We started off on the 1st of November at 0630 Hr. We were nearly a couple of minutes in the saddle, when I found out that only two tracks appeared on my GPS. I stood perplexed. The evening prior I had reloaded all nine tracks on my Garmin and my N8 smart phone; and checked if it was all right. What was going on? Did Murphy strike? 

Heading off 

I returned immediately to home base, checked the GPS folder (the tracks were there), reloaded them again and made a supplementary copy to the archive folder on the GPS. I closed down and jumped back on my bike. A false start - 0700 Hr. My GPS continued to refuse to show our first track, so I trusted upon Steve, who had also the tracks on his Blackberry. After an hour and a half and 30 Km further along road #309 we took our first break in close proximity of a noodle stall in Champa Lo. People were looking with a bit of curiosity to our bicycles, and I suspected a few of them were already on "Lao Khao" at an early hour.  

Break at Champa Lo 

Then time to stretch, fuel up and ten minutes later we were back on our bikes for the next 20 kilometers. Steve had developed a "Tour de France" strategy. The wind was blowing hard from the north and each of us would take the head for 2.5 Km; a policy we would keep the whole trip. Advantage, we speeded up; disadvantage, the landscape was reduced to a view on each other’s buttocks.

Around 10.00 Hr and 20 kilometers further north of our first stop, we arrived at Chaiyo and stopped at the entry of Wat Ket Chaiyo along Rd #309. We shuffled some snacks down, got our body hydrated, stretched the legs and after a 15 minutes pit stop we continued our bicycle travel to Sing Buri. The temple premises were quiet. No time to visit Luang Phor. The first 50 Km of eating dust, lay behind us. 

Near the distribution canal

20 minutes and 7 kilometers further we passed the distribution canal between the Chao Phraya River and the Chao Phraya Noi River. A newly built water regulator at Phra Ngam controls now the waters from the Chao Phraya River running below the Yang mani Regulator at Ongkharak into the Noi River. We made a picture stop, one of the few, during our trip north.  

Water stop on the way

A bit further we turned right towards Sing Buri, passing over Rong Chang, Hua Pa and Ton Pho. Shortly after 1100 Hr, Steve ran out of water and there were no shops in sight. We stopped at a small noodle stall in order to buy some water, but unfortunately they had none. The woman had a water-filled ice bucket and offered Steve a cup. Steve hesitated a bit, not knowing were the water originated from, but thirsty he filled up his water bottle. He offered to pay, but the lady refused. The weather was heating up nearing noon and hydration was an important issue. After a ten minutes break we climbed our iron horses and set course to our destination of the day, Sing Buri, the City of Lions. 

Mueang Sing was probably founded in the Dvaravati-period. According to the events in history, Phra Cha Kaison, son of King Promma the Great, built the city in 1107 AD in Pho Sangkho sub-district on the bank of the Noi River and named it Singh Pura after his name Kaison meaning lion. King Ramathibodi I (r. 1351-1369) put Mueang Sing as an inner city under Lopburi, the northern frontier city of Ayutthaya. In the reign of Borommatrailokanat (r. 1448-1463), the government administration was reformed and the city – at that time located in Chaksi Sub-district - downgraded to a level four city. In 1895 King Rama V ordered to move the city of Sing Buri to Bang Phutsa District on the bank of the Chao Phraya River in a consolidation of the three small riverside towns of Sing Buri, In Buri and Phrom Buri. We entered the City of Lions, making a few stops at traffic lights and soon arrived at our dormitory, the Baanbudsarin Hotel.

The Baanbudsarin Hotel 

We checked in, but had to wait for our rooms to be cleaned as it was still before noon. We were allowed to bring our bikes in and we took an hour to do some washing and splashing and to make preparations already for the next day.

After that we were hunting for food. There was not much around in the area, but a noodle shop; so we decided to eat some noodles. Still hungry, we left the shop and we jumped into a coffee parlor in the hope to find some cakes. Unfortunately no cakes, but the shop offered also a menu and on the latter we found "pork steak with French fries". All our bells were ringing in chorus. Food! Alas, the pork was not well done and the French fries were the opposite, so some remained on my plate.

After lunch, we decided to retire into the comfort of our rooms and agreed to go out for dinner at sunset. As my GPS refused to do its job, I tried to correct this. I took out the mini-SD card and put it in my N8 in order to reload the tracks. And yes first reluctant but after, Mr. Garmin did it again. The afternoon passed by looking into the maps and checking some mail. 

Ram Phueng Restaurant 

At 1800 Hr, we went into the city. We found a name of a restaurant on the Internet and decided to explore it. Ram Phueng was the name. It was a local, bit Chinese looking restaurant, which we entered through the kitchen. Everywhere black burned pots, pans and woks were hanging around. We entered the air-conditioned area and after I had reading out nearly the full Thai menu to Steve, we decided on our dishes. The food was not bad and it was cheap. One of the dishes we ordered was glass noodles with shrimps offered at half the price compared with larger cities. 

Our stomachs filled, we went looking for a 7/11 to buy our breakfast, drinks and some snacks for the next day. It was now 20.30 Hr and we were heading back to our settlement in order to have a good night sleep. The electronic rooster calls up at 0520 hr. Day one passed by; 76 Km in the pocket and many to go.

Make a free website with Yola