The motivation to leave Bangkok was undeniable, but the desire to pedal south was lacking. Leaving the city, much like entering the city, seems to take an eternity. Each loud, hot kilometer zaps what little energy you have left.
Long days on easy undulating hills. When the opportunity presents itself, escape to the side roads, to the country. Find your breath again. Off the beaten track, you are lost and found. Wats all around.
Rains start. Torrential as ever. Pull off to the side to try and beat the worst. Thirty minutes are spent under the overhang of a gun range. It isn’t going to let up. The agreement is implicit. If you can go over it and you can’t go under it, you must go through it. Onward. The next day is much the same. Ponchos and coats are left in bags, untouched. Let the water permeate your every pore, let it soak into your marrow. Feel it squish in your shoes, between your toes. Ring out your socks at lunch.
Signs posted along the way read scenic route- you have no idea. Stumble on bicycle lanes, how quaint. There are cyclists in abundance, more this 500 than in the last 3000km. Each makes you smile. We’re gonna’ start a revolution, yeah.
Dogs give chase, snarling and barking, you can do nothing but pedal. Fast and furious. Pump. your. legs. On the road, or up and out of driveways they surprise you. Hell hounds. Angry motherfuckers. Swear until you are blue in the face. Eye the four legged beasts from a mile away, try to anticipate, to know. Approach wearily and with caution.
Meet a dutch couple heading for Chumpon. Cycle in community. All wheels on deck. Together, the sound is that of a beehive.
Stop at a cafe in town. A map of Thailand is posted on the wall. The decision to take the night ferry makes itself in the moment. Koh Tao seems like the is(land) of possibility.
Blanket and pillow in tow, climb to the roof of the ferry. The stars are bright. Ils étincellent sur l’eau, qui demeure lisse et vitreux. The moon, full and bright, produces a halo, giving the horizon a gentle, sloping arch. The world looks round. Smile, watch the sunrise. This is going to be the beginning of a beautiful adventure.