Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Day 31 – Kanchanaburi to Kamphaeng Phet - Tues 26 Mar

Day 31 – Kanchanaburi to Kamphaeng Phet - Tues 26 Mar
A monk walking past Ozzie gave US breakfast, warm milk porridge with black beans in plastic bag with straw and sweet roll. He will definitely go to nirvana earlier than us...

Another smoky day. Left Kanchanaburi about 8.30 after comparing routes for next couple of weeks with MnM - they will skip Cambodia for a later trip and spent more time in Northern Thailand. Drove north towards Nakhon Sawan, truckload of pastel head-covered ninjas looked like coloured beach balls. 

Emerald green rice paddies, scarecrows with flags or streamers - but feasting water birds anyway! Shaggy sheep herded along ridges. 5 darkened buses travelling with police escort…hmm, no clues as to VIPs. 

Hand cutting non-burnt sugar cane with machetes! Workers along roads all totally covered in baggy shirts and pants, face masks/head or full face scarves over mouths, even balaclavas... don't know how locals can bear it in the heat and humidity (pickers standing in rice paddies must be coolest job in town). Stopped to locate knocking noise (empty coat hangers in shower) and girl on scooter stopped to see if we were OK, pointed out her farm nearby, and nearby garage... today is certainly a day for people to be generous to us. Irrigation channels reminds us of Leeton. Beautiful golden rainshower (cassius) yellow flowering trees along roadside. Great earthenware jars for water collection. 

After following slow overloaded cane trucks for miles, came to huge sugar company, mill, enormous mounds of bagasse, and rows of brightly decorated trucks. Almost next door was a similarly large starch company based no doubt around cassava/ tapioca.Next passed bagasse power station...new and shiny; loading rice into trucks on side of road. Chinese tractors, long and low. 

Lunch stop in Thrap turned out to be a children's restaurant and indoor pool with tiny chairs and small meals to match - sometimes not reading the language can lead to fun! Came out into mini festival in street - Songkran coming up - Thai New Year/ water festival. Man came out of crowd with drink in cup with ice - turned out to be scotch! Day of offerings to BoyRob!!!

Ah, the over sweet smell of a sugar mill as we come into the Old Town of Kamphaeng Phet. 14th century ruins and miles of laterite walls of old fortress, still surrounded by moat, with community inside. Part is an open park, so we will camp among ruins for night. Can still see ruins of buildings and Buddas in main historical park. Found markets for dinner; gestured to "chef" if chicken dish too hot? he gestured back "tiny bit" and separated chicken from peppers and only put a little sauce on... then kept coming over to the communal tables where we ate to see if OK? (Beamed at our thumbs up!) Followed with yummy banana crepes smothered in condensed milk! Fortunately our more energetic lifestyle is starting to gain on the good (if spicy!) eating... actually hitching up our shorts lately. 

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