Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Mountain Bikers

A couple weekends ago Ryan organized a motorcycle trip from Kanchanaburi to the Three Pagodas Pass, about 300 km away. Ray and I were excited about the concept but, since neither of us had ever driven a motorcycle, were also skeptical about our ability to participate.
We decided that we would go along on the trip anyway, and if it turned out that we couldn't drive and we couldn't be passengers then we would just hang out in Kanchanaburi and have a good time there.
Alisa and Ryan gave lessons early Saturday morning. Ray took the bike out first by himself and had a bit of an accident...he was pretty shaken but not seriously injured. Stephanie, Rhoda and Amber all tried with either Ryan or Alisa on the back giving them instructions, and all managed to ride successfully. I was nervous, having seen Ray fall, but Alisa is a great teacher (funny how that would happen) and I could drive the bike no problem.
Yes, that's right, Mom and Dad and other concerned parties: I drove a motorcycle. In Kanchanaburi, on the road, through traffic. Don't worry I wore a helmet and jeans. It gets even better...

We took off for our journey around 10 AM, me driving and Ray on the back. We drove for about an hour or so to Sai Yok Waterfalls. They are not as large as Erawan Waterfalls, but they are more easily accessed and very pretty also.






After a bit of a break, some lunch and another lesson from Alisa, Ray was ready to drive so I hopped on the back and we drove another stretch.

A while later, after seeing some spectacular scenery, we reached an area where it had been raining.
The road was fairly twisty and wet and Stephanie spun out on a turn. Luckily, she too was not seriously injured, and after some first aid and some damage assessment to the bike we were ready to go again. Steph rode on the back of Ryan's bike and Ray took Stephanie's bike.

Not only did I not think I would drive a motorcycle, I didn't think that I would drive under these conditions:
1. With a passenger
2. Through traffic
3. At speeds maybe reaching 100 KPH (hard to say, because the spedometer on my bike didn't work)
4. Through the rain
5. In the dark.

...see Mom and Dad? I told you it got better.

We eventually reached Sangklaburi, the nearest town to Three Paagodas Pass. We stayed in a bug-riddled bizarre guesthouse, had some beers and resolved to leave early in the morning again for more adventuring.

We headed out fairly early the next day, visiting Three Pagodas Pass first. It is where the Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) borders meet. The Pass itself is not that spectacular, but the drive there is very scenic.


Going back towards Kanchanaburi, we stopped at a "Waterfall"...which we never saw. We were told it was a kilometer hike up a hill, and none of us (with our sore bums) were interested in hiking anywhere so we spent some time at the pond at the base and then took off again.


Ray and I shared driving on the way back, with Ray logging the most kilometers. We got into Kanchanaburi around 7 that evening, which seemed like great timing but unfortunately the last bus to Bangkok left at 7:30 so we didn't have a chance to eat at Apple's for dinner.

It was an amazing trip. It was completely thrilling to be able to drive the bike, especially on my own- although I have to say that it was quite a big change in weight not having a passenger and I almost found that it was harder to control with only me on it. The scenery was fantastic and there is perhaps another bike expedition in the works. I was really glad that Ray had the confidence, after falling, to try again: he really loved the drive and although we all were aching afterwards we had a great time.

Until next time,
Heather

3 Comments:

  • At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Mom said…

    Hi Heather,
    The scenery sure looks great. Glad the motorcycling turned out ok but I must say you have given us additional grey hairs. Hope Stephanie and Ray have recovered.
    Love, Mom

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Dad said…

    Why would I be concerned that my only daughter is driving a motor scooter of questionable mechanical condition, with a non functioning speedometer, having no experience and minimal instruction on an unfamiliar road in sometimes poor weather conditions in a country where traffic laws are basically non-binding suggestions more ignored than followed? Can't imagine any father having a problem with that.

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous auntie Bonnie said…

    HI Heather,
    Your Mom and Dad said it all!
    Love, Auntie Bonnie

     

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