Day 227: Krui – Bengkunet (50m) 96km. Flat and very quiet. Good narrow road.
Day 228: Bengkunet – Pringsewu, 121km. Two 600m climbs (1500m total climbing). First through national park second through more urbanised area.
Day 229: Pringsewu – Kalianda (20m) 103km. LAST DAY OF RIDING! Flat and rolling ride in 40 degree heat.
A day out of Krui we once again we found ourselves in a guesthouse-less village and were lucky to have the locals invite us in and take care of us. On this occasion some money was expected, but we were very grateful for our bed in a tiny room; the ceiling of which seemed to consist entirely of cobwebs!
After Bengkunet we headed east and crossed a 600m range (which was part of a national park) before dropping into a much more heavily populated area. Traffic picked up and the roadsides became consistently built up with homes and businesses. The fruit by the way are durians.
These unusual and slightly sinister looking buildings have been a regular sight on the plains in wealthier regions ever since southern Thailand. They’re ‘birds nest factories,’ where cave swifts are encouraged to build nests, which are then collected for Chinese medicine and birds’ nest soup. The buildings have loudspeakers playing bird calls 24/7 to attract fresh nest builders.
Another 600m climb followed the previous one over the range as we climbed around the side of yet another volcano and then descended into ever-bigger towns as we closed in on our final destination – Kalianda.
Of course Kalianda couldn’t have us arriving too easily and it was through an intense downpour that we rode the final 10 kilometres into town, arriving soaking wet, very stoked and with 13,000km in seven countries behind us. It was all slightly anti-climatic though and I don’t think either of us could grasp the fact that we wouldn’t be hopping on our bikes again the next day, or the next, or the next…