Thailand Power of Ten Update -27 Oct
We were under the impression that finding a campsite was going to be no issue, but it’s a serious mission at the moment. Our lack of communication is the biggest issue. It seems whatever we try and explain comes out the wrong way and we are shown the road. I finally got a guy who we had met to do a video clip for us that we could play to people along the road explaining that we are looking for a place to camp. Still no luck. So once again we ended up having to spend much needed financial resources on a room. 3 of us crowded in 1 small room, but a place to sleep is worth anything they want when you are tired and hungry.
We had wasted most of the day because of this; Andy and I had to assist Pete as he is still not well, so it was after 3 in the afternoon when we finally hit the road. We found a spot on the outskirts of the city, then drove back 20 km where we were dropped of and began the run out, Pete then drove to the digs and waited for us.
We thought that the Monsoon rains were over, but no sooner had we begun running and the wind picked up. The sky blackened and the drizzle started, the sky got darker and there was a little thunder in the distance. We decided to find shelter at little workshop and sit it out. The rain intensified from a drizzle to a torrential downpour. Then out of nowhere there was a flash and massive crack of lightning right above us. The thunder just exploded in a deafening bang. The guy from the workshop got such a fright and leaped into the air. At first it looked as if he was hit the way he jumped. Then down came the rain, harder and harder. The sheets of water were cascading down the roof. Massive raindrops smashed into the roof and exploded in a deafening drone on the tin room. The road filled with water, the drains overflowed and the river began to build washing down the road and slowing the traffic to a near standstill. 30 minutes later the rain stopped, but the instant flood had taken everyone by surprise. We headed out back onto the road. Ankle deep in water on the sidewalk, but in the road it was up to door height with the cars – it was an absolute mess. We were running between sets of waves that the cars were pushing out as they tried to negotiate the rush hour traffic.
Due to the rain, late start and difficult running conditions, we were now facing a run into night fall. We have been warned by so many locals about the bad driving of the trucks on the road. We were beginning to witness this, but worst of all night was on its way. Darkness falling, water everywhere, broken paving stones waiting to catch you out and then on come the trucks. A solid wall of them just keeps coming. Slowed a little by the weather and nightfall, but aggressively on they come. Flanked on both sides by crazy scooter bike drivers. This armada of steel and light heads down on you, spewing sheets of water outwards as the crash through the water. There is nowhere to go, swamp on your right and madness on your left… You hold your line. The next thing a cascade of muddy, oily water engulfs you as the truck steams past and the next steams down on you surrounded by the buzzing motorbikes like hornets swerving in out and around them. The worst are the sidecar shop bikes. You see the headlight, thinking it’s a bike and you have space, the next thing here is an appendage right in front of you, no light to warn you in a millisecond you have to dive out of its way. Only to find there is a bicycle with no light following this.