SOGS Tour April 2008 PART 2

Mar 21, 2007
Day 7..Mae Sariang- Umphang.
As you're all aware one of our members is having a rough time right now..and that will in no way exclude him from having the piss taken...hang in there Tj...were rooting for you...thats FOR YOU...not actually !

Off to an early start...for us....long ride ahead..but we were to have some pretty unique experiences along the way......oh yes!
The 105 to MAe Sot has some pretty cool sections , especially the new black stuu just before you come down to run along the Myanmar border...just look out for the cows !..Sorry no photos from this section after the pretty grim surfaces up in the hills , this was too much fun...




First stop...cabbages galore....

Some great roads and scenary...


Then...down to the river...The Boss came to mind....

The Thaungyin River....this was soo cool...pretty bloody hot by now and a swim was in order...well for 2 of us...TJ wasn't sure about getting his feet wet...something about pommies and water ? dry as a pommies towel ? eh MR Bungy ?

amazing spot and no-one around....or so we thought....!


Our first visitor....a Karen elephant..must have smelt us..actually came down into the water whilst we were swimming to check us out abd have a wash!

Gone Swimming....

It was whilst Noel and I had gone swimming with the eleys that our second visitors appeared....they're watching you !
Tropical was gaurding the bikes...well sitting we came up the bank from the rapids...there were a few more people around the bikes than expected and a couple in camo....coming from where I do..people in camo in remote areas are not always a good sign !
Turns out this was a member of the local Karen militia fight the guys accross the border/river....hostages / He was at pains to point out that this was Karen land on the other side and not Burma/Myanmar...he volunteered to tak eus to his camp, give us a gun and go fight the other guys...had enough of that in my life thanks mate...very friendly ...and decided we weren't any harm an of he and his mates went....back to fight another day...good on him!

So freshing swim had and back on the road...


Quick stop for lunch in Mae Sot...or is it Sod?

This is where things went seriously tits up !
Refueled after a good lunch, qwe headed out on the road to Umphang...the 1090.....very interesting ride up and down many hills, amazing switch backs...stunning scenary....but it is only the one road....! you may wonder where this is going?
Well I stopped to adjust an ear plug and waved the others on....I'll catch up easily and have some fun doing it ...or so I thought?

After about 10 kms, I'm thinking...oh really , now they crank it on..bit of a challenge hey? So I'm going for it..loads of fun...yeeha. 20kms...these guys are idiots...where have they gone?....looking down the vally I can see a large Squall coming...oh wet gear...ah well better keep going I'll catch em...I cam round the side of a hill and into at least 40knots and pelting rain...f%#k.....and then this !

For the next 30 odd kms this became a very greasy slippery road..for those that know it....very wet this isn't too much fun..had one slide stright through a switch back and up the hill on the other side...lucky not the dropoff side !
Stopped for a coffee...soaking wet and Nigel no mates !
The refugee camps along the way....

By now I'm thinking they've turned off somewhere but we are all agreed its Umphang for the press on...

Apart from being bloody cold...amazig Thailand ! The ride through the vallys to Umphang is amazing....I enjoyed it a lot more the next day on our way out!
Finally get to Umphang and a few frantic
calls to Pikey and find directions for the Garden Huts...what a wonderful old lady !

Now I'm waiting for the lads/idiots/deserters! Whats a man to do..took the only sensible option found a bar by the road on the way into town and settled into a beer!..Barely had time to roll a smoke and out of the gloom comes the others...The usual greetings...where the f@%k have you been ??
Well the old gits left to decide where to go had decided in their wisdom to turn off the stright rd to Umphang for a bypass...of what i'll never after a meer 5 kms I'd overtaken them...they then stopped to chat with the local mad man...
Then another stop for wet gear...soft...

After a hot shower and a bite to eat , hilarious episode of TJ ordering a cup of tea!! we settled into a few juices for the girl !
Spent a few hours at the bar/internet across the rd from garden Huts. Very well spoken owner gave us some advice re the legendary rd...1117...yes he said, it used to exist but tjh bridge was washed away...noit sure but on my next trip, I'm going to track it from the other side....
Great fresh, home made coffee in the morning got the hearts started...not before more hilarity ....

TJ first thing in the mornig...not a pretty sight.....waving good bye to his friend????

More to come....