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The Saga of Heather's Travels ... the story of a dream come true

The Motorcycle Story......

THAILAND | Tuesday, 13 October 2009 | Views [489]

My apologies to those who have already heard this story, I was requested to put it on here, so skip this one if you had the email!..

This was in Pai in northern Thailand,  a lovely town that smacks of Golden Bay, lots of old hippies, strange smells :) new agey shops rasta music, healing, artsy, vegetarian...you know the place! Well it was here that I finally took the plunge and did the thing I have been dreading, it had to happen sooner or later! It should have happened down on the islands, but I managed to avoid it there, but alas, could avoid it no longer! I hired a motorbike... well a wee put put scooter more than bike, but either way, I did survive it!  I wanted to go out and see the hot springs which are 7km out of town, which actually were a big disappointment, but thats beside the point! There are no tuk tuks in Pai, and very few taxis, and motorbike is the ONLY way to get around, theres a million of them there, far more than cars. So, the decision was made, and off I traipsed into town one morning, to arrange my hire. I told them I'd NEVER ridden one before, but didn't seem to be a problem, they gave me a couple of goes up a wee lane, and Bob's your uncle I've got the bloody thing in my possesion till 5pm tomorrow! However, they needed my passport, which didn't seem to be in my bag, so they gave me the bike, but said first I must go and get passport and bring it back. So off I wobbled after a warning that I needed to put petrol in fairly soon also. I was having a bit of trouble with corners, was fine on the straight, well, not fine, but passable and very slow. So, had to get off at corners and walk it around, which is fine if you're turning left, a bit tricky with right hand turns on traffic lights!! It was very stressful, and to make matters worse, I got lost! OK those who know me well know about my sense of direction, or rather, lack of it. So I'm wobbling along thinking "where the f... am I" when I notice the petrol is below the E! Shivers!! wheres the petrol station?? My helmet was very very hot, sweat is pouring down, I'm hot, thirsty, lost and nearly outa petrol, and wobbling so much I nearly came off because trying to look for petrol station, as well as drive is a bit tricky! Hallelujah, I found the petrol station, cost 80Baht to fill up, and as I bunnyhopped out of the station I saw down the road a tourist police information centre! Haaa, someone who can speak english! After walking the bike across a major intersection, my knees are shaking and the stress levels are way up there!! The touristpoliceman kindly showed me on the map where we were, and gave me instructions how to get to my guesthouse. Wouldn't you know it, there was a righthand turn with traffic lights involved!! Well, I made it around, amongst some heavy traffic let me tell you, and even managed a little "weeeeeee" as I went!! Got back to guesthouse, and blow me down with a feather, my passport was in my bag all the time!!!! So I sat myself down, and gave myself a good talking to, had a big cold drink of water, and a nervous pee, and off I went again, took the passport into the office, did a (walking) uturn and headed out country to the hot springs. It was quite hilly, and narrow, but not too much traffic, and after a while, I was buzzing along. I thought I was going quite fast until other bikes came along and went vvrrrrooooooooommm past me in a flash! However, I had to let my natural competetive streak that wanted to chase after them go, and just carry on puttering along at my pace. I made the 7km in oh about half an hour! (that makes it 14km per hour ha ha ha!!!) After a walk around this muddy creek that happened to have hot water in it, after I was expecting at least some sort of swimming pool, I headed back. I reckon I cut at least 5 mins off my time and was starting to feel a little less wobbly and a wee bit more confident!! So that was my big adventure, I can laugh now, but it was bloody stressful there for a while. However, I have conquered my fear, (Feel the fear and do it anyway!) and even went out again the next day, and found a hotel which had a hot spring pool. Had a lovely soak there, met some nice people, and confidently motored back into Pai, and handed the bike back. I wont be so nervous next time, and am very chuffed with myself!

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