Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Van, Boat, Bike and Foot

Tranquil beaches await in Cha Am

The morning of our departure for Cha Am, Teddy was holding a sign that said “Primo” when the Monkey Man exited Wendy House looking for our ride. It took him a minute to realize that “Primo” really meant “Monkey Man.”

Modest wear for the whole family
The van was parked around the corner. 36/2 Soi Kasemsan 1, Rama 1 Road, Palumwan, was much too narrow for traffic to go around the behemoth vehicle. We made our quick hellos to Teddy and all loaded in for the ride to Cha Am. Teddy had been in Bangkok for business the night before, so it was perfect that he could pick us up. Right off the bat, he described his long-standing friendship to the board of the Cambodia Academy and especially Hans, it’s founder who died about a year ago. He knew that Monkey Man was new on the board and he radiated a concern of a parent that he personally needed to meet anyone who was associated to his old friend Hans.
Hans Eide

We left Bangkok via its Port by taking Big Road 4, toward Singapore. Cha Am lies within the State of Phetchaburi, not to be confused with the city of Phetchaburi. The city is our half-way point and a stop where you have Amazon coffee, fill up with natural gas and pee. Teddy’s van runs on natural gas, as do many, many of the large vehicles Thailand. The ride had been smooth sailing and Teddy was able to make good time in spite of the flooding. Teddy also forgot to tell us about the flooding when we began this morning.
Downtown Phetchaburi - Jeep contains Safety Officers
Thailand had been hit by the remnants of Typhoon Damrey, early in November. In response to the high-water table at the The Kaeng Krachan Dam in Phetchaburi, those in charge opened the flood gates-so to speak. Big Road 4: 6 lanes winding thru the city of Phetchaburi thru the lowest lying sections of town. This road is the main artery from Indonesia to Thailand and beyond. There was a swift current of water running over 4 like a babbling brook. Homes and businesses where mostly underwater, though we saw a few that were sandbagged. Teddy estimated that depth of the water to be between 3-4 feet. Teddy wasn’t as concerned as we, as he indicated that this happened every time they open the floodgates and that usually happened a couple of times a year.

Our arrival at PJ Park – the subdivision where Prima and Primo reside- brought out all the neighbors to see who had arrived. The park is a bright, inviting Soi, 2 blocks from the beach. Each condo is identical, yet all are painted in a riot of color. It’s an old enough of a community, where throughout the years, owners have placed their own unique flairs to personal property. Each has a carport and upstairs balcony porch (where lots of laundry is done). The condo is 2BR/2BA. Ours has air. Yay!
All 4 bikes on the carport at PJ Park
First order of business: Lunchy!  Then onward to the beach to rent bikes for Monkey Man and myself. Primo and Prima have no car/motorcycle – it’s beach bikes everywhere. For the next 3 days’, we will bike all over town, like a native. The rental process was not cut and dry as each bike had to be tested and retested before a decision was to be made. Is it better to have brakes or tread on the tires? Somewhere in a perfect world, there should be both, but this is Thailand.
All types of bikes for rent at Cha Am Beach

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