and another fantastic ride on yet another new track discovered by out 62 year old friend from Austria. Today Oskar came along and he did great. I lost at some point my phone in the middle of the Jungle. Later on I faced some issues with the starter motor and was forced to turn around, should have left the kick starter on the bike.
Today a little bit of a change. Not motorcycle related, just a little fun video I made. I had this 70's Disco Beat in my head with a bit of a Jazz Funk vibe. Instead of doing solos, I decided to record some clips from my conversation on "Line" with my Thai GF, this was fun, put it in the sampler of my DAW and launched it over the music I did. After that I took all kind of phone apps to create the video material and later the cartoon like elements. The music will be in the next upcomming riding video. Have fun and be safe
It started of as splendid day with my Son’s new Kawasaki KLX 150 and me on the good ol’ Honda XR 250. My son is a pretty good rider for his 15 years of age and his fitness is beyond what I could ever ask for.
At least I got a little more juice in my engine and I tried to give my old Iron Horse the spores. Which went well until my stamina dropped down to frightening lows. So we carved our way thru the mountains of the surrounding Area behind Mae Jo and we jumped for a bit on the well known Mae Jo Loop, but not too long before we entered what we have called “Rock Garden Hell”.
This is the section where my son on his old KLX 125 took a dive from a cliff boring a hole into the crank case. From that time on I called it “Rock Garden Hell”.
We were now about half way into the naughty dried river bed section, it was narrow but immense fun, only the Bamboo reminded us of riding a bit slower, it is a bit like being tortured with a wire brush, if you ride too fast here.
This time of the year the jungle grows like crazy and everything was completely overgrown and it was sometimes hard to make out the trail. The nice boulders had collected a lot of green moss and the traction was not the greatest over those rocks. My son’s bike didn’t start anymore and it was quiet some task to push it through those gnarly sections. It took a lot of stamina to do this. Turning around was not an option, as it was all downhill so far and pulling the bike up, would have been insane.
So we kept going. But little did we know, what expected us a Kilometer further more down. At the spot where Oskar went down the cliff before, there was a snake inside the tree, probably a Malayan Pitviper, but not 100% sure. Tried to make a video, but the footage was not usable, you don’t see anything in it, we were not close enough.
I was trying to start the KLX 150 on the downhill section, but the underground was too soft and even in 4th gear it wouldn’t start. So I decided to get a rope in the next village and went off and kept Oskar waiting for me. After about 20 minutes it was pretty clear, I would not be able to get out of the Jungle before dark. So I decided to turn around and get my son. Now my bike started to make crazy things and it would die every 5m for no obvious reason. I decided to leave the bike now and walk back to my son. It was still about 2 km, but not too bad at all. When I was close enough I shouted after Oskar to get his things and come towards me. After the third attempt he finally understood and came towards me a couple of minutes later.
Now it was already after 18hrs00 and I knew if we cannot get out soon of this situation we may face serious consequences. No water, no food, no power…do I need to say more? I spare you the rest.
The Honda kept going for maybe another Kilometer with both of us before it war retired in a wild overgrown corner of the Jungle. Luckily both of our phones were still on over 80%, so we still had torches for a while. Still no reception on the phone and now it total darkness and very narrow
We both were very thirsty and hungry. Both 3l bladders were empty and we didn’t have any more supply from our camel bags . We had to leave most of the gear behind because it was too heavy and I was pretty sure we had to walk at least 10 to 15kms to reach civilization. We had a few naps of 10 minutes and then kept going. I still was not 100% sure if I was on the right trail or not. I must have had great luck about 21:30 we found ourself on a wide gravel road, that I was able to recognize. Yes we were on the right trail and we are getting closer, but still no reception on the phone.
After walking for another half hour we finally got reception and my GF was on the phone. I tried to tell here the whereabouts, but very hard to explain if you never have been in that area. My daughter still remembered the track and so they organized a car in no time and we got picked up at about 22:30.
We had some quick water and then jumped on the back of the pick-up before going straight to a Seven 11, to fill our stomaches with all kind of food.
At 23hrs00 we were finally back home, a quick shower and then every one fell into a very deep sleep.
Day 2: The RESCUE
As I don’t have a car anymore we had to borrow the pick-up truck from some friends. We started off 10 am and arrived at the Jungle site, shortly after. Now it would be a lot of cutting, sawing and clearing the path to the bikes out. The Honda was only 2kms away, but the Kawasaki was much deeper in the jungle and it would be a long walk.
After half an hour we got the Honda, there we left the grass trimmer behind as it was of little use. The Machetes did a much better job. My wife was collecting bamboo on the way to keep here spirit up. The fresh bamboo out of the jungle is the best. The bag got heavier and heavier and we had to leave behind us and would be collecting it later on, on our return. The bush got tighter and tighter and the saw and the machete were constantly at work. We took another break in a shady Bamboo grove for a couple of minutes before continuing the uphill section. And more bamboo shoot, this time even bigger. There was not stopping my wife now. She was totally into this and I didn’t want to stop her either because I know how good here bamboo curries are. While digging out a fresh shoot, she got attacked by some nasty Jungle Wasps. Extremely painful and the swelling started immediately.
She must have sat there for about 10 minutes, the pain was so strong she could barely move. After that the pain disappeared and the swelling got better again.
Never seen anything like this. Really Crazy. Now we had the little Kawa going up and down the path over roots and rocks and old tree stumps. Su pulled the rope like a dehydrated camel on chilies. Once we left the forest section we got into the high grass and reed section. My wife pushed, Oskar pushed and Su pulled like a tractor. What an unbelievable pace over this uneven terrain. A few hundred more meters and we would enter another bamboo grove. We had to clear some more to get the bikes through. Shortly after that we arrived at the Honda. I geared up and tried to start it again. To my very surprise it ran, but would go out whenever I would turn the steering to the left, so I tried to avoid going left, which was almost impossible, but at least the bike was up and running and tried everything not to kill the engine. 15 minutes later I arrived at the car and shortly the rest of the gang arrived in good spirits but totally knackered. Uploaded the Kawa and rode the Honda back home.
I am totally grateful to have a family like that, everyone was such a force today. Time for a well deserved shower and hopefully a great Gaeng Nomai (Bamboo Curry)
This is my son's video from our mission