Day 17, Kamphaeng phet to uthai thani

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Today began with a van transfer of about two hours duration to the start of our ride. We are waiting to head out from the hotel.

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We drove down Highway 1, first along the Ping River. The Ping flows into the Chao Phraya River which continues on into Bangkok. Our bikes were hauled in a truck that drove down with our two Spice Roads vans. We stopped at a location along the river to start our ride. Here Woody starts to put the bikes back together.

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Next door to where our bikes were being assembled was a garage filled with long dragon racing boats.

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This one could hold up to 42 paddlers!

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This one had been blessed and marked by a Buddhist monk.

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We biked along the river and through the countryside. Many of the homes were simple and unpainted like this.

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Roads along the river and the fields were very nice, quiet.

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And there are some new houses!

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Many homes were on stilts, in part because this area was badly flooded about 8 years ago. Many homes have been rebuilt to withstand future floods.

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Fresh water is important. While even small towns have water towers, another option is to use these freshwater kiosks.

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You can also buy your choice of gas at small self service spots like this.

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More choices for your scooter or car!

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In the past water was collected off the roof in cisterns like this, but they are not used anymore due to air pollution affecting the water quality.

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Corn harvest time! This appeared to be a corn co-op where all the corn was being delivered…

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And this gent is King Corn!

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We saw many water control structures like these locks to better manage the river. Lots of engineering projects underway.

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A floodwall is being built along the river.

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Woody looks for opportunities to learn, and today’s was to visit a peanut harvest underway.

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This woman was buying fresh peanuts. We tried fresh peanuts from the field, and they were tasty!

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She is harvesting peanuts which grow at the base of the plant with the roots.

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We haven’t seen that many Thais on bikes, and even fewer kids,so it was fun to see this happy group.

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And then, just after Rick and the kids greeted each other saying “Happy!”, his back tire went flat. Rick got to work, and before he knew it, Mr. Rin was there to help finish the job.

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Mr. Rin found this squished toad, and told Rick to keep it on his bike seat for the rest of his ride, for good luck! Good luck so he does not get more flats.

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And then, one mile down the road, MJ was having the exact same problem! Gregory and Leslie helped her out until Mr. Pree came along to finish the job.

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We all reconnoitered at a clinic for a snack break. The restroom was marked for handicapped, elderly and pregnant folks!

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And then we were off again, biking through neighborhoods.

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We came into an area of central Thailand today dominated by rice fields. Beautiful!

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Near the end of our ride we enjoyed this dedicated bike lane.

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This site was different than anything else we have passed. These characters are grim reapers, and the building was a crematorium.

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We enjoyed a late lunch on while cruising on a restored rice barge on the Sakaekrang River.

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We passed houseboats on the river, in a variety of conditions. The water was so low that many of them were sitting on the river bottom!

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Our friendly captain!

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It was a lovely and relaxing lunch.

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Four dishes plus chicken wings!

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Nice dessert spread of fruits and tapioca chunks with coconut cream sauce.

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MJ took Woody up on his offer to pilot the boat. The pilot and MJ look worried; Woody not so much!

See MJ driving the boat here.

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After lunch, we biked another three miles to our home for the night, the Uthai River Lake Resort. Nice pool and good birdwatching too! After a nice happy hour out on the lawn, we retreated to the restaurant for a traditional Thai dinner and dessert.

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