Day 29, saplee to tungtako


One of our first interesting sights as we headed out today was this lovely Thai home. The lower level was stucco, and the upper was teak and in the Thai traditional style. It was a small house, only one room deep.


This one’s for Charlie! We biked through a road improvement project and this Caterpillar grader was hard at work.


Down the way Sumitomo was the machine of choice. For the most part, our roads today were smooth and in great condition.


Up and over a bridge, with this view of fishing boats below.


Here is a sheller (what do you call someone who harvests mussels?) with his catch for the day.


Cultural stop number one was to see coconut-harvesting macaques hard at work with their handlers. Here you see the man by the tree and the monkey on the fence.


The animals had collars and ropes attached, and were trained to go up into the trees to harvest the coconuts. They are taught to only select the brown ones which are ripe. This technique  is not used much anymore. The monkeys are worth about 25,000 Baht or almost $1000 US., and very few farmers own them.


This jungle rat didn’t make it across the road. We have seen mostly snakes and frogs as roadkill,


Cultural stop number two was ant egg harvesting.


This woman was using the technique of getting into the nest and pulling the eggs and ants out …. which makes the ants furious! Another method is to put the nest in water with tapioca powder. Apparently the ants can’t stand it and abandon their eggs. Here Bird  examines the eggs which are considered a tasty treat! In the meantime, unhappy and confused ants were walking up the legs of the bicyclists!


Mr. Bird takes a closer look at a yummy mass of eggs….


But he didn’t eat them after all!


Thailand needs more urban foresters! These trees were planted right under the overhead powerline. We need forester Dick Rideout to come out of retirement to provide advice and straighten things out!


Barb is our official friendship ambassador in Thailand. People call out to her and greet her as she goes by. Here she even inspires a polite bow with her greeting of “sawat dee kaa”! How does she do it?!


We thought we were getting away from fires but today saw this one which had just been set in a coconut grove.


Here is a coconut processing plant; he is cracking the coconut by putting it on a sharp spike.


Riverfront property!


Across the river, more houses…suburbia?


We have not seen many railroads in Thailand; this is only the second or third one we have crossed. Their sign uses a “choo-choo” type train!


We had to go on a busy highway for 4 kilometers today, but we all felt safe because the giant Buddha of Highway Safety was protruding above the trees!


At our morning coffee stop, we were served this yummy snack made of panang leaf and rice flour.


All of our men were instructed not to peep in the restroom area. The Thai people have funny senses of humor!


After 4 K, we exited the busy highway.


We had some elevation today. After a big climb it’s nice to have a downhill, still in the cool of the day!


Kerry Express seems to be the FedEx of Thailand: people in these trucks or on motorcycles deliver at all hours of the day. Woody uses a Chinese company like Amazon that gets items delivered to him in two or three days.


Rubber tree tapping underway. Perhaps the price of rubber is going up now?!


Today we met up with two cyclists from the U.K., Richard and Owen. Bird, MJ and Mr. Chin join our new friends. Richard and Owen had started in Bangkok and like us were headed south along the coast. We had a brief chat about Brexit and Trump, controversial topics in each country!


Then these cross-country cyclists passed by! These are the only “through riders” we have seen in Thailand, and saw all five within an hour on the same day! Did not get a chance to talk with these three.


Did we miss a turn somewhere?!


It’s nice that Thailand has a scenic drive system, just like in the United States. It has been SO scenic along the Gulf of Thailand coast!


And around the curve, this was our view. Beautiful!


These attractive waterfront homes were our view at lunch!


We ate at a table that was shaped like a boat, with the bow in the front and a roof over the top. We had our usual seven unique dishes, including an amazing crab salad.


And we left a mess behind!


We had a short 6 K ride to the hotel, the Tusita Wellness Resort. Mr. Pree tried to join the staff who were handing out refreshing minty towelettes and  cold drinks…but the hotel staff don’t look so sure about that!


A beautiful pool lies at the center of our cabanas, connected by elevated walkways everywhere.


Home sweet home! Unlike most of our other hotels, this one does not have the integrated room-key-with-electrical-service. As a result, our room was comfy and cool when we strolled in.


A banana snack garnished with plumeria flowers awaits us! The bananas here are smaller and sweeter than the ones we get in the US, which are from Central and South America.

It’s GREAT having the other half of be on the road now too due to her recent retirement. Cuts the journaling time in half . . . quite often we have both computers humming away. BUT of course not until after a swim in the lovely jotel pools, a hot shower and a spot of vino!

Another great meal on the beach tonight, with several new courses being served. The restaurant owner, in the yellow apron, invited us into her kithen to see how it was all prepared. Very clean kitchen!!!

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