Bikes loaded and panniers packed we were ready for our first day of touring since arriving nearly a week ago. We waved goodbye to the now familiar faces at Shanti Lodge and wondered why our coffee lady was absent today. Routing past the Dusit Palace we found ourselves on well marked bike lanes, a miracle!
Our bike lane luck ended quickly and being a bit rusty from our US bike tour we found ourselves thrown mercilessly onto a main artery in Bangkok. High speed merging contests with loaded trucks were not exactly what we were hoping for. Scrolling furiously on my Garmins tiny screen I would see no easy correction and so for nearly 20km we fought to maintain our sanity as well as our space on the death trap of a highway.
Hungry and spotting an opening in the concrete barracade we stopped at a small neighborhood located in a sea of highways a coming soon elevated train line we found the ever present food vender and with a bit of assistance ordered lunch. Fueled up with the amazingness that only a wok can provide we were soon pedaling again. Our stop disoriented us and we were confused by the overlapping highways, a few “wrong turns” and found our sanity and a quieter road headed north.
Turning off the smaller, yet still fast road onto a river road we let out a collective sigh of relief. Not only was this road the antithesis of the highway we started the day on, but we were welcomed immediately by a fried banana vendor!
Our newfound river road is ideal for bike touring. Low traffic, low speed, scenic and dotted with just enough civilization for Amanda to finish her fight with travellers diarreah.
The river road deposits us perfectly in Ayutthaya and we check into the first accommodation that hits our budget and quality requirements, Ayutthaya Place.
Following Maps.me we looked for temple ruins located on the river, quickly realizing the potential flaws in open source data we gave up and just enjoyed a walk around the quiet part of town, a shot of whiskey from a group of friendly Thais and the motoring of boats along the river. Tomorrow we would explore the ruins and historical park.