Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Riding around Chiang Mai

As it turns out I'm writing this on the day after my birthday. It's still my birthday back in the states but here we've gone ahead to the 25th. I'm moved that so many friends have, through the "magic" of Facebook and the Internet, wished me well. Say what you will about the pervasiveness of the Internet— it does offer an easier alternative at birthdays to actually putting something in the mail. Thanks to all.

Nut and I took a short ride to the north of Chiang Mai the other day. We were planning to do the Samoeng Loop,  a favorite ride of ours that I've written about previously but rain at the high point of the trip where the road rises to cross a ridge of Doi Suthep turned us around. We skirted the showers by going north to a little coffee shop we know instead. The area around Chiang Mai is dotted with small gardens and large, rice paddies, flower farms, tea and coffee plantations and rubber tree farms. And at this time of year the rice paddies are so green it almost hurts the eyes.The day was cloudy, making for a pleasant ride and as a bonus, offering relief from the heat. It also added something nice to the lighting in photos below. (Click them for a full size view.)

Along Route 3009 north of Chiang Mai

The little shop, Pankret Coffee, is on the road to Pai. (N19.11530, E98.78496). It's situated in a cool spot and the owners have put a lot of effort into making it a perfect setting for an iced latte and a little something to nibble on.

Nut & I at Pankret Coffee

We've been riding in the area of Nan for the past couple of days and will head over to Payao after breakfast. From there we'll go back to Chiang Mai. The ride here was wonderful even though it was punctuated with rain several times. The nice thing about the rain in Thailand as I've often observed, is that it doesn't hurt you. We simply don our cheapo rain jackets and ride for a few miles until it stops. The rain storms up north are usually brief. Many folks just find a nice big tree overhanging the shoulder and wait it out. Yes, our feet and legs get wet but almost as soon as the rain stops, drying begins. And it's warm outside. Even the rain is warm so it's no biggie to drive on through. Besides, Nut hates to wait. She's always saying, let's go, let's go.

Now she's bugging me to go for breakfast. "Okay", I say, "let's go." ;-D

Nut, the object of my affections