Day 24, AMPHAWA TO HUA HIN

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Every day is a good day with these guys helping us! Big thumbs up for Mr. Rin, Mr. Pree, Bird and Mr. Chin!

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MJ poses by a huge trunk, of teak we believe, on display where we started our ride today.

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Today we had to watch out for bovine hazards of all kinds on the roads!

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These rubber trees are not being tapped now, due to the price of rubber being at significant lows. It is worth a quarter of what it was worth a year or two ago. Part of the issue is that China is now producing its own rubber and does not need the amount from Thailand it once did.

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Harvesting sugar cane with a two row combine, chopping the stalks  and blowing it into the truck.

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We visited a pre-release center, where prisoners were learning life skills. The title translation did not make full sense to us….

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One project is raising Indonesian deer, used for meat.

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Bird gets close and personal with a resident!

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Lizards skittled about on the spacious grounds.

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Another project is learning brick making and building.  Here an inmate mashes soil , water, and rice chaff with his feet until the consistency is right.

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After several steps, the prepared brick material is transported…

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… over to the brick molds where it is smoothed, allowed to dry a bit, then turned out for more drying.

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Things are going well for this troweler!

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Taking pride in his detailed smoothing.

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The bricks dry in the sun for seven days, and are turned regularly.

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Facing the sun and soaking up rays.

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Barb hoists the finished product over her head! Pink Power, We Can Do It!!

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Fun art project of a bike covered in clay.

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Two bikes covered in clay seemed like a perfect photo op for the group!

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There was quite a livestock operation for skills training. This piggy sees us and is thinking about an escape!

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The piglets make a break for it.

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We enjoyed refreshments at the little canteen on the prison grounds. Is the name of their trash can by chance? ! The men who come here are mostly young, have only had one offense, and have behaved well in prison. Most of their crimes were drug related.  Most of the men here had three to five months of time left.

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Fire danger is low today!

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Today we cycled through many pineapple fields. We learned that three harvests are made from each planting. First harvest is sweet and usually sold in Thailand; second and third are less sweet and often go to Europe.

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Bag contains a fungicide being applied to the pineapple fruit.

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Gosh sakes it was hot today!

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Our lunch stop was at a Thai vineyard and winery with a lovely restaurant and grounds.

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The restaurant is located under a shady overhang of the building,  and the umbrellas on the terrace. With vineyards surrounding it!

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The view almost made us feel like we were in Italy!

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The owners of Monsoon Valley vineyard have researched the best cultivars to try in Thailand.

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This would have been fun but we were on our way again after lunch.

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We had a joyful and delicious lunch!

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Our server YaYa took very good care of us. She described each varietal for those sampling the vino. Folks tried a white, rose and a red, and the white won the popularity contest.

See YaYa presentation of one of the wines movie here.

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Those who did not sample wine enjoyed desserts like this luscious cheesecake with pomegranate sauce, a scoop of coconut ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate, finished off nicely with chantilly creme!

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Last year’s wine is dated 2562 in the Buddhist Era. This is the official calendar in Thailand, and is believed to be based on the date of the death of Gautama Buddha.  We brought a few of these bottles back to the hotel to enjoy at happy hour!

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Yaya works with Woody and Bird to settle the bill.

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From the vineyards, we hopped into the van for a transfer to our hotel in Hua HIn. Putahracsa Resort was a quiet oasis in a bustling small city.

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Our room overlooked the pool and was just what we needed for a good rest.

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