On The Road

Day 109 – around Chiang Rai

Today was pretty straight forward. We picked up our new disc brake pads from the post office which had been sent via EMS on Friday and arrived on Monday at lunch time. Great! We also forwarded 19,990 grams (just under 20kgs) of our equipment to Chiang Mai, which is after the big hills. We will be running on skeleton stuff for 10 days to reduce weight and stress.

The postage EMS from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai for 20kgs was just under 600 Baht and we just put the 4 repacked panniers into a box. Natt’s auntie will pick them up for us in Chiang Mai and we will collect them from her when we arrive. Super easy. EMS and Thailand Post is usually pretty good every time we’ve used them so far (5-6 times). Everything arrives on-time and as required.

We headed to Northern Bicycle, about 5 kms north of Chiang Rai town and the owner and his wife greeted us. We asked him to replace all 4 brake pads (and we kept the one front set for a spare in case of emergency). He banged around on it for about 45 minutes with special tools and made it all happen. We asked them to sign our book when it came time to pay for their excellent emergency service.

The owner would not accept our money, we just got ‘mai pen rai’ (no worries). We tried a few times to pay, but he was having none of it. There is no real reason on earth that he should help us, we don’t know him, he doesn’t know us, but so many Thai people have honesty helped us out of the goodness of their heart that it is truly amazing. We thanked him. Usually we would have bought something from the shop to show our thanks, even if we really don’t need it, but honestly this time we didn’t need or want any extra weight.

So we left without spending a cent. All I can say is that if you’re in Chiang Rai and need a bicycle shop, visit Northern Bicycle. They had a good selection of kit and you can find their GPS location on BicycleThailand.com shop index page. THANK YOU so much to Northern Bicycle, one day we will be back and purchase something.

So the bicycle was ‘fixed’ or at least ready for the hills of Mae Hong Son. Now we headed to the TAT Office to get our book signed. The two deputy directors were there and they gave us a very warm welcome as well as some shirts and information on the area. We love getting this stuff but this meant another trip to the post office to mail it on ahead of us, which we did.

By this time it was around 3pm, it had been a successful day, everything was on track for the hill climbing to come. So we headed to the Central Plaza shopping mall and watched a movie at the cinema (English with Thai subtitles, better than Hua Hin). And I grabbed a pizza for dinner… then off to bed for an early night sleep.

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