Again up early the next day about 10 kms out of Mae Sariang I noticed pools of water and debris washed up from the ditch onto the road. Must have had a real gully washer late in the night.
I began to notice very green and productive truck patches of cabbage and other vegetables in the valley below. The greenery was a real ľand pleasant change- from the brown, water deprived hills around Mae Hong Son and Pai.
For several kilometers 108 parallels the river and I noticed little huts for swimmers (?) to relax and catch the cool river breeze. All the necessary food, beer and other supplies were readily on hand to pamper and comfort any tourist choosing to relax there. I may have to return there just to while away the heat of the upcoming summer.
Well, all good things must end and the scenery changed from the abundance of nature to the mundane bane of our modern existence. I made this trip in April, 2011 (2555 Buddhist Era calendar.) The traditional Thai New Year occurs on a lunar basia, this year that being April 13-15. What began as a respectful, family type holiday marking the end of the dry season has evolved into a drunken water fighting frenzy. Its actually danerous to be on a bike during Songkran and I was booking for home base-and safety
Some kids must have read my mind because they were celebrating Songkran early on April 9. Yeah, they got me good with two buckets of water. For some reason many normally nonconfrontational Thais think its funny to blast you with water when riding a motorbike and are unconcerned if you actually crash. Weird man...
The final 25 kilometers to Chiang Mai were congested with holiday travelers returning to their villages to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. I headed straight for Chiang Mai Saloon and ordered my favorite 129 baht ($4.30) pork chop with baked potato.
The entire trip was 667 kilometers, about 400 miles.
1. Vegetable farm outside Mae Sariang
2. More veggies
3. Check out the foot bridge in the upper right.
4. Swimming huts in the river
5. Sustenance for your correspondent