Our group was Courtney (thank you for organising!!) Karen, Chip (our guide) and Florence and Christina from Germany. We had our first stop for some coconut water in little plastic bags (above) and Chip picked up Tomato Apples and Pineapple for our next stop.
If I had known it was going to be 35km I might have been a bit more apprehensive, but it was all very flat and the bikes were excellent. We visited a Thai cremation site and saw where the bodies are burned. The Thai government has banned the use of wood for these pyres so now old car and bike tyres are used, I can't imagine what the smell of the rubber and flesh burning must be like!
We also visited the ancient site of the city that pre-dated Chiang Mai. It was built in the 1200's and was abandoned after floods. Chiang Mai was chosen as a better site and built about 15 years later.
We cycled through wonderful small southern villages where the locals all came out to wave us on. Lots of palm, banana and teak trees. We also cycled through a retirement community which had been founded by some Scottish Catholics in the 1900s. Each old person had their own small house with front and back garden and the community only had one entrance and exit so was very secluded. Thias retiring here have to convert to Catholicism but as our guide told us the Buddhist community don't provide anything like this which is a shame for the old people.
It rained briefly but as if on cue we arrived at a stop for home made Banana cake and more fruit!
It was an amazing day! I am exhausted but in a really good way.
Looking at the cremation site.
This is where the bodies are burned.
The debris left after the burning. You can see bones and all sorts in this!
The ancient city remains.
You can't see very well in this picture but it is the Burmese god Singha which is also the log for Singha beer - the 2nd largest brewery in Thailand.
Thanks also to Stephane, Courtney and Alison for my gifts today! I am going to need to send another parcel back home pretty soon:-)