Pineapple Fields Forever - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

January 15, 2024

Pineapple Fields Forever

Kui Buri to Prachuap Kiri Khan

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Pineapple Fields Forever

Andrea tied the dog-chewed cord ends together on my Keens and they were good enough for more miles.  The chewed part of the strap didn't interfere with my foot either.  I was just happy to be wearing them at all.  For quite awhile I was thinking I'd have to ride barefoot to Prachuap, our next destination, feeling like when I was a kid.

There is some desolate country between the thieving dogs guest house and Prachuap but it was only a 25 mile day. A lot of times in desolate oceanfront places there are no roads right along the ocean, which we would love, and we are forced to go inland to find a way through.  And sometimes we have to get on the big dangerous highway.  This time we were forced to take it fairly soon after we started out in the morning but for only 2.5 miles.  

The highway, (Highway 4), is dangerous because of trucks and other vehicles parked on the shoulder.  We had to go out into a lane of traffic in order to get around them which made timing essential.  We had to judge how congested the traffic was and make our quick skirting of the parked vehicles when there were no trucks, buses or cars coming.  It was a bit nerve racking.  At times there were vehicles coming directly at us in the wrong direction, also taking up the entire shoulder.  Other than that, it was a nice wide shoulder for us to ride on!  

I didn't cross busy Highway 4 to find out what this building was all about but it sure is colorful.
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It seems the certain species of bamboo in this area has flowered recently. When a species of bamboo flowers it all dies and the seeds are sown for regrowth. Each species of bamboo is on its own time clock for flowering anywhere from 75 to 125 year intervals. Seriously. So strange that a plant will have such a time piece within each cell. And everyone of that species of bamboo, wherever it is in the world, will flower at the same time and then die.
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One nice thing that happened while we rode on Highway 4 was hearing five little honks.  It took me a second but then I realized it was the Finn and his wife in their pickup truck heading to their property.  I waved after they were a few dozen meters past us and hoped he saw me wave in his rearview mirror.  I never got their names and I bet I never see either of them again.  It's kind of a sad thought because I really liked him.  I never got the chance to talk to her but she seemed like quite a character too.  After the shoe incident I had told Andrea that the Finn's wife was like an Isaan Thai Minnie Pearl.  Andrea laughed and agreed.  Good people, both of them.  It was nice of him to give some gentle honks as they flew past and I imagined him at his steering wheel thinking about.....well, actually he was on to the next thing and he wasn't thinking about finding my missing shoe at all.  He was thinking about their property on the ocean and maybe dreaming of the cabin he would build on it.  That's what I hope he was thinking about.

The main reason roads along the shoreline in Thailand peter out is due to inlets or, rather, small streams entering the ocean.  The population along the ocean isn't large enough to warrant bridges.  Not enough money in these parts either.  When there are little bridges it's a lovely quiet route.  I always prefer to be in sight of the ocean.

All the little streams that flow into the ocean also provide safety for fishing boats as inlet harbors.
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There is a lot of vacant oceanfront land in Thailand.
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Nagas
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We passed along a lot of fields of pineapple where the fruit was just forming on the plants.  The area has some of the best tasting pineapple in the country but it's not in season at the moment.  However, we can always find some for sale if we desire to eat some.   We see little mangoes forming on mango trees too but, there again, we can always buy some ripe ones in the market.  I'm not sure how this all works.  Papayas are generally not a major crop but come ripe in someone's backyard anytime of year and are generally sold from a table in front of the person's house or you can sometimes find a few ripe ones at the market.  We've been luckier finding ripe papaya down here in the south than the first part of our trip.

I'm always amazed how pineapple can grow this time of year with not a drop of rain in the beastly heat in pure sand.  But there they were, cute little pineapples forming.  The other crop in the area we rode through was coconuts.  Often to save space we saw pineapples growing under a canopy of coconut palms.  

Pineapples left - rubber trees right.
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Baby pineapples. Some attempt has been made to keep the babies from getting sunburned.
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For several miles we had to ride next to the railroad tracks on one side, through an underpass to the other side and eventually back again through another underpass.  While inside the underpasses Andrea would sing out OLE, OLE OLE OLE, OLE, OLE.  That was cheery in an otherwise rather desolate area.  The cement road alongside the tracks was fairly new and smooth, no problem at all.   

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Ron SuchanekRyan Van Duzer would be proud.
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1 month ago
There are a lot of brand new flyovers as well as underpasses. It's all with the goal of eliminating all the roads that cross the train tracks directly so the trains never have stops except at depots and for there to be fewer accidents with vehicles. Efficiency.
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Rachael AndersonHow great! I was stopped by a train on my way home from a bike ride in Tucson along with about 20 other cyclists who had been waiting 20 minutes already then the train stopped. I had to find an alternate route on the fly! They definitely need something like this.
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1 month ago
Desolate cement road along the railroad tracks.
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I reported last year that all the depots were being renovated and new railway buildings were being built nearby. And that the platforms were being enlarged greatly all in preparation for a new high-speed rail line. Well, I misspoke. I found out that they have placed a new line but it's not high-speed rail. It's another track so that northbound trains can ride freely without occasionally being pulled onto a siding to let the southbound train go by on the only track. Who knows where the future high-speed rail will go. Nearby presumably.
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We forgot what these yellow flowering bushes are but we have seen thousands of them for our entire trip. They are so nice. A certain kind of yellow and they keep blooming all winter.
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Bill ShaneyfeltYellow trumpet shaped flowers...

