The Noom van is a great home base during the day, and the trip is organized into sections beforehand so we got a printout each morning of the day’s route with the turns and landmarks so it was ok to split up and ride at our own pace. Dealing with Thai traffic by ourselves wasn’t so bad once we comprehended that it is set up more like a ski slope than a California freeway: your concern is what is in front of you, and the people behind you can suck a nut if you don’t see them when you are trying to merge, because where you are is their responsibility. The best vehicle sighting of the day was a homemade siamese (!) twin of a two-engine (not two-wheel, not two-cylinder) motorcycle where the two bike bodies flank a cart and the one throttle controlled them both. I think that the scent memory of the combination of unburned diesel, Ant Phwe (off-brand tiger balm), and sunscreen will forever evoke Thailand for me, and as a prologue for the next few days, today was the first day I ended up a little sunburnt due to negligence.
Khao Lak is a coastal town big enough that we started seeing farang on rented scooters a few miles out, but we cyclists are still a novelty. As a direct result of the 2004 tsunami, earthquake and other disaster evacuation routes are signposted in Thai, English, and German every few hundred feet, and the hotel rooms have little flashlights and first aid kits. Yet another baller cliff hotel with a teal swimming pool, but this time more “on” the cliffs than “amongst” them, if you can visualize the geometry. We got our laundry done and watched NHK World until dinner, celebrating another successful day of 60km with Leo beer and shrimp wrapped in fried noodle.