Cycling 98 km from Thaton to Chiang Dao. Chilly morning, pretty warm afternoon.
Who would expect Northern Thailand in November to be really cold?
We didn’t – but today we had to learn the hard way as we gathered for breakfast on the pretty riverview terrace of our hotel -when the fierce, cold wind blew all our good morning spirits away. As there was no alternative place inside the building to sit and eat, we chose to move our table close to one of the walls of the terrace to hide (as much as possible) from the wind. Experience as well as the weather forecast told us that it would surely get warm again during the day, but as we sat there, shivering and clasping our hot coffee mugs, this was hard to imagine.
Sure enough – once we had swung ourselves on our bikes and cycled a few kilometres, we forgot about the morning chill and started to peel off layer after layer of clothing. The first 50 km of today’s stage, we cycled through urbanized areas on a comparably big road – but we made the most of it, stopping at a primary school to watch the morning roll and talk to the teachers and exploring a little rice packaging factory and a few temples on the way.
After our customary noodle soup for lunch, the road started to get quieter and we entered the green, hilly and pretty karst area North of Chiang Dao. As far as I am concerned, I can never get enough of karst! I just love the way the bizarre rocks look like waves in green sea of subtropical trees.
We climbed the last mountain pass of this tour in the afternoon. One more day to go now until we reach our final destination Chiang Mai!