Maybe yellow trumpet flower?

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/48363-Tecoma-stans
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Bill ShaneyfeltYou are absolutely right, Bill. Thank you. They even grow in warmer parts of the U.S. Drought tolerant for sure. We see them everywhere and they are really a nice bush.
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1 month ago
Cows have been posing for me lately. This one quickly ran so he could be in front of a couple of spirit houses.
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Jen RahnThat cow has a good eye for composition!

Those spirit houses might seem boring without their bovine guide.
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1 month ago
7-Eleven branching out!! I've never seen this before.....a 7-Eleven vending machine full of 7-Eleven products.
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Every structure, even this roof over an area where they will pile coconuts, has to have a spirit house usually in the front corner of the lot. Whenever something is built the spirits of the land are displaced and a little house must be built to honor and house those displaced spirits. Thais were originally animist and they hold on to some beliefs and superstitions that predate Buddhism.
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Pretty ornate spirit houses for a roof for coconuts. The platform in front of the spirit houses is for placing platters full of fruit or other foods and drinks every day.
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This isn't a sacred Bodhi Tree but it is still being revered which I find interesting and great that this is being done to protect big beautiful trees. I don't know what kind of tree this is.
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It sure has a lot of adventitious roots that collect moisture from the humid air.
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Then the road brought us to the ocean at a cute fishing village.  Colorful fishing boats bobbed on the waves.  The rest of the ride into Prachuap was a breeze, literally a breeze at our backs.  Prachuap has a beautiful cup-shaped bay in front of it.  We rode on a bike lane next to a seawall that curved gently for five miles to the town.  It's a wonderful way to enter any city but even more special to enter Prachuap this way for some reason.  I guess the beauty of the bay and its protecting islands are partly what makes Prachuap a special place.  This is our third time in Prachuap, a town we have talked about since the beginning of our trip.  We hadn't stopped for any food or drink along the entire way so we made a beeline to our favorite coffee place which has been our favorite guest house as well.  But they were full for the entire week.  Fortunately three doors down is an even nicer hotel with a pool and they had a room for us. It's really a beautiful place - Sun Beach Hotel. 

Finally we're at the ocean.
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Seawall and bike path for five miles into Prachuap.
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The familiar islands off Prachuap in the distance.
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We want to chill out here for a few days and not do much of anything.  We want to see a couple of friends, swim in the pool and walk the familiar streets.  We want to look at the ocean and the fishing boats.  We have to go to Lotus's to get more muesli and I bet Andrea will want an ice cream cone at the Dairy Queen inside the complex.  We also have to renew our visas for 30 more days, something that is possible at certain immigration offices.  The Prachuap immigration office is located inland ten miles, which makes no sense to us, but fortunately we have bicycles.  That will be new territory for us which I'm kind of looking forward to.  

The islands in the bay in front of Prachuap Kiri Khan, Thailand. Misty moist air with a bit of smoke.
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Mike PalmquistThanks, Bruce. I didn't know anything about spirit houses. That's fascinating.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Mike PalmquistWhat's even more fascinating is that my house always had a ghost/spirit. Lots of people had some experience with the ghost including myself. But when I brought a Thai spirit house home on one of our trips and put it in my backyard and opened the back door of the house for three days and nights, the ghost/spirit left my house. I'm not making this up.
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1 month ago

lovebruce

Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 911 miles (1,466 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 15
Comment on this entry Comment 5
Scott AndersonI love the thieving dog story. It reminds me of the time decades ago when I was painting a house (one of my ‘careers’ before I got a real one). I was barefoot up on the roof of a two story house painting the trim line by leaning over the edge, and when I climbed down the ladder again I found one of my shoes missing. A passerby said he saw a shoe advancing down the street with a dog attached, and it was eventually found inside a doghouse a few blocks away.

And like you, I finally stopped doing ladder work like that. I’m lucky I didn’t break my neck.

And you have stopped climbing on ladders, correct?
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonOh, that's a good one....in the doghouse! a few blocks away! I'm surprised you found it that far away. My shoe was pretty far away too.

Well, I haven't had the occasion to use a long ladder since "the accident" but I have used step ladders. They aren't really ladders.
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1 month ago
Gregory GarceauWhile riding through the tunnel singing "ole, ole, ole . . .", I assume Andrea was doing so in honor of your collegiate alma mater. Or was she cheering for a bullfighter?
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Gregory GarceauNo, it was in honor of famous cyclist YouTuber, Ryan Van Duzer, who sings Ole every time he passes through a tunnel. Everyone should watch some of Ryan's YouTube videos of his journeys. He's incredibly inspiring and his videography is fantastic. He's also a great interviewer. I suggest his Great Divide series. He also starts everyday's bike ride with, "No flatties, No crashies, No Whammies." And I add, "No snakies."
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1 month ago
Bo LeeTo Bruce LellmanThanks for the tip to watch Ryan's Grand Divide video, i loved it! Whatta life :-)
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1 month ago