|Bangkok is a nightmare to travel in unless you know it like the back of your hand - there are so many roads that are obvious to take but on which you cannot take motorbikes. Hence, despite having directions from Sean and Adrian on how to get to the Bamboo Guest House we still got lost. We met them at Mr Yut's (the mechanic that all overlanders seem to use in Bangkok).
Jenny needed a new battery (having for some reason fried hers several times) and her head-race bearings to be replaced. For once there was nothing to do on Cliff's bike ! It took a couple of days but all was done. A bad connection on the voltage regulator was causing an intermittent problem. Whilst waiting on the work and chatting a fella arrived on an Kawasaki KLR650 - not a local judging by the amount of luggage racks on the bike ! Meet Richard, an Australian living and working in Vancouver on his way back home via Europe, Russia, South-East Asia to Aussie Land. Unfortunately these non-BMW riders are way too fast for photos so we don't have one of the bike. In true Australian style though he came by later for a beer or three.
We were also joined by Jason "the nutter". He is riding around the world on a BMW R1150GS (eat your heart out Cliff!). He is the only person we have found so far that actually goes over steep bridges twice or three times so that he can get the photo of the bike off the ground ! The rest of us are glad to only do it once. Anyway the crowd assembled below for dinner and beer.
|Cliff, Sean, Richard, Kate and Jason. Note Jason's bottle bottom glasses - no wonder the poor fella never saw the bridges and managed to get the bike airborne ;-)|
|Apart from meeting Richard and Jason we also met Peter and Carol travelling on and old R80RT (two-up). Now they were travelling with a coffin of a topbox (sorry no piccie again). We had already contacted them by e-mail about meeting in Koh Chang for Xmas but ran into them here. We also came across an Italian, Ennio. He left Italy 7 years ago to ride around the world but had got stuck in South-East Asia after 5 years and he is still hanging around. Last we heard he was thinking about heading back to Italy later this year..................maybe.|
|Ennio, Adrian, Kate, Sean, Jenny, Jason and Cliff at the Bamboo Guest House the day that Adrian had to go back to the UK to sort out his business - but he'll be back......|
The two days were spent trying to do the tourist bit and get off talking about bikes (dangers of too many overlanders together). We took the ferry boat along the river to Wat Arun which is THE Wat to see in Bangkok apparently. It is impressive but the most interesting part is the collection of broken china that is plastered to the exterior walls to give the effect of a mosiac.
|Wat Arun as seen from the opposite bank of the river.|
|Thousands of broken bits of your mum's best Sunday China make the patterns on the walls. Now you know what to do with the dinner plates accidentally broken after a few too many glasses of wine with dinner !!|
|Just across the river is the Reclining Buddha temple - a laid back Buddha - rather novel we thought, also rather big. We can't agree on the actually size of it but Jenny says 16 metres to the top it his head and 60 metres long - all we can agree on is that is was HUGE.|
|There was no way to get the whole thing into one picture - note person at the head end by the door for size reference.|
|We left Bangkok for Koh Chang on the 21st of December - four f*&cking hours to get out of the place. We got lost, tried to dodge past toll booths to get onto the Expressway (no motorbikes) and finally gave up and hired a taxi to show us the way out - nightmare. Worse still he showed us the way out but that turned out the be a no bikes road also - after some hassling the police officer let us onto the road provided that we got off at the next junction - like hell - we kept going until the one we wanted !!! We finally made it to the ferry terminal at about 6.30 PM, the last ferry went at 7 PM and they just squeezed us in on the loading ramp. Once off the other side we rode the last fifteen miles to the Siam Bay Resort where Pete and Carol had set up camp.|