Sweat Hogs

After posting our stats for last week, we were a little embarrassed that we rested more days than we rode and covered less than 200 kilometers. Are we getting soft? To prove our stamina (Sarah says to “deal with my inferiority complex”), we rode another 120 kilometers today to Prachuap Khiri Khan. We thought the heat was going to bother me more than Sarah, but it is actually the other way around. We both look like we have been barbequed, but the heat makes her much more uncomfortable than me and she also sweats a lot more when riding. At the end of the day, her arms, legs, and face are encrusted with salt. Good thing water is cheap because we are going through about ten liters a day.

After we left Chumpon, Highway 4 became a lot more busy. It is now four lanes instead of two and there are a lot more trucks on the road. For some reason, there are also many, many more dogs. Today we were chased on seven different occasions by dogs, sometimes by as many as five at once! Yelling and growling back no longer seems to work. It actually riles them up more and attracts additional dogs. The surprise of Sarah’s bell works on some of the timid dogs, but usually we just have to outrun the pack. Someone send us an air horn quick!

I’ve noticed I take a lot less pictures on the road here in Thailand. There is garbage everywhere here. We met a family from Australia who had been to Cambodia and they told us that Thailand is spotless in comparison. Uh oh! Today we saw a guy walk out of a 7-11 and just toss his garbage on the ground without a thought. We really can’t figure it out.

One neat thing along the road was this giant chicken shrine. It was right in front of a Buddhist temple and looked to be about thirty feet tall. We have never seen any statues of animals like this around temples before.

Coconut groves also line the road around here. We’ve seen workers pushing carts around the groves and collecting the coconuts off the ground. We’ve also traded the sheep trucks of New Zealand for pineapple and coconut trucks here. Here is a huge pile of coconuts waiting to be processed.

We also passed the narrowest spot in Thailand today. Only 10.96 kilometers wide! Not much else to say about that.

Prachuap Khiri Khan is not listed in our guidebook but is actually a very nice town. It is not too large, but has a beautiful beach and a busy night market. Here is the entrance to the city:

The waterfront has a lot of restaurants and hotels that look out over the islands and colorful boats.

We were riding around looking for a place to stay when we were approached by a crazy-looking Thai riding a dilapidated bicycle and tooting a clown horn every two seconds. “Bungalow, bungalow!”, he said and motioned for us to follow him, and we did. After about thirty seconds of riding in his wake, we realized this guy had not read The Rules of the Road. It appeared he believed traffic laws did not apply to him, for he had a magical clown horn. Is that light up ahead red? Well then toot your horn three times and ride right through the intersection. Need to turn right onto a busy street? Just toot twice straight up into the air and cut off a two ton truck. And last but not least, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the road just ride right down the middle right into traffic tooting constantly as cars swerve to avoid you. Thais believe in karma and this guy must have saved the King’s life because he thought he was invincible. Add that to the fact that he had three teeth, the single English word he knew was “today”, and the fact he was obviously a source of amusement for the locals and it made for a pretty interesting search for a place to stay! In the end we lived though and we found a clean room in a hotel with shared bathrooms for 160 baht. (~US$4.70)

Here is a sweaty Sarah happy to be alive and ready for a cool shower.

7 Responses to “Sweat Hogs”

  1. Brian Says:

    Honestly, did you think of me when you saw the sign for Khiri Khan?

  2. James and Sarah Welle Says:

    We did actually.

  3. Sarah Erck Says:

    I thought of you Brian! Now, would you rather come meet up with us in Tibet or India?

  4. Dad Says:

    Have you tried the pepper spray on a dog yet?

  5. Sarah Erck Says:

    Our pepper spray was confiscated in Australia, so we are defenseless except for throwing rocks and growling like a deranged animal!

  6. Dad Says:

    Rocks work, don’t they?
    Does the growling work too?
    A spray bottle of water, one that shoots a “stream” of water may be the most effective for warding off deranged dogs. You could switch from a “stream” to a “spray” or “mist” for cooling yourself off too!

  7. James and Sarah Welle Says:

    Rocks might work if we have good enough aim – we still haven’t tried that one. Growling does not work at all (though we’ve heard from others they’ve had success with it). For us it just seems to get the dogs even more riled up, and even sometimes attracts other dogs into the frenzy!

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