Ao Luek - The sixth step ... back to SE Asia - CycleBlaze

February 24, 2019

Ao Luek

With no great distance planned for the day we didn't rush out at first light this morning.  However, we were keen to find an open patango stall.  We really enjoyed these tasty fried doughballs when we cycled up through Thailand on our way to Saigon from Singapore a year and half ago and they became a staple for breakfast.  We have been struggling to find them on this trip but Leigh had spotted a sign for them yesterday, luckily just a few hundred meters from Rachawadee, so we headed there are soon as we got going this morning.  They had just come out of the oil so were too hot to eat so about five kilometers further down the road we stopped on a bridge over a wide river to enjoy our breakfast and watch a Collared Kingfisher that was flying up and down the bank.

Patango for breakfast
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Our route this morning was at first on the rather busy four lane 4311.  I knew at some point we would split off on a quieter road that would lead us to Ao Luek and after about sixteen kilometers we turned right onto a road that reminded us of everything that is nice about cycling through Thailand - quiet, mostly flat and tree-lined.  In amongst the ubiquitous palm-oil and rubber tree plantations there were occasional stands of Dipterocarpus trees, the dominant tall tree genus in SE Asia.  Many of the forests have been cleared to plant oil palms and rubber trees so it was nice to see some mature trees close to the road which, in places, was strewn with the characteristic helicopter seeds.

Dipterocarpus seeds
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Dipterocarpus trees
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Alas, we were on the wrong road.  After about three kilometers we came to a dead end at a river and, on checking our map, discovered we had turned off the 4311 about six hundred meters short of the turnoff we wanted to take.  So we backtracked to the 4311 and found the turnoff onto the 1002 which led us to Ao Lek over some gently rolling small hills.

We have found a 24 hour motel about a kilometer east of the traffic lights in south Ao Lek.  Basic but clean and good value at 450 baht.  Tomorrow we will probably head for the coast near Krabi for a couple of days of beach time again.

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 556 km (345 miles)

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