Good morning from a farmer’s shack somewhere west of Omkoi, Thailand!!
Man it got cold last night!!
I’ve got a pretty warm down mummy bag but was still cold. Should have brought my 3/4 length thermarest as it felt like I was losing most of the heat from my back. Down doesn’t insulate very well when compressed!
Dave served up some welcome hot coffee thanks to his jet boil and I had some pastries bought from the 7-11 the day before, so a pretty civilized breakfast. The temperature climbed with the sun and soon we were packed up and ready to roll!
I picked up and bagged a lot of litter and we left the shack in better shape than we found it
We rode west in the direction of Na Kian and Mae Ngao National Park. Here’s the route from my GPS:
As you can see, we did make a few wrong turns, but all in all the trail was pretty easy to figure out. Here’s the GPX file should anyone want to follow our track: http://www.asianconnection71.com/2014-01-31%2008.42.54%20Day.gpx
The trail begins as an all-weather 4wd road and gets rougher the further west you go. It’s not long before we’re on steep rutted unmaintained 4wd tracks that must be nearly impossible to climb in the wet season.
You could still get a 4wd through here but you’d certainly lose some paint!
These ascents and descents are a lot steeper than they look in the pictures! Good fun on the KLX and Dave did just fine on the KTM-
We were rocking along making good time until we reached a small “ghost town” where I made a wrong turn-
Interesting collection of old abandoned buildings here. Probably the road has gotten so bad that no one cares to live here anymore, but they are still tending to the fields.
Here comes Dave!
Don’t think these little make shift bridges were ever built to support the weight of a KTM and Big Dave, but fortunately none of them collapsed!
The compass feature on the GPS is handy. I note we’re headed south and conclude we must have made a wrong turn…
We make a u-turn and get back on the correct track heading west-
This “ghost town” marks the end of the 4wd road and from here on it’s lovely single track. The single track is actually easier to ride than the 4wd road because it’s not all torn up and rutted by pickups and tractors. Lovely riding through some real wilderness here. Can you spot the trail off in the distance?
A bit further on we spot a small village nestled in a valley-
Welcome to Ban Mae Ramadi Luang!
A tiny Karen village roughly half way between Omkoi and Na Kian-
They have no electricity but they do have generators and a solar powered phone!
Some cute village kids-
A quiet and picturesque village- Dave and I agreed- if we had more time it would be fun to spend a night here and get to know the locals.
Note the solar panel on the tin roof:
From here there is a 4wd road heading west- we passed some nicely maintained “water management” areas-
Expansive views as we approach Na Kian on a ridgeline road from the east-