Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ko Pha Ngan

Got a text off Dad earlier. They've caught the ferry and are now on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. Looks a lovely island. Just been reading that the island is famous for their full moon parties - I could just see my Dad at one of those parties :)

They've had an easy day on the bikes today and only done 15 miles.  Dad sent me a link to the following web page Chaloklum Bay Resort. I would love to think they were staying there but Dad's text goes on to say they have a bungalow by the sea, with a fan but no air-con, so it's probably up the road from Chaloklum Bay!  Will check it out with Dad.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ko Samui (Day 2)

Dad had an early start this morning. He was on the road for 6.30 am (trying to avoid the heat). He's done a lap around Ko Samui. A 35 mile trip. Stopped off for breakfast in Lamai which is over on the east coast and managed to get a full English breakfast!

He's been and found out the ferry times to Ko Pha Ngan which must be where they are heading tomorrow.

Dave had a day off the bike today but is feeling much better and even managed a meal.

Dave on solid food

Dad was heading out for a swim when he text .... I wonder what creature he'll be swimming with this time. Dave sent a photo of Dad with his new T-shirt and cap.

Dad modelling the new fashion wear ... Road Trash (things found on the side of the Road).

Update on the Dad's lost mobile. It was turned on this morning. I'd sent delivery reports on a couple of texts so I knew when it was switched on. So I rang it!  They soon hung up.  I've sent another text asking them to return the phone back to Paradise Mansion and my parting words were "we know when you use this phone".  My next text to the phone will say "... we know what you did last summer" :)  Doubt we will get it back but I'll have fun trying to get it back :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ko Samui

Got a text off Dad this morning. They have made it to Ko Samui. They set off at 6.30 am to avoid some of the heat but they some how managed to miss the ferry at 10.00 am so had to hang around for the 11.00 am one. I thought from yesterday's text there was only one ferry a day, obviously not!

On arriving at Ko Samui they enquired after a room at the Mai Samui Resort but at £250 a night they cycled on!  If nothing else look at the photo gallery at Mai Sumai Resort. I want to stay there!

They are now staying at a place called Bang Po to the north of the island. They have a bungalow by the sea forjust £7.00 per night!  They are staying on Ko Samui for a couple of nights.

Yesterday Dad managed to get a (in his words) a Thai Sunday dinner for 25p ... I bet that wasn't roast beef and yorkshire pud!

Apparently Dad has been for a swim today. Thankfully those maroon trunks which he had when I was kid haven't made this trip! Hopefully they've been binned, but knowing Dad he probably put them in a charity bag.  Just been looking at Ko Samui and it looks like the perfect place to relax and swim ... so much so that my Dad had a cow (yes the udder type) as a swimming companion! I've heard of swimming with dolphins but swimming with cows! Dave didn't get a photo of that but here is Dad enjoying his evening meal.

No reports of anything else being lost. On the "found" front as well as the cap my Dad also found a T-shirt. I reckon someone had just nipped off for a quick dip in the sea and my Dad came along and took his stuff. I've requested photo of Dad with his newly acquired cap and T-shirt.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Just got a text off Dad. Got to love my Dad's text speach. Looks like they took a right and headed for Kanchanadit rather than heading for Tha Chang. So my guess at where they were yesterday was way off! Good job I haven't had to send out a search party.

They've finished riding for the day and they are in a basic Thai bungalow in Kanchanadit. They were going to catch a ferry but it looks like there is only one a day so will pick that up tomorrow. Not sure if they are heading for an island or across the estuary. So as Otis would say they are "sitting on the dock of the bay, watchin the tide roll away, sitting on the dock of the bay, wastin time."

Good and bad news about the cap ... he didn't get his own back but he's found another on the road!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thai twosome

Not heard off the Thai twosome today. I assume they are in a Wifi / mobile blackspot. As well as Dave's UK mobile they now have a Thai sim (I think they are called tourist sims) and a new mobile number. Well I assume it's them that are texting me !  I've dropped them a text but not heard back.

If they've done the normal 50 miles today on the bikes they could have made it to east coast of Thailand and somewhere around Tha Chang but it's all just guess work. Hopefully will hear off them tomorrow and I'll update with details of where they are.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ban Ta Khun

Got a text from Dad and Dave (well I'm assuming it was them as it's a different number and a Thai code but I know they were hoping to get a Thai sim) to say they were in a Thai Hotel in Ban Ta Khun. Looks like no WiFi available so we can't Skype. Today they have covered 86 km (around 54 miles).

