Map Amarit, Cumphon, Kra Buri, Ranong – Evrim and Elif Yiğit Tour Journals – October 2, 2011
Greetings from Ranong,
Because we couldn’t find an internet
connection around for a while and because of our tiredness, we couldn’t take
care of the blog. After our last location Pracuap Khiri Khun, we felt more
courageous and decided to proceed from the back roads. For these back roads, we
learnt that communicating with people works a lot better than the maps in a
short time. Because of the fact that here bikes are the main transportation
vehicle, people are experienced about the roads suitable for bikes.
After Pracuap Khiri Khun, we passed
through a place that had soldiers at its entrance who noted down the names of
strangers passing by. After proceeding for a while and taking a break at a
diner that had live music going on, another soldier came onto our way. Because
we’d encountered a military intervention before, this wasn’t bizarre for us at all. With
the other vehicles waiting beside us, we had an odd surprise. I guess most of the
people know that the flow of the traffic can be paused at the intersection of a
railway and a road, and most must have waited for the train to pass by. Or one could wait for
the red light to turn green for other ground vehicles to pass. The surprise for
us was that the waiting was for an airplane. I suppose it’s a rare occasion in
the whole world to encounter an intersection of a road with a landing field. Furthermore,
if we hadn’t seen the plane taking off a moment ago, we wouldn’t have a clue
that it was a landing field.
We proceeded our way from a narrow but
smooth road with lots of palm trees and followed by an ocean with a wide beach.
At the end of that day, our lodging destination was a beach near the ocean with
row upon row of bungalows. It’s hard for me to recall the name of the place but
there are plenty of places to stay on the road so one who’d pass through here
after us won’t worry about lodging at all.
Next day we proceeded our tour following
the shore but in no time the road began to get rugged again. The roads with
plenty of rubber plants led us to a town called Bang Sapan. We encountered a
scary ritual which we learnt to be a Chinese tradition. The people who doesn’t
eat any meat for a while, performs this ritual every day for two hours. (You
can find more visual media on Ahmet Mumcu’s blog’s Malaysia part) People had
gone into a trance mood -looked like a zombie ritual to me- and walked the
streets dripping blood -of course real blood- from all over them with saws,
skewers or swords. We felt like we were in the middle of a war, taking photos.
Even if we saw this ritual again for three times, none of them were this scary.
The ritual ended in a temple with people fainting (they poured water to resuscitate
them) and after the ritual, people left behind their scary appearance and kept
on their normal lives smiling, and didn’t mind the dripping blood on them. I
guess the point that they spotted us for the first time was the end of the
ritual. Walking on burning coal or stabbing 3-4 skewers through their cheek and
tongues was a part of this ritual.
After the ritual in Bang Sapan, we
grabbed something to eat and kept on going on our way and we spent the nigh in
a small but cosy village named Map Amarit. This town, without a coast to the
sea but which had a pretty beautiful nature had only one hotel where Thai
people stay in. Nevertheless, it’s possible to encounter a couple of carbon
road bikes in this small settlement.
Cumphon is a town that hosts tourist who
stay there for a night to transport to the islands, which could be pretty
crowded on some particular periods. The lodging options were pretty wide here
and it was almost empty when we arrived there. Nevertheless, because the
weather is not a priority for us bikers, we meet 6 cyclists in Cumphon. With
the first couple we’d met, we share maps and information on Malaysia. In the
evening, we had a chat for a little while with the second couple. Because we’d
been going to the same direction -they’d been proceeding to Malaysia as well- we
said goodbye to each other to meet at the breakfast. Because the road they were
going to follow seemed a little more unpleasant to us and because we wanted to
ride to the mountains as soon as possible we decided to follow the road number
four and climb to Kra Buri. They were planning to follow the road from east
side and go to the west shore. If our paces would be the same, we could
encounter them on the road again in
couple of days.
Kra Buri in fact is not preferred that
much by tourists -there weren’t any foreigners except us- but because it’s
location on the road is at an ideal distance for a bike, it’s nearly become a
popular settlement place for the bikers. While we were writing to the guest
book of the place we stayed in, we realized that nearly all of the former guests
were bikers and after the rugged roads, they had preferred to stay there.
I’m writing these lines in Ranong, the
town that’s considered the capital of this region after Kra Buri. The road
between Kra Buri – Ranong is a quite pleasant road for me which can be
considered green almost as North Thailand or Laos. There are a couple of
waterfalls on the road for the ones who can spare some time. Even if you’re
intending to perform a fast tour and reach the town as soon as possible, one of
the most delighted waterfalls will greet you. This surgy – and rainy as well –
roads which may be considered as a minor climbing training for us will flatten
out towards the end in a couple of days. This is the most rainy area of the
south and I guess it owes its greens to these rainfalls.
We have two weeks to go to Malaysia. I
guess this is adequate but during these two weeks we’ll have to ride for
1000km. Accordingly, on our last days in Thailand, we may have a break from
pedalling and rest in Krabi, then, we may prefer to use the train during the
boring part of the road. We’re going to make a decision about this ahead of our
Greetings and best wishes from Ranong