Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Bad to the Bone

The day following our trip to Erawan Falls was a real adventure. We set out on the bikes with Anthony & Josiya. All without maps & watches. We wanted to find a cave we had seen signposted. This took us onto rough roads & thicker Jungle not too far from the Burmese border.
After a few hours we realised, in order to follow the "signposted" route, an elephant would be required to cross the river. We've had a great time taking on dirt tracks & arriving at settlements of bewildered locals.
We backtracked & found a bridge & then onto the cave which housed a 15 foot golden Buddha & some very large bats. You have to walk along the rickety old railway line built along the side of a cliff to reach the cave so it came as quite a surprise when a long tourist train came chugging along. We didn't think you could take a train on that.

We then set off for hellfire Pass where thousands died during the war drilling, blasting, moving huge amounts of rock to create a canyon for the railway line to pass through. A quick stop at a tourist info center revealed another flattening rear tyre on my bike. Had this happened earlier in the middle of nowhere we could have had real problems but again people where extremely helpful & we stuck the bike in the back of a guys pick up to get to a garage. There we found the bike had next to no tred on the back tyre with the rubber completely gone in one patch. Punctures where inevitable & we needed a new inner tube. This time we got a receipt & prepared for a fight with the bike rental boss. We left the bike at the garage & used two bikes to do the remaining few km to Hellfire Pass. We wanted to limit the distance driven on the dodgy bike even though we were still 70km from Kanchanaburi.
Hellfire Pass was interesting & quite spectacular to look at but feels like a grave yard - which it is.

We were loosing light fast & needed to make tracks. Anthony volunteered to drive the bike with a 50% chance of the tyre exploding so I could drive Charlotte on his. It was pitch black by the time we got to the garage & a mean looking lightning storm formed in our direction.
We convoyed the bikes 70km through the jungle, in the dark, with every type of lightning exploding in front of us.
This was a thrilling experience although I'm sure everyone had a few scares.
No need for dinner when I got back. I had digested plenty of mosquitoes & other large flying insects which where attracted to the massive light bulb on the front of my bike! We had earned our beer that night & felt pretty good about the successful return home. We drove 180km that day. Sore arses!
Me & Charlotte had found a couple of excellent travel companions too.


Karen said...

Sounds very scary! Charlotte will explain why the lightening might have been a problem for me.
And to think I thought you would look after Charlotte for me.......lol..... Charlotte is quite capable of looking after herself!
Glad you've found some good travelling companions.
Next time check the bikes before taking them out of the garage!
Karen xxxxx

Jo said...

Got any pictures of the railway line..? I love a good lightening storm - but looking out from indoors! Looking forward to the next installment Love to you both from Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxx

jacques said...

Tout ce qui ne tue pas renforce !
Une belle aventure en tout cas.
Bises à vous deux.