was also packed.
We settled for some rooms at a motel opposite the Mukata restaurant in the area. We paid 350 baht to bunk in for the night.
The motel was as good as it gets.

Lunch at the usual place...

Ranot is a small town, there's really nothing much here but some good makan places.
One of the highly recommended is Ran Jideng restaurant at the lakeside.
This is only known among locals and serves up a real good selection of traditional Southern Thai dishes.
We ordered our lunch and spent the afternoon there, catching up with some rest and beers to quench our thirst..

Chasing the bull

The gang in Ranot
Starting our day early in Ran Jideng..
Deep fried mullet
The wireless age..

I left out the fact that we actually rode out towards a PTT station some 6km away from town to savour some iced coffee.
There's an Amazon coffee outlet in this place as well as a 7Eleven convenience store.
After cooling off, we rode towards the lakeside and took our lunch at Ran Jideng.
One of the dishes that I intend to order was the deep fried mullet and the only way I could communicate to the waitress was to show her a picture that was taken last year.
With my Motorola Moto G, such was not an issue. 
Internet connection was fast and I was able to show her the picture and that made our lives rather easy.
Throughout the tour, I kept the world wired to our journey by giving live updates everyday.
The 1.5GB data package was enough to cover the entire week-long journey from the start right till the end..

The team at a Mukata dinner

Pat, trying to converse in Thai
This thing about Thai massages..

I am no big fan of traditional Thai massages and I don't make a point to go searching for massage joints.
What annoys me was some of the guys who kept insisting on going for a massage.
So, I cut the monkeys loose, they went out on their own as I snoozed in my room, taking refuge from the blazing hot afternoon sun.
We did our laundry and it dried up in time before we departed for Sathing Phra the next day.
Late into the day, I received a Facebook messenger on where to meet for dinner.
I rode out towards town, passed the massage joint and was pointed to the right direction by a lady who runs it.
Just a short distance away, the guys were hanging out at Tesco Lotus Express, a small supermarket at the junction leading to Surat Thani.
We went to our usual Mukata (Thai barbecue) shop that was open for business and spent the rest of the night eating there.
It was also my turn to treat the guys to some beers and after dinner, we chat a bit and chilled out until it was time to call it a day.. 

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