(210 km - 7 days)
26 - 27 April - Mae Sot – Bangkok - By bus
I packed up and left for the bus station but found that the next available bus was only at 18h50. I bought the ticket and then cycled back to the hotel where I stayed, left my bike there, and went on a walkabout in town. It soon became too hot and I returned to the cool of the hotel.
The bus turned out to be quite comfortable. It was a relatively pleasant journey, except for the fact that we arrived in Bangkok at 3h00. It had rained and the roads were wet and muddy. The bus station is about 10/15 kilometres out of town and surrounded by road works. It was around 3h30 as I set off into the darkness through the muddy puddles, hoping that none of them was hiding open manholes. One can easily disappear down one of them, never to be seen again. I thought that it would be easy to cycle into Bangkok at that time of the morning, but the lack of streetlights made it rather nerve wrecking. The streets were eerily quiet, with only the homeless, drunk and truly weird out at that time. (It scares me to think that I may fall into one of those categories, LOL).
28 - 30 April - Bangkok
It was a busy day today; it nearly felt like I was back at work. Filling in forms, paying money and organising things. I have not done that in a long time. I can't say I liked it.
Suddenly, I saw men in suits, briefcases in hand, talking on mobile phones everywhere. I overheard people making deals, their body language and tone of voice made my stomach turn. I was so pleased that it was not me sitting at that table. I walked right past them, licking my ice cream, smiling to myself, thinking “been there, done that” and feeling very grateful that I'm homeless with only a bicycle and a tent. Although I may change my mind about that on the next uphill as I quite enjoyed having my own business. Everything has its place, I guess.
1 May - Bangkok – Chachoengsao - 85 kilometres
There was nothing more I could do about the passport but wait. It was time to get out of Bangkok and explore the rest of South East Asia, albeit for a second time. It took me the best part of the day to get out of Bangkok, as it is a rather large and busy city.
2 May - Chachoengsao - Sa Kaeo - 125 kilometres
It was another scorcher of a day. Fortunately, around midday the clouds started gathering and soon big, fat raindrops started falling. I was not unhappy about that. In no time at all it was bucketing down to such an extent that I needed to find shelter. I stopped at a roadside restaurant and I ordered a coffee. The lady spoke no English and I (obviously) no Thai. She knew I wanted a coffee but wanted to know which one and pointed to the menu on the wall. What are the chances that one can read Thai if one cannot speak it? It was a good cup of coffee.
Sa Kaeo was only about 30 kilometres down the road so I was in no hurry. As soon as the rain stopped, I continued down the road and found a hotel on the main road. It had no English signs, but it looked like a hotel so I stopped and enquired. At least this time the receptionist showed me the room rate on the calculator.