Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Day 40 - Wang Chin riverbank road to Sukhothai - Thurs 4 Apr

Day 40 - Wang Chin riverbank road to Sukhothai - Thurs 4 Apr
Countryside dry – surprising how very little rice there is under cultivation. Citrus trees stressed, tiny fruit. Drove through village where make furniture and ornamental pieces out of tree buttresses and trunk bases (some beautiful pieces we'd love to have at home).

Followed signs to "Amazing Columbar Wall", not quite columbar, not quite wall, not quite amazing... but climbing approximately 400 steps to top of hill, past burnt out vegetation, we found basalt columns forming an attractive sink-like well. Many broken columns had been rearranged - stacked into religious cairns, turned sideways for steps.

Back on road, discussing need to go to Bangkok (not on original itinerary) for Ozzie’s 20,000km service, and also to show our vehicle to friends of Lance/EarthCruiser. On the internet, we’d found a FUSO dealer in Bangkok (RMA) who said they serviced Thailand, Laos and Cambodia but phone call goes to automated system which times us out, and we’d had no response to two emails. Fortunately Lance’s friend Albert Tan responded to our request to help us and had found the correct FusoTruck dealership for Thailand, and organised the service for this Monday, as well as an Ozzie “viewing” on Sunday. In the midst of these calls and conversations a real working elephant walked out on us on the road! (now THAT’s “Amazing”). We gave him a wide berth which was captured by Cheryl following behind. 

Had lunch at small cafe and used FaceTime to connect with the Maxwells who are staying at our house in Bribie – there’s water on upstairs lounge room floor (gets in during rain), and mould on lounge chairs. “Don’t stress”, they said, “we’ll take care of it”. Good mates.

Took road paralleling highway to Sukhothai Historical Park in walled old city, pattern of ‘3 concentric ramparts, 2 moats bridged by 4 gateways – important celestial geometry’ according to Lonely Planet. Hired audio set in English and drove around ruins which date back to 13th century and are apparently more prolific/ better condition than Angkor Wat (just that they are in a neighbouring country!) Buddhas and shrines have been well restored/maintained and are in excellent condition. Viewed Wat Mahathat, the Hindi temple converted to Buddhism, and memorial to king. 

Chose an outdoor restaurant for dinner (curried masaman chicken on spaghetti from the western meals menu??) but left before the karaoke fired up. 

Parked behind the ruins under gum trees (could smell the eucalyptus in the breeze) where the admissions officer had recommended. 15 mins later the police pulled up to talk – again ended up OK to stay. Another hot night so was not a good night for BoyRob’s fan to pack it in. Just settling down when there was a commotion on nearby road, voluble discussion in front of car headlights, police turned up again. We sat quietly in dark until it all died down and everybody went away. Blustery wind came up and gumnuts rained on roof for half hour - Didn't cool down though. How long before the fan can be repaired/replaced?  

1 comment:

  1. I love the Columnar Basalt :) I always check out the sections of it as we drive up to Whistler. Very cool shot of that Elephant coming out of the bushes as well!