Day 106: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

‘excuse me meester’ asked the Thai guy, ‘what inside bag’?
My bicycle’, I replied.
Clearly not many people took road bikes to Koh Samui.
‘You want smoke? Hash? Pills?
‘No thanks’, I replied politely.
The guy was persistent. ‘You want DVD’? Girls?
He sold anything.
Hoping to out fox him I said “I would like a Lamborgini please.
You want lamb? I only got pad thai now’. He said.
I laughed and made my way to the taxi queue.

I had booked a hotel in Koh Samui. It was rather appropriately called the ‘Ark’. Which meant I would not have to build one if the torrential rains continued.

I arrived, was shown to my room and decided to grab a beer to celebrate (a) having made it through the Tour of Thailand in one piece and (b) our team mate Sean Smith winning the event.

Curiously the bar was empty. I sat down and choose a chair on a porch over looking the long, gently curving white sandy beach.

‘Sorry sir we demolish bar now.’
‘Pardon?’
‘We remove bar now. We break it’
The Thai guy stood in front of me with a large claw hammer in one hand and what looked like a plastic bucket on his head, which, I think was meant to be a safety helmet
‘Sorry, you mean you are renovating?’
‘No, we remove bar’, ‘ Now you move’ he said, and smiled.
Great. I thought. I check into my hotel and they start to demolish it.
I got up walked down a couple of steps onto the beach, looked left and then right and decided to walk in the direction of some sun beds about fifty meters further down the beach. I could hear some trance music pounding away.
Upon arrival I found what looked like the aftermath of a late night party. People were sprawled out over sun beds in a state of disarray. I wasn’t really ready for this and decided to unpack my bike and go for a ride instead.

I got back to my room to discover the power was off. I stumbled around the pitch black room, located my bike bag and dragged it out onto the terrace.

Mosquitoes. They are the national bird in Thailand and they are ravenous. I built the bike up whilst swatting away at the swarms that were trying to dine on my flesh. And then it started to rain again.

I was going riding, come rain or shine.

Koh Samui is not a large island. The road around it is just over one hundred kilometers in length.

I decided, for no reason, to keep the sea on my left and ride clockwise around it.

It felt good to be cycling again but after five days of racing my legs felt like I’d stolen them from Pinocchio. After an hour or so they magically came to life.

The first climb was short but steep and covered in sand which made standing up impossible.

The descent was covered in sand, which meant a crash was possible.

I was questioning my sanity in choosing to cycle around the island when the first truck, belching out fumes so dense you could have cut them with a knife, overtook me, its tires just inches from my shoulder.

I pulled into a lay by to calm my nerves. It had been a close call. I had almost become a statistic. I decided to take a few photos and relax for a while.

It turned out that my brush with the truck of death was an isolated incident – I had no other problems with blind truck drivers on the island and can recommend circumnavigating Koh Samui by bike if you feel restless.

As I returned to my hotel I came across a white Lamborghini. I stood and stared. Having an Italian super car on the Island of Koh Samui is like being married to Angelina Jolie and declaring yourself celibate.

I found a little restaurant and ordered a Pad Thai, as plainly I wasn’t going to get a Lamborghini. It had already been sold.

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