after rolling into chiang rai for the night from fang, the muppets were in bed early again in prep for the next days ride to phayao. if rumours were to be believed coming from the transmoto camp we would need all our energy for the upcoming day. unfortunately we werent greeted by the best of weather in the morning yes, the rain came down and we gazed out hoping that it would soon stop and allow us to plough on spirits were down yes cambodian immigration have already been informed of his whereabouts. we motored on south on highway one for about 25kms before cutting across west into the dirt. we first entered into farmland and it was a tediuos process of dead end after dead end until we finally hit some sort of continous trail at baan kuay yai( spelling). from here it was our plan to hook up with some other trails that bignsmall had already done that would take us over to highway 118. the trails were mostly truck roads here we had a look at getting across from mai phattana to pang sang but to no avail, the trail petered out after no more than 2 kilomtres although looking at it on the map im sure there must be something going through. so we were back heading south. scenery here was lovely and regrettably i wasnt particulary active on the camera as my fingers were tired. leisurely riding was the order of the day after a couple of hard days riding and we took regular breaks after a brief threatning of rain which had me slightly perturbed as we were on clay we made it through to the 18 with no dramas. of course we didnt actually want to go to the 118 but because of the ktm's miniscule fuel tank we couldnt cut straight down towards wang kaew waterfall like we originally planned. so lunched and fuelled up we took a track that myself and HF had discovered a few months back that takes you straight from the 118 by wiang pa pao to the nothern end of the 1303. the track was looses stones and sandy and our big bores chomped them up and it cant have taken us any more than 25mins to do this section. from here we scurried over to the waterfall headquarters for some refreshments and mull over what a beautiful area it was. after this the riding would get much better and as we hit singletrack those tired fingers of mine got snappy, here is justin mastering sections of the trail on his enduro weapon that you have to be great shape to ride by the way. this is a lovely area and asides from a couple of slightly technical uphills was relatively easy going the feeling of remoteness here was awesome and during times of rest on the side of the trail you really appreciate what a gorgeous country we ride in everyday. as justin lets me ride ahead most of the time i get the chance to sniff out any spots where he might slip up or come into any trouble so i can be ready to document the full process of events, here was one of those occasions, the climb wasnt that steep but the heavily rutted and slippery surface meant i thought he was going down for sure, so i parked my honda triumphantly at the top of the climb and sat and waited patiently like a pit viper waiting for a unsuspecting mouse. sure enough the burble of the ktm arrived and bigntall raced up the first section of the climb, the secong half proofed a little morte taxing and legs started flailing like a drowning schoolgirl in the deepend of a swimming pool, i laughed and took aim with the camera praying for a fall/drown. going going but know he saves it the bike must have been at 45degrees for 30 seconds as justin mustered up all his strength, i could literally see the willpower sizzling from his helmet not to drop the bike in front of a buddy, it was an incredible show of brute strength and im sure the bike would have gone down had i not been there with the camera! great stuff here is emeging from the trauma from here it was plain sailing until we reached a forestry commission office there was 2 options here, either head home the way me and HF had come previuosly that we already had a gps track for or head for option b that we speculated might do a bit of a curcle and take us back to same village via a slightly different route. so sugar levels and remaing sunlight left taken into account for we unaminously settled for the new unknown route. oh boy it turned out to be a little tough rocky, clay rutted uphills i have no phots as i was concentrating on staying upright, we climbed to the top and saw a littlesingletrack heading off to the right that we figured must go back dwon to the village. the trail was awful steep so i decided to walk it first as we werent sure whether we would make it back up. i walked down for 100metres or so and gave it the green light i had seen all i needed to see the trail turned flatish and we would be out safe and well. so back to the bikes and down we went. we went past the point where i had furthest seen and it was back to steep and slippery. bollocks i thought id just taken us down a bloody dead end and now we were going to have to do north thailand answer to erzberg to get back up. well i didnt fancy going up, im more a fan of going down myself. so i got off the bike again and walked another 100metres down the trail. same analysis seems ok, a lot better than going back up so off we went again, finally at the bottom of another slippery descent we reached what could finally be called half a trail and this is where i took this photo of a very relieved SP rider i believe SP has some shots of this section so i will defer to him to fill in where i was slack with the camera. after reaching that part of the trail we hot-tailed it back to phayao for some well deserved KFC and courting of the local fellas with the antipodean wrecking crew of transmotosport. great times over and out, the honky.