I've had a look on Google Maps and I think this might be the route they have taken. Google maps isn't particularly good but it gives you a rough idea as to where they are and how far they have travelled. Hopefully tomorrow they will have reached the east coast of Thailand.

No update on the missing hat - lets hope he's found it or got a replacement or he'll be complaining about the sun ! I am assuming they've not lost anything else !

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lost Cap in Phang Nga !

At this rate my Dad will be way below his kg limit on the way home ... he's now lost cycling cap!  Apparently he went check out the room in a hotel, liked it and threw his hat on the bed as if to say "that's my bed" and then legged it back to find Dave! Between them checking in and getting back to the room someone must have come in and tidied up and now Dad's hat has gone!  So now they are trying to track down the missing hat.  Never a dull moment on holiday with my Dad.

Well today they have clocked 88 km (just under 55 miles) and they have made it over the bridge to Phang Nga and are currently staying at Phunga Hotel. The blurb of the hotel says ...."The hotel boasts luxurious accommodation with the finest facilities and located in beautiful natural surroundings which offers visitors peace and tranquility."  That sounds a bit posh for a couple of cyclists !  Made me smile as one of the amenities is listed as hot/cold shower .... is that a luxury?

They will now continue north east heading to the east coast tomorrow but it will probably take a couple of days get there.

I've updated the route so far - it's a bit of guess work and I'm relying on "directions" from Google maps but it gives you some idea of roughly where they are and where they've been.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Well Dad and Dave have "hit the road" and the cycle trip around Thailand has commenced. They are currently in Kamala which is only 10km up the road from Patong so it wasn't a long day in the saddle!  Tomorrow they are heading north past the airport and over the bridge to the mainland. They had just stopped for a "curry stop" and managed to get free wifi.

Food looking good !

Dad and Dave at the restaurant

Sounds like they have found some budget accommodation at 500 Bhat (approx £10.50) for the room but not wifi .... not surprising at that price ! Just been reading the blurb on Kamala and it says "with its quieter pace, over the last few years, Kamala has become a favoured spot for retirees" ... Dad will fit in quite well there :)

Got an update on Dad's mobile. He'd taken it down to breakfast with him. When he got back to the room he realised he'd not got his phone. Legged it back to the restaurant and the plastic bag he keeps his mobile phone in was there (it's his own mobile phone case!) but unfortunately the phone was gone :( The phone was worth very little - it's an extremely basic text and call only phone. Had around £30 of credit though but that won't last long if they are using it in Thailand. It's more of an inconvenience than anything else.

Edited to say just testing Google Maps - I think this was today's route.

Communication hiccup ...

Got a text off Dad yesterday to say he was out for his second Thai meal. He must have been in the restaurant when he was texting as he said "food has arrived".  I wonder what was on the menu.

During the day he'd been out on the bike and cycled north from Patong along what I assume was the coastal road as he had taken in three beaches. He'd then gone off to meet up with Dave at the airport before popping out for something to eat.

Well between eating out last night and this morning he's "lost" his mobile as I got a text off Dave to let me know. Not sure how yet ... whether he left it in the restaurant, dropped it on the way back or had it stolen. Will find out more later when Dave gets online. A bit of a hiccup but at least this trip we have other ways of communication!  Parents are a nightmare at times !

More later ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Airport Run

Had a text off Dad this morning to say he was at Phuket airport waiting for Dave to arrive. I'd been tracking Dave's flight and shortly after it landed I got another text off Dad to say they were in the taxi back to the hotel.

We've now stepped up a gear communication-wise and Thailand has been calling Keele and we've been exchanging Skype conversations. Apparently Dad is slightly bemused by this new form of communication. Wait until we have a video call !  Thailand is +7 hours ahead of GMT so video calling may be difficult but I'm sure we will find a way!

Better watch what I write on here ... no doubt Dad and Dave will be checking on the blog!

Edited to say - just got this photo of Dad in the hotel room. Don't you just love technology.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Out on the bike

Got a text off Dad earlier to say he's had a day out on the bike. Had a breakfast stop and managed to get bacon, three eggs, toast, juice and coffee for £3.00.  He'll be doing a guide to the "best bacon butties in Thailand" next !

