Welcome back. If you’ve been following my recent articles you’ll know I’m heading North again this week. Tomorrow in fact. Early. Very early.
Packing can be a lot of work in this digital age. iPad for entertainment. The screen quality is excellent, aside from which I have a cable to connect it via HDMI to a TV. I’m not sure I’ll need that. My days will be hectic and so my evenings will likely be spent writing.
My Lenovo tablet will keep track of my travels by running my own app TRiPi(tm). That will show me distance travelled, time taken, and average speed. It will also tell me how many hours, minutes and seconds until Beer O’Clock. Well, maybe not, but it could.
My iPhone will be stuck to the dash. Living inside is Ms. Chuckles, my GPS software lady. She’s under strict instructions not to make the same mistake as the last time I went North, when she steered me through Bangkok’s rush hour traffic… Twice! If she does that, she’s going straight out the window. With the iPhone busy doing things that don’t involve phone calls I’ll need another phone.
My Canon DSLR with lenses, charger, cables, etc. is packed. If I could take only one “toy” that would be it.
Then there’s the Dell Mini, because I can’t think of any other way to get the images out of the camera and onto a hard disk. And that’s the only place I have lots of disk space. One day I must buy one of those WiFi-enabled memory cards so I can wirelessly connect the camera to anything. Maybe I’ll have a quiet word with Santa Claus. Oh wait, he does that “naughty or nice” routine doesn’t he, so that’s not going to work.
Making sure I have all the right cables, chargers, disks, outlets, etc. is a real nightmare, and no matter how much I plan, one essential thing always seems to be left behind.
The rest of the packing pretty-much does itself. I’ve travelled so much, I’m always partly packed, and I only have to tell my brain how many days, and it works out how many of each item of clothing I need. That’s the easy part.
I won’t have much to write about tomorrow, assuming the trip is uneventful. I’m driving from here (Sichon) to Lopburi. If Ms. Chuckles sticks to my route, it’s about 900kms. Although Lopburi is North and slightly West of Bangkok, I plan to go to the East of the capital and head across the top. If I’m lucky, I should arrive somewhere around sunset.
Just so you know what I do expect to be writing about…
Friday morning I plan to visit some old temples in Lopburi city. I’ve been there before but was tied up with rally matters, so this time I hope to get in a little sightseeing as well. Soon after lunch I’ll be heading to the Rally of Thailand HQ, then watching the Ceremonial Start, followed by a Superspecial Stage.
If you have no interest in motorsport, you’ll probably want to skip a few articles. Saturday and Sunday I’ll be spectating. I hope to catch up with a lot of friends, and no doubt a few enemies. They’re easy to make in the motorsport world. I should have lots to tell and lots of photographs. Sunday will involve a considerable amount of driving, as the stages are nowhere near Lopburi, but in a rather picturesque part of Thailand, so maybe not all the photos will be of rally cars. In the evening I need to file a rally report for Martin Holmes’ eMagazine Motorsport Monday.
Monday will be a bit of a mixture. I’m helping the organizers of something called “The Road To Mandalay.” RTM for short. It’s a multi-country rally that starts in Singapore and ends… guess where. It’s for Classic Cars, the oldest of which – according to the entry list – was made in 1907! In the morning I need to head back to the area of Sunday’s stages to check the condition of a piece of road that will be used on RTM. If it’s not suitable I have to find a road that is, and write the tulips for the road book. Fun.
Anyways, come February, I will be helping with the Thai section of RTM, which will take sixteen days, cover most of the country and a few thousand kilometers. More Fun.
Late afternoon I’ll scoot across to Kanchanaburi. Depending where I start from, I think that will be a couple of hundred kilometers. An easy drive.
Then I’ll spend a couple of long days exploring the city and surroundings, maybe making a trip way up in the hills to the Three Pagodas Pass on the Burmese border. After which, it’ll be the long trek home.
I picked a small family run (a Belgian and Thai couple) hotel in Kanchanaburi. It’s a short way out of town and looks peaceful. Some Thai home cooking at supper time will be very welcome.
I confess I’m spoiled and normally pick air-conditioned rooms where possible, but this hotel’s cheaper non-aircon rooms look nice, so I settled for one with just a fan. Then I checked the forecast. Overnight temperatures are predicted to be 16 degrees! Are they kidding me? Does the hotel have rooms with electric blankets? To me that’s seriously cold. Sweaters have been packed!
Ah well, I’ll survive.