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Kevin had kindly invited us to join him for Breakfast at Miguel’s, so how could we resist. Amazingly only Colin & I turned up at 8 for that, but then Ken & Poo arrived and we were all set to go.

I had the pleasure of leading the way down to Lamphun, taking the road without a number but is essentially the road that follows the railway line from Chiang Mai Station out to Lamphun. This also parallels the 106 but avoids all the traffic through the small villages enroute.

At Lamphun it was straight through the centre and then back onto the 106 for a short distance until the left turn to the 1033.

Here Slash took the lead and we rode down the 1033 and we rode straight over the 116 junction and all the way down until the 1033 does a right angle on the map, a left hand bend to us and has a right turn on it.

We took the right turn and joined the 4010 which after a while branches to 3019 but stayed with the 4010 and navigated around the odd larger vehicle & onto a pleasant little spot for a chat.

It was here that we found that Ken had been stung by a flying insect and his neck was “hurting like hell” – well I think that’s what he said that I can write here.

Poo applied some of Colin’s Thai Balm and this seemed to ease it. Thai Balm, I had seen tubs of balm in shops but had never seen a JAR ! this size. Colin also exports it wholesale apparently.

On the trusty GPS, this water is not shown and indeed the 4010 on the gps is a straight road through the area that is now water.

This road is reasonably surfaced and although passing through some villages here & there, it is a very nice ride. At the end of the 4010 we turned left and onto the 1184.

This is a good road, decent surface, little traffic and clear to ride as fast as it needs.

At the bottom of the 1184 we reached the T junction with the 1274 and turned right towards Li.

At Ban Pu we stopped for a natter about the pro’s & con’s of each of the bikes, the climate, anthropology and this fruit. – Answers on a post card please.

At Li, where the 1274 T’s with the 106, we refuelled the bikes and ourselves and enjoyed some excellent food. The tins on the table are the water drinking receptacles – No mugs or glasses, just recycled beer tins! Perfect.

We journeyed south on the 106 for a couple of K’s and then turned right onto the 1087.

This is a fine piece of tarmac, in fact much of it having only been laid recently. Sadly the closer we got to the mountains, the more the sky darkened and rain & wind slowed our pace until an eventual stop at the park entrance to take shelter from the brewing storm.

Rain = No photos.

At the kiosk, we met the friendly people who were pleased to charge us 20 baht for each bike and 10 baht per person.

As the rain eased, we pressed onto the heart of the Mae Ping National Park. It was here that Colin had the great misfortune of colliding with a puppy. I was behind him as it happened, not a pretty sight and as I passed the poor creature, it was quite obvious it died on impact.

The terrain around this valley is changing already since my last visit 3 weeks ago. More green, no fires and with the moisture, far less baron looking.

Today the floating restaurants were hosting coach loads of Kareokers but that did not detract from the view.

The rain had brought out the butterflies. Along the road we rode through flocks / swarms of yellow ones, here in the car park were tiny blue ones.

We retraced our route back through the park and were stunned at just how many dogs wanted to run out in front of us, of course always at the last moment!

But one dog that didn’t run out into the road was the mother of the dead pup. She was stood at the side of the road staring at her baby.

Out of the park and a little way down the 1087, we took a left onto the 3008.

This road is a super little run back into Li and today Colin pointed out that at one of the junctions on this, there is a road on the map that goes directly to Doi Tao. That we agreed we should leave for another day!

At the junction of the 3008 & the 106, we stop & wait for Colin. After quite some time, he joined us with a perplexed look on his face. – He’s collided with a Bee! Amazingly, he said that it was fortunate he had shaved his head the day before, so this allowed him to easily identify the only thing (the sting) sticking out of his scalp!

So back up the 106 north to Lamphun and straight to Miguel’s for dinner. Well Kevin & I did but Colin seemed to be jinxed today, he ran the Phantom dry and joined us after a bit of an escapade with a refill.

A great route and riding with folks you can share the experience with, made the day a memorable ride.

Return to Mae Ping National Park – Captain Slash

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