8th May 2015:
Today’s challenge is to get through and around Bangkok without getting hurt. We synchronise our GPS’s and off we head. The closer we get to Bangkok the thicker the traffic gets (particularly with trucks) and the more lanes there are. Spaghetti junction after Spaghetti junction.
Barry’s car with only a small 1400cc motor and loaded to the gills is not the fastest tadpole in the pool. Acceleration is not Mollies strong point – this causes some confusion amongst the locals but they are extremely tolerate. The way Bangkok traffic moves is ‘a symphony in motion’; not one horn did we hear all day, traffic moves in and out and traffic merges as if orchestrated by some great idea – I think it is called graciousness and tolerance and just being nice to each other. It is a pleasure to be part of this global movement – I think Barry is just pleased to get through it and get out of there.
One of the highlights of the day is passing over one of the main bridges over the river… The three main bridges are such a delight to see; so beautiful, so elegant; such a perfect statement of perfect design and harmony. A pure delight to pass under their magnificent arches.
Once passed Bangkok Barry couldn’t wait to take a breather (his nerves were a little frayed) and we nearly end up in the biggest ‘dive’ you have seen north of the equator. Mike and Renee are more sensible and believe the family name should not be sullied by accepting such low class accommodation and insist we look further north. After a couple of misdirection a nice Thai gentleman assists me negotiate local information from the owner of a Coffee shop. She provides excellent direction to a couple of nearby hotels. I thank her by smashing one of her ornaments as I very insensibly move my much reduced frame out of her shop; she is very gracious and thanks me.
The Mouritz family have found a My Love hotel around the corner. After inspection this does not meet the ideals of its name and as there is no food there we decide to move on. Hunger conquers all. We stop to do some local shopping for fresh fruit. A bunch of bananas – 30 cents; 9 mangoes $3.00. There is a lot of food displayed that we have never seen before.
We find the ‘nearby hotels’ and strike gold using the little mud map the kind lady drew.
Excellent clean rooms and only one flight of stairs – heaven’. After a beer and bath we head out for the night. Outside the hotel we find a small local eating establishment. A Thai lady speaking English beckons us over. The lady is the sister of the owner and is over for a few weeks form Honolulu visiting her family who own and run the roadside restaurant. We are able to speak in English and order our dishes the way we want them. The food is divine and it is a great night. We arrange to have breakfast with them the next morning at 8.00. We have ordered eggs on white toast with coffee. Some have ordered sunny side up and some scrambled. If this comes off the next challenge will be to get the same with fresh salmon on the side. The bar just keeps getting raised. This morning all we got was coffee – and that was instant!!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.