Koh Payam - The sixth step ... back to SE Asia - CycleBlaze

February 13, 2019

Koh Payam

We didn't have good night's sleep but were still up at 5:15am so we could be on the road as early as possible.  In the end we waited a while for it to get a bit lighter before setting off at about 6:30.  I was hoping we could get to Ranong before noon just in case there was an early ferry to Koh Payam. 

Because we weren't sure what we might find to eat on the road to Ranong we had bought some energy snacks the night before -raisin bread for me, oatmeal cookies for Leigh and a couple of packets of peanuts, the ultimate life saver.   The bread and the cookies disappeared down our throats at the fifteen kilometer mark but thankfully the peanuts held on for a bit longer (more of that later).

The road was busy, just like yesterday but for the first 30 kilometers it was a relatively newly built four lane highway with a wide shoulder.  At the 30 kay mark it narrowed to two lanes and we worked our way through ten kilometers of roadworks until the road forked - one route leading to Ranong (our route) and the other to the ferry port and border crossing to Myanmar.

An interesting Buddha with some naga just before the roadworks started.
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I am not allowed to use the word "undulating" in my journals (Leigh struggles with its application) so I can only describe the route as roller coaster with a big dipper as the finale.  The nature of the route meant we worked quite a bit harder than yesterday but mostly without much of a struggle.  About fifteen kilometers from Ranong we hit a climb that took us up about 170 meters and although the sign suggested it was an 8% climb it felt far less arduous.  Part of the way up was a lovely rest area at the Pun Ya Bun waterfall that allowed us to take a break on the way up that made it less of a challenge.

Tthe Pun Ya Bun waterfall - I am sure it is more dramatic in the wet season.
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Looking back down the climb, I wasn't convinced it was 8%.
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After the climb it was an easy downhill run to Ranong after which it was six more kilometers to the  port for the ferry to Koh Payam.  We pushed hard over the last few kilometers and made it to the port at about eleven thirty.  There seemed to be many express boats leaving but we would only be able to get the bicycles onto the "slowboat" which leaves daily at two in the afternoon.  So after buying our tickets we settled down to a large lunch and whiled away the next couple hours while we waited for the ferry's departure.  The ferry got loaded with all manner of things - apart from the luggage of the handful of tourists and our bicycles there were lots of provisions for the various resorts and more than a ton of pockets of cement.  We spent a lot of the time chatting to a South African who had a married a Japanese lady and had been living in Japan for the past twelve years.  With our ride along the length of Japan last year we had quite a lot to talk about although he was far more interested in catching up on the state of affairs in South Africa.

The slowboat to Koh Payam.
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We docked at the ferry port at Koh Payam at about four thirty and cycled up to Himmapan Resort in the middle of the island where we will spend the next two nights.  It was pretty hot and the ride to the resort had a few short, sharp climbs so the first thing we did upon arrival was to relax in the swimming pool for the next half an hour.   Neither of us were up to going out to look for supper so the peanuts we had bought as energy snacks were washed down with a few beers instead.  Although we are pretty tired I think we handled today's route, tough by our current levels of fitness with more than 800m of climbing, quite well.

Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 174 km (108 miles)

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