Day 3: Lampang to Uttaradit 145km

This day was dubbed the hardest day of the tour. We had to complete 145km and 4 big climbs. Most of the cyclists were feeling anxious about the long day ahead, but I was ready for it.

We left Lampang at approximately 7:45am. Shortly after leaving the town of Lampang stopped off at a ceramics factory to look at some of their wares. The area is specifically known for its ceramics. We went into the factory, we got to look at how they make products and see everything from the raw ceramic product to the finished fired painted product. Next we went to their show room to purchase some little ceramic figures. I bought some gifts for myself, friends, family and my wife, the total was 400 baht about R100 for 8 pieces.

The route we were on was breathtaking, we were riding through farming areas with all sorts of different crops. I stopped regularly to snap random shots of whatever caught my attention. Despite having ridden hard on day 2 I was feeling super strong, looking forward to the hills.

Hill number one was called Ban Mai, before we got stuck in we had a food and drink break. Mr Tee and I went head to head and pushed it up the climb. Nobody rode with us, the nearest rider was Svenning. We stuck together up the climb and finished together, I knew we had another 3 climbs after this one. The downhill was mad fun, not sure what happened to Mr Tee, think he waited for the group to make sure everyone ok. I was pushing up to about 70+ km per hour I think, hard to say without a monitor. I recorded most of the downhill with my GoPro HD camera.

Once I got to the bottom I eased off as I didn’t want to get too far ahead. I started snapping pics of all the different crops, every half km was another amazing photo opportunity. I eventually saw a cyclist in the distance and it was Svenning. We joined forces and worked our way up the the second climb.

I taught Svenning a trick I had learnt ages back. I never ride a hill in a big gear because I am not strong, instead I drop to a low gear where I spin. Every so often I drop a few gears and get out of the saddle standing for about 50-100m to break the spinning. This method worked wonders for me and he started getting the hang of it.

We were alone peddling away, so we continued having a phat rap about all sorts. It’s sounded like this guy Svenning was pretty damn hard core, he was mainly a paddler and loved his kayaking. Fascinating listening to passionate people.

After 2nd climb we had another food and drink break before the 3rd climb started. The 3rd climb was set to be a mutha-fucka. I decided to go it alone and push as hard as possible. The temperature was really heating up, my head was boiling, but I gunned it hard up that climb. Feeling like a champion! The downhill was good fun too, again I recorded it on my GoPro.

On the other side of the 3rd climb we reached an area that was well known for furniture making. I was way ahead of the rest so made some stops at some local furniture places, amazing products, but way too big to ship home.

Our lunch stop was next to one of the largest reclining Buddhas in Thailand. Lunch comprised of a spicy noodle salad and noodle soup. After eating we all headed across the road to see the buddha. I have honestly never seen such a big Buddha. Easily could have been longer than 100m maybe even 200m, hard to get perspective of something that big. Beautiful temple, snapped pics and headed back on the road.

Next we had a ride through the country side heading towards our last climb of the day. We pushed hard, but is time it was Mr Tee, Svenning and myself working together. The climb was not massive, but it was still enough uphill to make it a challenge. I paced most of the way, but made sure we didn’t loose Svenning. He hang on like a trooper, 62 year old rock star if you ask me. We stopped for snacks and drinks at top of hill 4. The downhill was awesomeness, recorded it and made sure I was careful because there was a lot of road works, sand and fairly dangerous obstacles.

Waited for Mr Tee and Svenning once things flattened out a bit. We had about 40-45km to go, I sat on the front and pushed speeds of between 40-50km per hour as we had a slight downhill. I broke Mr Tee, he told me to ease off. We finished 25km in no time flat and waited for the rest at a petrol station.

The last stretch we eased off and rode as a group. We arrived at our next hotel in a Uttaradit around 6:30pm in partial dark. Long day in the saddle, the group was broken, amazingly Svenning and I still felt great, but tired as we had ridden hard.

Dinner was at 7:30pm at the hotel.

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After the hotel I went out to see the town. Nothing to see though, no tourists in site. I figured let’s get a massage, but couldn’t find a massage place. Eventually after walking for ages I found a place that had massage on the sign. Strange place, crap massage, little disappointed and headed home to go to sleep before midnight.

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Heading to our next destination Koh Phangan

We woke up around 8am knowing that it was our last morning of Koh Maak. We went to breakfast at a place that had some devine ear rings Barbs wanted, she bought 2 pairs for 240 baht.

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Next stop we headed to Nan Massage for a back, neck and head massage.

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Feeling relaxed, we headed back to our cottage to pack the last of our stuff. I had one more open water swim. Just before getting a lift to the ferry I snapped one more shot of our little bit of paradise and a shot of Mr Pom and his wife who cooked such amazing food.

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We set off from the pier on a speed boat for main land.

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Next we caught a taxi to the Trat airport to catch our Bangkok Air flight to Koh Samui.

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We landed spot on time at Samui airport, then we caught a taxi to the Big Buddha pier where we would get on a boat to Haad Rin on Koh Phangan.

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On the ferry over to Phangan we met some crazy Aussies.

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We got to our room at Pink Bungalows after a long days mission for some well deserved rest
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