Day 21 : 11th October 2019
One set of bikers started their journey to Bangkok and get the spare parts from Royal Enfield Showroom. One of the bikes is having battery issue and that can be done only in Bangkok and need to reach there before Saturday (Sunday closed) and get the work done. The car group decided to visit Chiang Mai historic places and I decided to join them. Got up at 5 am to do the morning activities but the body literally cried for some more rest. Dropped them a message about me not joining the sightseeing and slept again.
Got up at 8 am and started completing the activities leisurely. Good to receive messages from F&F asking about my well being (my day 20 post got delayed by 4 hours) and appreciate the concern and care. Nothing to do for 4 hours and went to the breakfast place and had the best and heaviest breakfast during this journey. Change in plans and looks like it’s going to be a riding day today and not visiting many places.
I am fine considering the day end destination is so exciting and looking forward to it. Waited for the care team to come back from their sightseeing and we started our ride at 12:30 pm. Given the heavy breakfast, don’t expect to stop for lunch and Google maps told us close to 5 hours to complete the 300+ km ride from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai. Khun Tom took us to a silver temple in Chiang Mai city. This city needs around 3- 4 days of stay and it has so many old and historical places and beautiful temples.
Along the way, we saw many old fort walls and colorful temples and I am happy to visit one at least. The temple is called “Wat Sri Suphan” and the entire temple is covered with beautiful silver decoration and carved walls. The 16th-century temple built to serve the silversmith industry/village and women is not allowed inside the temple. The same stupid “women carry evil things” logic was told to me but I am sure the incorrect interpretation of some rational decision over the centuries has changed into the current belief (evil things).
Another reason could be “Monks might be disturbed from their spiritual life” and I don’t agree with this as well. Such trained and enriched souls won’t bother or differentiate the sexual differences. Spent some time enjoying the peaceful and colorful atmosphere (there is another colorful Temple next to it) and appreciate the Thai people for building such attractive and pretty worshipping places. Started our actual ride. There are 2 routes to Sukhothai and I took (by mistake) the easiest one and Naren took the toughest one (Ghat section).
Mine is longer than his route but it was straight and smooth. Didn’t change gears, didn’t touch break and crossed 100 km on my odometer for the first time in my life (ignored the mileage issue because of the throttle thrust) and took very few stops in between.I also did a 100 Km non-stop ride for the first time and did both the 100 km stuff (speed and distance) more than once today. Also, today is the 1st dust-free riding day during this journey.
Every day when I complete the ride, the one thing which I wanted to do is to get a “shower” and clean the dust and sweat from my body. At the end of today’s ride, I still felt so fresh and wish the roads to remain like this for the rest of the journey. Khun Tom tracked me and joined me on his Suzuki 650 cc bike (more like a cruise scooter). He is such a trained biker (finds solutions for every problem and with limited available resources) and he restrained himself from reaching the maximum speed and followed mine like a snail ride.
He guided me on any turns and took a video of my ride with his mobile on the go. Watch the video (one video where he is standing while riding and another of me) and you will realize his control over the vehicle and elegant handling. Enjoyed his company and felt confident even while crossing the 100 Km per hour mark. Don’t do solo rides and take such an experienced person with you and it would be a great journey. Also met some monks at a coffee shop and some of them are really young. Wondering what makes them take such a decision (following the spiritual path and practice sainthood) at such an early age (kids around 8 years) and hope it is not by compulsion.
Need to talk with someone who might be able to explain to me the logic or rationale or the reason behind such life-changing decisions taken by the young kids. Don’t remember or haven’t seen so many young kids getting into sainthood in any other beliefs (or religion as called now). On reaching Sukhothai, I felt that I have entered some great place and had the same feeling when I entered “Hampi or Nalanda or any old temple areas”. The aura is definitely different because of the historical or spiritual importance and blessed to see a very noble event. Khun Tom spotted a turtle trying to cross the highway.
Very small but a beautiful creature and he immediately stopped his vehicle to lift the turtle and walked into the field (nest water) for close to 30 meters and kept it safe. Thanked him for such a reaction and what a blessed soul. Got to know the Bangkok group has reached the destination safely (700 km in less than 14 hours of bike riding) and we went for our dinner. Sukhothai is a very beautiful place except for the ever biting mosquitos. They didn’t even allow me to have my dinner properly and I had to run to the nearest 7Eleven to get the repellent spray.
When you visit Sukhothai, Carry mosquito repellent patches or spray and don’t allow them to bite you even once. Not painful but an irritating experience and I am ready to fight them now with my newly bought armor. No riding on day 22 and it’s going to be limited to visiting “Sukhothai Historical Park”. Hope it to be a peaceful and rich experience day.