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After another very hectic week and feeling the stresses & strains of work, I needed a break & my friend John was feeling the same.

We needed a ride-fix and I suggested we do a loop through Chae Son, maybe even reach Chae Hom Dam.

It was a fresh start with the sun low in the sky, in the shade it was really very chilly.

From Sankamphaeng we took the 1317 up to Ban Huai Kaeo and then took the 2nd right turn, ignoring the signs to ‘Flight of the Gibbon’ and rode the 4076 with all the signage to The Jungle Flight.

At Thep Sadet we stopped to witness a new invention. To strip the husk from the beans, this shop were using a concrete tub that you & I might have water plants in at home. With a motor & a sandbag, it looked very promising.

The coffee was good & the tea too, so we bought some to take home.

Pressing on to the 1252, it was great to be in the mountains, the overgrown kerbs, narrowing the widths were at least keeping us on the middle & the less damaged tarmac in places.

At the guard hut @ the 1252 junction John reminisced about his journey along this road at night, wearing shorts & without a clue where he was going. 4 hours in the dark on this road would not be fun. He was keen to see it in daylight.

We took a right towards Chae Son and wove our way down to the 4329. At this point it was after 13:00 and to reach the Dam at Chae Hom would definitely mean riding home in the dark. So we did a right & arrived at the entrance of the park. With a few kind words, we entered free, as we had no intentions to see the waterfall but to ride to Haui Kaeo.

Lunch at the large restaurant just inside the park was a treat, the bird life here is a delight and we saw at least 8 different types of birds right next to the wooden terrace.

Onwards towards Haui Kaeo, we journeyed through the national park, stopping to gaze across the valleys to distant mountain view, through beautiful fords with clean fresh water crossing the road and eventually found ourselves at Maekampong, the waterfall & a delightful new coffee shop with a spectacular balcony & view down the valley. This was a wonderful end to the ride, a place to reflect on the days ride and what we were amongst. We were very far from the busy stresses & strains of our daily lives.

From here is was all down hill. Back into Haui Kaeo, down to Sankamphaeng and into the dipping yellow sun on a winters evening.

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