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Just to make sure John didn’t go hungry, we arranged to start our ride from the Kao Soy shop opposite the Police Station in Hang Dong. Delicious!

Off down to Sanpatong on the 108 and we took the right to join the 1013 to Mae Wang.

I wanted to share the roads around Mae Wang with John, so we took a little detour up to the reservoir & back.

Up at Mae Win, today was like a ghost town. No rafters, no trucks full of helpless farangs being thrown into a perceived enjoyable activity, nope, they were all at the next tourist attraction, the Elephant rides!

Further along the 1013 which in fact is labeled as 5118 after Mae Win, we took the left to Mae Sapok Waterfall and this was a very pleasant surprise.

Back to the 5118 and onwards to the left turn to Ban Khun Wang

I like this road very much. The last time I was here was in the smokey atmosphere with many tree stumps still burning. Today, it was lush and very green. An altogether nicer view.

But the the closer we got to Inthanon, the lower the clouds & the wetter it became.

At the end of the valley, where last time there was a 3 km stretch of soil & dust, today the newly laid tarmac, road signs & crash barriers, made the trip through to the Royal Project at the summit of this stretch much faster.

Outside the Royal Project, the sky opened and the rain poured heavily whilst we rode through the mountain, straight through the check point unhindered and joined the 1284 and down to the junction of 1009 near the camping ground where we rested for lunch and hoped the rain would desist.

It didn’t abate so we pressed on regardless.

At the entrance to the Chedi park, I could hardly see 3 metres infront, the rain was so hard, the cloud so thick, we were in the middle of it.

I think I lost the trust of a friend. I said to John “There are 2 massive great Chedi, there and there” pointing into the cloud. John looked at me as if I was mad and with shivering lips which were slightly blue from the cold, he said he didn’t believe me.

Anyway, we had come this far, we were hardly going to turn back now.

At the summit, I did the obligatory photo shot on my own and due to the rain, only did the bike as to leave the camera unprotected on the impromtu dustbin tripod would be crazy.

John was now really suffering from the cold & wet, with his clothes saturated & the pak-a-mak clinging cold to his skin, he needed shelter & warmth.

After a hot coffee and the prospect of things improving down the mountain, we set off in the blizzard! Madness but we did.

On the way down we stopped off at Wachirathan Waterfall which was in full flow.

Down on the 108 the road from Chiang Mai was closed. The fruit growers were selling their Lamyai at the fruit buyers warehouse. The BiB were helpless, the volume of trucks delivering and lorries taking away, swamped the road waiting to enter & do business. But that was all held up because of a stage show & tambooning ceremony still going on in the warehouse car park!

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