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Archive for October, 2012

Nan Loop 3 – Or Figure 8, What Happened There?

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 30, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

I had a bit of a result last night. As you may or not remember my Garmin Montana suffered from a broken screen in China, I have since packed it away with all my other useless baggage like heated gear and camping stuff etc. It was all sent south to Phuket where Frank is looking after it. Well, after speaking to Bertrand from HU on Skype, I contacted a company in Bangkok about repairs, especially warranty repairs, the sad news upshot is that the Montana unit cannot be repaired by Garmin Asia, which is based in Taiwan 😦 That meant dealing with Europe or the USA division. So, as I had already had the unit replaced by the Europe division I called them again and explained the situation, where I am and what has happened. They told me that the screen is NOT covered under warranty, bummer. My answer to that was that the screen is broken in the upper left corner, this is probably caused by the fact I had to do a MASTER reset 2-3 times day for weeks if not months, which involved holding your thumb on that part of the screen while it boots up. As this is the recommended procedure as laid out by Garmin, I felt it was their problem? After chatting with the tech manager, they agreed to repair it under warranty, so all I need to do now is get Frank to pack it up and send it to Southampton in the UK. If all goes well, I may see it by xmas 🙂 . I still believe this model is not cut out for the rigours of Adventure Riding, but it cost me a heap, so I am sort of stuck with it now. Bertrand did advise me to get a vibration damping mount for the future, but I am sure not forking out $200 for a Touratech one, I may fabricate one myself based on another design though 🙂

OK, back to the riding fun. I did not know how long the day would go for, but I started early at the Hot Bread once again. The owner thought I was leaving town because I arrived so early, LOL. Another great breakfast, a welcome start to the day 🙂

My planned ride for the day did not actually go as planned, I missed a turn off and got confused by where the SatNav was taking me, so my loop turned into a figure 8 🙂 Basically I was to go east on the 1168 before turning north on the 1225. I was then supposed to take the minor road to the east on the 1257 at Santi Suk before joining the 1081 and going north once again to Bo Klua. I actually missed the turn off to the 1257 and instead went north and then just followed the 1081 to the east instead, bummer, but it happens. After Bo Klua I head west on the 1256 until it hits the 1081 again where I head south. After doing a short section of the 1081 for the second time I take the next turn west on the 1169 and head back ‘home’ That was the plan Stan!

So I headed off via the small village streets until I could find my first waypoint which was my start point. Due to roadworks I got diverted and I then caused a small obstruction as I parked my bike in the middle of the road so I could take a photo of 2 cocks and a dick, a bit rude but you get that 😉

Just around the corner I nearly bumped into some cow handlers and their charges, I stopped until they went passed, I did not want to spook them, they are bigger than me and the road was very narrow. Mind you, most of the cows I have seen on or near the road have been traffic tolerant and they don’t do crazy things like the ones back home.

It isn’t long before I find my next turn and head north, keeping a wary eye out for the dogs through the villages who have a habit of sleeping in the middle of the road, usually in the shade where they blend in a bit!

It was quite fun taking this smaller minor road, but it was along here I missed the turn off that I had planned, I got confused by the village streets and next thing the SatNav said was to go straight ahead, which I did, but I should have taken the other road. Oh well, never mind and as I did not find out until later, nothing could be done about it. So, I was still on the the minor road 1225 leading to the 1169 and along here I found a Wat and a large beer bottle 🙂 I have no idea what the bottle is about, but it was itself made of bottles ❓

It was only a few minutes later that I arrived at the junction and here I turned east on the 1081 to BolKlua which was only 50km away. This was a brilliant piece of road, well made very smooth and lots of fast sweeping bends with some hairpins thrown in for good measure, I had a smile on my dial along here and if I was two faced I would have a smile on both sides of my head 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I took some footage along here and I have to say, it was one of the best sections of road I have ridden so far.

I was getting low on fuel and decided to ask this copper at a road check point where I could buy some and there just happened to be a small shack at this little place, what luck, so I grabbed 10lt(it was quite expensive out here so I did not fill up) and headed off for more fun. What they do is pump 5lt into the glass jar from a 44gallon drum, then open the tap and it gravity feeds into the tank, simple but effective 🙂 Check out the fun I had along here in the video, I had to do this all day and in the heat it can get quite tiring manhandling a 400kg bike all over the shop, but I would rather be doing this and getting sore arms than working 😉


As you can see it was quite a smooth ride and although I am no knee or peg scraper I still had mega fun. I arrived at the small town of Pak Huak where I turned north, still on the 1081 but I was now down in the valley and I could see the rice paddies changing to yellow as they dries out. Then I arrived in Bo Klua where I turned west on the 1256 and stopped for a nice cool drink and a packet of chips. I must say, blueberry flavoured Fanta tastes great and so do Sweet Basil chips, I wish they sold these versions in Oz ❓

This area was a lot higher than the earlier hills and there were some real nice climbing turns, only spoilt by the road works, but I guess with all the landslides they get here, then it is a necessary evil, but it is no fun on a heavy bike with loose gravel on a hard surface, it is like marbles, very slippery 😦 The views made up for it though.

So after another hour or so I decided to stop for lunch, I had not seen too many roadside stalls lately and as it was hot anyway, I figured get some now where there is some as I might dip out later. It was just the usual, meat, noodles in a soup, but quite tasty and it was nice in the shade. When I left I crossed this small bridge which was being used as a drying rack for what looked like rice grains. Now that I was closer to the rice fields, maybe they were going yellow due to being ripe, rather than drying out, not being a farmer I have no idea 😉

After this I arrived in Pua and headed south, back on the 1081 again and it was when I went past the big brown bottle made of bottles again, I realised I had stuffed up earlier, but I was hot and getting fatigued by now, so I continued until I turned south east on the 1169 and by about 2.30pm I was back having a nice cold shower and aircon again, a nice way to finish a ride 🙂

Here is a profile of the ride today followed by a small video of some different sections, a great day today 🙂



Around 5.30 I decided to have dinner up at Tony’s Place again, I had to return the pizza oven dish from the other day anyway, but I also wanted a few beers. I had checked my routes and visa dates and I could afford to have a day off tomorrow before heading north the day after on the 1148, the Tshirt road. I wanted to be fresh for that, so beer tonight, sleep in and rest up and catch up on the blog tomorrow, sounds like a plan 🙂 As I walked by the hospital I saw a poster with the princess on it, it is quite likely she will be the next monarch of this country, I will say no more as I want to return to this country, but google is your friend as to why the prince may not get a look in.

So I had a few beers and a chat with Tony again, and tried to get bangers and mash, there were no snags but there were hamburger patties made from snag meat, so I had that instead with mashed potatoes underneath and peas, lovely stuff 🙂

Then Dr Loong turned up again, he had had a few, in fact he had been on the turps since 4am this morning, that is a fair effort indeed!!! Tony found one his books on the shelf and he posed for that 🙂

We chatted for a while before heading over to a hotel which he has shares in and where some nice chicas were singing 🙂

After that Tony and I went to Kad Nan, which is an area dedicated to bars, but it is horrible. Imagine half a football field, surrounded by shop fronts facing in and each playing loud music, all different, some live bands, some just tapes, but it was noisy and very annoying, a very disturbing place with all the different vibes competing with each other. Needless to say I did not stay long, Tony had offered me a lift home earlier when he left, but I had declined the offer to stay here, but I soon left and walked home, it was only 30 minutes away, even if I was half cut 😉

Cheers from Nan

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

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