We head out from our hotel in Lampang for a big day of riding.
Woody shows us some clever Trompe-l’oeil painting in a side street.
More in the same alley. Angel spirits riding on Lampang carriages.
We rode out along the Wang River, which was still and reflective today.
We stopped to admire sculptures, and ended up chatting with fishermen who were using a harpoon-type tool to harvest fish, a native local tilapia.
Striking building on the river.
We rode over the river on this bridge.
Nice and quiet route!
Not so quiet or nice for this guy though.
Some of the trails along the river were unpaved. It was a beautiful morning!
Here you can see how high the river floods from the markings on the bridge.
People were sooooo friendly and nice today. Like him! Always a smile, a wave, perhaps a bow.
We were close but did not stop at the elephant training center.
We stopped to see Mr. Peacock but he would not fan his tail for us.
A wonderful cultural stop today was at this traditional weaving shop.
How to work a loom movie here.
A young Buddhist monk was learning from the expert weavers, to take the trade back to women in his home community.
The owner of the shop demonstrates how to spin cotton.
Spinning cotton movie here.
Our drivers Mr. Rin and Mr. Pree set up a nice snack. Shoes off please on the carpet!
The weavers were lovely and very friendly. Here MJ and new friends admire the bag that MJ is buying.
Nice flowers in the courtyard.
You never know what to expect….
What’s that music up ahead movie here.
We could hear music and saw a crowd on a corner. Turns out it was a local, annual event to celebrate the spirits, ask for protection and good luck. This is a very traditional, animist practice in Northern Thailand. Music and dancing!
Great dancing movie here.
A subset of community members are specially chosen to represent the spirits at this event. They chew bitter leaves and smoke tobacco cigars wrapped in banana leaf.
Apparently a few in our biking group were offered puffs on the cigars. Folks were curious about the 13 cyclists, and were very welcoming.
Happy dancers movie here.
A bit down the road, Mr. Woody stopped to show us a traditional rice-thrashing shop. We were mesmerized by the equipment, the friendly staff, and the clattering commotion!
See the OSHA manufacturing nightmare movie here.
Today it was smoky all day. Woody shared that farmers have two months in the winter when they can burn their fields. And guess what, we are here in the second month! By the end of the day, our clothes and hair smelled of smoke.
We began our 8% climb, eventually climbing about 1,500 feet total.
Are these friendly spirit dragons or mean spirit dragons?!
At our snack break, clever signs designated the necessary rooms.
Once we got to the top, it was a very long, very steep, very fast ride down.
What goes up at 8% must come down at 8%. Holy cow!!
On and on it went.
Looks like we are going off a cliff!
When we got to the bottom, a big ongoing construction project greeted us. In the midst of the intersection under construction was a great little lunch stop.
After riding 43 miles total, we clambered into the vans for a 50 mile drive to our next overnight town, Uttaradit. We stopped along the way for gas, and it took these folks about 15 minutes to analyze and complete our payment. Then they gave us 1.5 liter bottles of water, six of them, to make up for the slow service.
Home sweet home at the Seeharaj Hotel in Uttaradit, where it is still Christmas! Even have a jazz Santa!