70 km, 4h 20 min, max temp 36
Our day started out slow, with a huge breakfast at the Tusita Resort (included with our room). We enjoyed a first course of toast, followed by a protein course (eggs, bacon, ham, and sausage), followed by an Asian course (Scott had a soup and Becky had Dim Sum). It fueled us well for the first three hours of our ride.
The weather was perfect for cycling. It was overcast and looked threatening, but it only rained the occasional drop or two. When the sun is covered, the temperature is a full 10 degrees cooler. It was nice to ride in comfortable 33 degree Celsius weather. It will be amusing when we get back to Canada to see what feels hot!
We took many side roads on the way to Chumphon. At one point we ventured back to the main highway (highway 41) and were reminded why we were avoiding it. We ventured back to the side roads, and arrived in Chumphon 5 km sooner than we would have had we stuck to the main road. It is always a bonus when the side road actually gets you there quicker.
We are staying at the Chumphon Palace Hotel for 490 Baht a night. The room is pretty large with air conditioning. As an added bonus they had a working elevator, so we did not need to carry bags and bikes up stairs. Lonely Planet describes it as “budget-prices rooms .. masquerade as midrangers” and we agree. The place has more amenities that our normal 500 Baht room (includes fridge, TV, hot water, and wireless in the lobby). It is slightly off the main road, so it is pretty quiet too.
We wandered around Chumpton looking for a place for dinner, and realized that this is the first Thai city we have been in that hasn’t felt like a major tourist destination. We haven’t seen any other foreigners here. The streets were crowded with stalls selling fresh vegetables and fruit. We found a wonderful little restaurant and the lady there whipped us up a chicken vegetable soup and vegetable stir fry – a little bland but perfect for Becky’s unsettled stomach. With a large beer and a soda water, dinner came to 130 Baht ($4 CAD). We continue to realize just how much we overpaid for food when we were traveling near Krabi in the more touristed areas.