After breakfast he cycled into old Phuket Town. Only saw two other cyclists but he saw thousands of scooters some with three passengers on.

Room in hotel good. He's still at the Paradise Mansion. It's en-suite with TV, fridge and aircon ... which Dad said was most useful so it must be a tad on the warm side. Mind you after the last few weeks anywhere would be warmer than the UK.  Dave is en-route out to Dad and they should meet up early tomorrow evening.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Massages !

Well he's been in Phuket less than 24 hours and already he's been out and about. Got a text earlier to say he'd been out for a beer. Area is a bit seedy and he'd had many offers of a massage !  Perhaps he'd gone out in his cycling gear and they were offering him a sports massage!  He'll be glad of one of those massages when he's been on the bike a few weeks!

However he did say that hotel will store the bike boxes for his return so that's an added bonus.

I text him the cycling and football news.  He'll be happy with Hoy's gold and with the Stoke result.

He's made it !

Got a text off Dad at 5.30 am !  Only picked it up when I got up. He's made it safely to Phuket along with his bike!  He managed to break his reading glasses (probably in the coat of many pockets!) at Heathrow airport but picked up a pair in Boots for £17.50!  I can hear him now "how much!" as the ones he'd broke probably came from the Pound Shop!

He's staying at Paradise Mansion, Patong Beach. The blurb says ...  "Located at the quiet end of a bustling area off Rat-U-Thit Road".  Somehow with a Road name like that it no longer sounds like Paradise !  Patong is the main tourist area of Phuket which doesn't really sound like Dad's cup of tea! However he is only using this as a base while he waits for Dave to arrive. Hopefully they will also store Dad's bike box for the return journey.

I'd text him the cycling results from last night and he text back to ask how Stoke had gone on! They play today.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

He's on his way ...

Well he's on is way. My friend Andy drove him to Heathrow airport with a very early start this morning !  No worries on the bike front as Dad managed to get his bike on the flight.  That bike box looks a bit like a suitcase doesn't it !   All the rest of his luggage, except what he is wearing is in the red pannier in front of the bike box. Now that is travelling light.

I knew the coat of many pockets would be a mistake ... he'll never be able to find anything !
It's in here somewhere !

They even had time for breakfast !

Dad with his black eye!
Flight departed on time and last time I looked he was over Poland en-route to Singapore for the first leg of the journey.

Thanks Andy for taxing Dad to airport and for the photos !

Edited to say ... perhaps the flight tracker isn't that accurate as four hours later the flight is still showing as being over Poland !

Friday, February 17, 2012

An early start

Dad has just popped down to see me. He's off in the morning and as an early start. Mind you with his black eye and crew cut not sure they'll let him on the flight as he doesn't look much like his passport! As for the black eye he has no idea how he got it, the crew cut well that was the clippers on number 2 !

He's just hoping they let him take the bike on the flight. It's below 20 kg weight limit and he's been reading up and Singapore Airlines want over $500 to take a bike as excess luggage. He's decided if they won't let him take it as luggage then the bike is coming home, he'll take the saddle and he'll hire a bike over there!  The rest of his luggage is in his panniers which he is carrying on as hand luggage and in the pockets of his various coats !

Hopefully get a photo of him at the airport tomorrow. Until then ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

He's packing light !

Well with just four days to go til he's off to Thailand Dad has started packing. Well I say packing ... the bike is boxed up and with an allowance of only 20 kg to go in the hold and the bike weighing in at 19.5 kg I don't think he'll be taking much stuff with him! He has an allowance of 7 kg for one piece of carry on luggage so he'll be packing everything else into one of his panniers and carrying it on the plane. 7kg for a month away - that will not leave much allowance for any "just-in-cases".  Dad says biking gear takes priority, toiletries and casual "going-out" clothes he'll pick up when he's there. I suppose he's reducing his carbon foot-print slightly as lots of clothes are made in Thailand, so he is saving on having them shipped over to the UK and then taking them back !

We are moving into the high-tech world of communication and I'm hoping to get updated regularly on Skype and even get a few photos while he's out there! That'll make a change from having to wait for them to developed from his disposable camera! If that fails we will be back to texting and me trying to decipher my Dad's very own text speak!

Will keep you all posted.