Taking A Load Off

By Jane Mountain | April 1, 2014

12,090 km so far

One of this best parts of arriving at Luang Chumni Village yesterday was the manager’s understanding of how precious our bikes are to us. Without prompting, he told us to bring our bikes right inside. He had a special place for them where they’d be safe.

Most times, people just leave to us find a place for them on our own – which is totally fine with us. A couple of times hoteliers have refused to accommodate our bikes at all.

It’s almost always the nicest places that are the most helpful with our bikes.

These little things make such a huge difference.

hand made teak chair

Beautiful teak chairs at Luang Chumni Village guesthouse.

Ancient Ayutthaya

Our morning began with a ride over to Ayutthaya’s most impressive ancient wat, Wat Phra Mahathat.

tower at ayutthaya thailand

Plastered at Wat Phra Mahathat.

The brick structures, crumbling under the ravages of war and time, do make for a striking view, though we have probably had our fill of wats for a while.

Still, I was quite taken by the variety of seated Buddha figures here.

buddha at ayutthaya

One of the few complete Buddhas at Wat Phra Mahathat.

It was, yes, yet again, hot, but we still rode our bikes through the grounds, around a few stupa (or is that stupas?), over a couple of wooden bridges, past yet more ancient statues of Buddhas, and a modern collection of big (and little, because size isn’t everything) cocks.

cock rooster statues in thailand

Hard to avoid making cock jokes in Thailand.

Wild Market Chase

The next stop of the day was to be the famous Ayutthaya Floating Market.

On a bike, it only takes a few minutes to get out of the city and into side streets that wind through small neighbourhoods, surprising local people as you rattle down their roads. Even if you’re not on a bike tour, renting a bike and zooming through the outskirts of town can make you feel a million miles away from the typical tourist trail.

Colorful Thai truck, Ayutthaya.

Colorful Thai truck, Ayutthaya.

When we arrived at the spot on our map where three sources, including the town’s paper tourist map, had pinpointed the floating market, there was no market to be found. Using logic, we deduced that a floating market would have to be on water (we are quite clever), so we rode along the canal in both directions, hoping to stumble upon it.

Alas, all we found were three drunk guys (at least we think they were drunk) sitting on their back porch to escape the rising heat.

I love you!

…they shouted as we went past. This is often one of the only English phrase foreigners know, so declarations of love are more common than you might think.

The sign does not inspire confidence about this bridge.

The sign does not inspire confidence about this bridge.

Finally not really minding that we hadn’t found the floating market, we explored our way back into town.


Our new shoes arrived a few days ago as planned.

They’re great. Um, except that after a few wears, I discovered that my right shoe is a good quarter inch bigger than the left. They have the same size label inside, but one is definitely roomier than the other. The company, Keen, have said they will swap them for a new pair when we reach Bangkok, which is nice.

It nice to finally have air flow at our feet, but for me, the most exciting thing about getting new shoes is that it’s an excuse to send some things home.

All of our winter clothes – jackets, sweaters, hats, mittens, toques, long pants, waterproof hiking shoes – have now either been boxed up and shipped or put in a bag and given away. Our load is now lighter, and our panniers roomer.

Getting rid of stuff has always made me feel liberated, lighter, and more joyful. I’m so happy not to be carrying any unnecessary baggage.

Let’s just hope it stays hot for a while.  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.

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