Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catching up

I've been quite remiss in my posts. So sorry. I'm going to see if I go backwards whether I can catch myself up.
Today I took a break from working on the house that I think I have for next year in northern Thailand (more on that in next post) for a four hour motorbike tour through the mountains around me to see the beautiful flowers in bloom. It's a little like Japanese Sakura I thought. So incredibly beautiful and at the end I dropped by my friend Supa's cafe for a nice long chat. I also met some nice horses! It felt like a perfect day.

Here are some photos:

Sunday, February 2, 2014



feb 2 2014
After my last long post there were a few thoughts that came up that I thought I'd write down.

time, 3 days, 2 days, 1 day?
There are things that are reminding me of my long rides and that is relationship with time.

I have found myself staying at a lot of places for 3 days at a time. The routine is 1st day - travelling, usually between 2 and 5 hours, then 1 day of rest and perhaps a little or a lot of walking, some shopping if there is a village nearby and then a final day that usually means more rest more stillness. I really like to spend a lot of time in relative stillness, in as natural a spot as possible and simply try to absorb whatever wildness is around me. The air, the trees, perhaps a stream, birds, the occasional bigger mammal-ish being. There is a whole new set of living things around me here and I feel a little like a babe not quite as confident as I might be back in Canada. It's all great.

At any rate, the point of this now meandering post is that after those 3 days I can feel little tendrils of rooting starting to set down and tihs is where I'm feeling similar stuff to my rides. A certain sadness creeps in. Sadness to leave a place or perhaps to leave lovely people which is the case here in Nan town at the Nan Guesthouse where I am staying. (3, count'em, 3 nights in a bed and I haven't cooked one meal myself here! Luxury)

So there's that tinge of sadness from the settling combined with the leaving. It really is as sweet as sweet can be.

Camping at Sri Nan
The other thing that I forgot write about when I was camped in that spot away from the main camp spot as that almost to a person, the park staff would all give me a big wave or honk as they drove by an their motorbikes or pickups. And a number of them stopped by to have a look at my set up.
I want to presume or form things here about why that might be, but I am resisting. Suffice it to say that it was a really nice feeling.

The other thing is that I quickly leaned what Mah Khun Deo? meant. which is, are you alone? spoken with a variable mixture of concern, surprise and admiration. With my affirmation that yes, I am travelling alone the main response was a big smile and a thumbs up.
That is a really nice feeling too.

Well this seems like a bloody long post again. Ah well, I'll probably be out of range for the next week or so. So, there ya go.

Maybe I'll finish off with a big thanks to Ratha and Tom at Nan Guesthouse. This has been a most wonderful break from my most wonderful camping. The other thing is that though I am on a very tight budget (my main expenses of camping and fuel for motorbike has amounted to around 2,000 baht which comes to about 60$ over the last 3 weeks so, I'm not doing to bad out here. Food is relatively cheap) I did however put a little aside for some clothing purchases. Ratha here, get some beautiful fabrics from a Hmong village near Pua to the north of Nan. They do natural batik on cotton using completely natural indigo dye. Ratha makes clothing and bags and stuff from the fabric and then sells them at the guesthouse. Ratha made a beautiful Phasin (a folded and tied long skirt) and some pants that tie as well for me. Custom work as I am a little on the tall side and she spent yesterday afternoon putting that all together before I head out on Monday. Really wonderful clothing that I will cherish forever.

Here's a photo of the phasin and then I throw one in of the lovely Ratha as well.
Cheers! Cath