One of the guys that I had not yet met from the email list of riders passed to me by Ray 23, mailed me to say he was back from his work stint and up for a ride. As the terrain around him, (40km East of Sakon Nakhon is new territory for me and more interesting than my part of Esarn, we agreed I would go over to his place. George (Tahaan) riding his XJR 1300 was keen to join me as his last chance to ride before an extended spell in the UK. Mel his mate also joined on his Suzuki Intruder 400cc. I posted the intended ride on GTR and my email list, but no more folks available. They came over from Chumpae and the 3 of us met up on Sat am on a slightly overcast morning at the Shell Station Khon Kaen and set off to Kalasin on the quick, flat dual carriageway of the 209. Not so much a case of great scenery or roads as just enjoying being out in the open air and a couple of days of freedom and biking ahead. Past Kalasin onto the 213, which became single carriageway, quieter roads and better scenery as one approached Phu Phan. Some excellent twisty stuff, now getting used to my FJR on the bends and enjoyed dueling with the slow lorries and oncoming drivers, plenty of places for a bike to get past and make good progress. Past the twistys, a long section of switchback fast road with little traffic. Here Jim met us on his XJR 1200 and we exchanged the usual bike talk before dropping down from Phu Phan into Sakon Nakon for lunch at the excellent Green Corner. Headed out of town on the 22 towards Jim’s house at Kusuman, 40km East. Sakon Nakhon is flanked by the largest inland water in Thailand, Nong Han. A very peaceful spot. Jim then invited us into his place for coffee and his wife popped out to buy some barbequed dog (Maybe she just has a good sense of humour or wanted to frighten the Farangs’, we never got to find out) Now close to getting dusk, we headed back into Sakon and Jim led us to the newly built Elegant Hotel, which offered very high class accommodation for 650 Baht. After an evening meal Jim returned home leaving the 3 of us to explore the evening in Sakon a little further. Joining us for breakfast next morning, Jim accompanied us back to Phu Pan, before returning home. Without the time pressure to be back in Khon Kaen for 2.30, we may have gone on the Nakon Phanom and then taken the river road to Nong Khai, this is one trip Jim and I are going to try and do in the next few weeks. So a good weekend meeting some new riders, seeing some new countryside, enjoying the kind weather and the hospitality we met along the way.