Entry Thursday 3rd Dec 09

December 3, 2009 - Kanchanaburi, Thailand


Today we had an amazing day.  We spent a better part of it trying to work out how to get to a national park called Erawan National Park where there are these famous waterfalls.   We were initially thought about taking the bus, but decided against it, as we wouldn’t get to spend much time at the park, before we had to catch the last bus home.

We had seen lots of advertisements around advertising scooter hire.  These scooters are 110cc I think and come in Automatic or manual.    We went into numerous outlets advertising scooter hire.  The general cost was 200 Baht for Auto, 150 Baht for manual.    Lonely planet advised us to try get copies of insurance in case any damage was incurred.  To no avail, we could not find any place that offered insurance.  We decided to take  a trip into town to ask  the tourist information office.  We spent 40 baht on the taxi there.  Mind you the taxi is a sidecar of a motorbike, so very underpowered and slow.    When we got there we were told to use our passports as collateral.  This was a completely different interpretation of the word insurance we were thinking about.  It was confusing as all hell to us, trying to explain the concept of insurance, then we worked out that that insurance didn’t exist on motorcycle rentals, let alone any vehicle.  The only coverage was what all Thai’s have to pay in case of physical injury.

We decided to risk it and caught a taxi, this time in the back of a ute, back to where we were before, as this is the only place you can rent scooters.  Amy and I then worked out, with our health insurance for our trip we paid extra and already had scooter coverage.  How stupid?   We wasted over an hour and 80 Baht lol.    We then went to the scooter shop and hired two scooters, but she only had one, so she had to get one of her friends to lend her theirs.   So we left, filled them up with fuel and were off.  At the start we were only doing like 30km like everyone else in traffic.   Traffic in Thailand is very dangerous and you have to concentrate heaps on whats happening around you.  People pull out, back out, overtake in every lane of the road.   Once we were into the country, we were both doing around 60 km, which doesn’t sound like fast, but on a bumpy road with cars and trucks all around you it feels it.  The wind is horribly loud too, so you cannot here the scooter at all. 

We were riding for about 1 and a half and Amy pulled off to the side of the road.  I only noticed about 100 m down the road when I quickly glanced in the side mirror.  I did a u-turn and found Amy on the side of the road, with a bike that wouldn’t go. There were all parts of a belt underneath the bike.   I worked out that the drive belt had snapped.  Fortunately she stopped in front of a house and two girls had come out with all the commotion.  One spoke a little bit of English too J.   They told us there was a bike mechanic 2 km down the road.   gave us a rope, but when Amy (on my scooter) would take off it would just rip the rope out of my hands L.  The girls then decided that the younger sister would push my bike while on her bike.  She put her right foot on the peg of her bike and her left foot on my bike peg.  Then she push my bike.  The only problem is I am clumsy and she made me feel like I was going to fall of the bike. So I kept putting my feet down on the ground to maintain balance.  She realised this and suggested that her sister go on my bike.  This made me very happy as I thought i would end up on the deck.  So I doubled Amy and we followed.  At the garage the guy took the casing off surrounding the belt.  It was chewed to pieces.  He then called our hire place and which told us to leave the bike there, as he didn’t have the part.  We then road to Erawan falls on the single bike, but cause we wasted too much time it was closed. Very disappointed!  We did see some great scenery along the way though!  

On the way home i road between 80 and 90 km trying to get home before dark.  It wasn’t to be.  Half hour out of Kanchanaburi  it was pitch black, and the light on the scooter was useless.   I then had to follow slow cars all the way back.  We were stupid as well, wearing clothes for

Summer.  IT WAS FREEZING on the bike.  Lucky i had Amy hugging me the whole way keeping me a little bit warmer.  But she couldn’t stop all the frigin bugs that kept hitting me in the face. We have learnt a valuable lesson.  After 4 hrs of riding, we will definitely sleep well tonight.




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