7 Eleven

Thailand | BKK - Ayutthaya - Kamphaeng Phet - Mae Sot   | 26th June '15 to 1st July '15 | 10161km

Somewhere between Kampaeng Phet and Tak we passed 10000km for the tour! We stopped on the side of an innocuous piece of road and high fived each other before deciding it was way too hot to be high fiving and set off again in search of shade.

On the way out of Bangkok we kept a running tally of 7 Elevens and Wats (temples). It was a close run thing but the former topped 30 for the day! It’s nice to jump into a 7 Eleven to just loiter under the air con unit and while doing just that we noticed that each store has an ice dispensing machine. In the relentless heat we spent consecutive days grinding out around 100km in a northward trajectory, stopping regularly to fill water bottles with ice, enjoying blissfully cold water for 5 mins, regular temp water for 5 and hot water until we saw the next 7 Eleven sign quivering on the horizon. Neither of us were enjoying the riding very much - Luke even admitted this outright to Flora, but denies it now... We normally like riding these stretches between the guidebook destinations as they allow you to see parts of the country you’d usually miss and make the destination all the more satisfying, but for the best part of a week all we wanted to do was get inside the nearest cheap hotel room and off the straight hot roads. We both missed home and felt daft for not being able to enjoy ourselves.

There were some highlights - the ruins at Ayutthaya, once the capital, was ransacked by the Burmese in the 1700’s, meaning most of the Budda’s are missing their heads. Pan fried bugs and grubs on offer at the night market. Being off the main routes as mentioned we were able to find some really good value accommodation. The room Flora is jumping around in was particularly plush, for a mere 400 baht, less than 8 quid. The police throughout Thailand have been good fun, normally getting us to stop for photos, english practice and giving us water. 

Book swap roulette kindly landed Luke with a copy of Michael Atherton's autobiography and we tried to employ some of his Lancastrian grit to make it through the rut we felt we’d gotten into. To try and break the pedal, find ice, pedal, find room routine we slept out in a sort of unused outdoors centre and happily the next day into Mae Sot headed back into the mountains. Descending into Mae Sot felt so good after days of flat and we arrived into the border town feeling positive. We headed straight for a 7 Eleven.