After the session we had the night before at the dinner table the air got cleared and all on the same page again, for now. Greg took this photo just before our Explosive Dinner, note that Peens is hot in all the sense of the word, plus eating piping-hot Chilly, no wonder the mood was tangible before we got half-way through dinner.

hot in all ways

But before I tell you about the great night we had last night, let me post some photos Greg took.

dog food rain kit

We suspect this Filling Station Owner phoned the police.

police

I am happy to report that in-spite of the odds of the Operation on the front fork being a success, (there were some betting behind the scenes and the chances of doing it successful, next to the road on a pavement, without all the correct tools were between 0% and 20%, ) was an enormous success, so some members of the group eating some humble Pie today.

After posting the blog yesterday my day just continued to get better, first Peens and Rocky who were looking for some wine we could buy to stock-up our fridge found me some Deodorant.

After hitting the showers we went for a stroll through the Market next to our Hotel. Note the fruit getting weirder as we are heading into the more tropical area, any one who has been to Thailand will recognize some of these fruits.)

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Then at dinner the team got together as one around our new Chinese wine.

mark & r

We had worked through some issues and we all bonded so much that Peens and Pie even held hands.

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After Dinner we went out to a very Yuppy Trendy Bar to see how the Chinese wealthy spends their evenings. The Restaurant was very empty when we arrived but soon the locals packed the place to have a look at the KTM Show. We were entertained by an Chinese Guitar. We Peens later discovered she was an English teacher and they had long discussions and I had visions of her joining him on the back of his motorbike but this morning the backseat was still empty.

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When we left the Owner of the Bar and two of her staff wanted to pose for photos with us, I don’t know where they will post it as things like Face-Book and other Social Media Sites are banned in China and to go onto these sites you need to download many other programs and if they catch you, it is a very serious offense. There are also some Key-Words which should you try to look it up on the internet, sets of alarm bells at those in power and before you know it there is a knock on your door.

trendy bar

I have to report that the standard of the hotels have nose-dived, yet the price remains the same, so you still get an air-con, hair drier, mini-bar and free WI-Fi, but nothing is working properly, which I don’t mind, was never a fan of showering while looking through the window how much stuff is lying on my bed which I still need to pack away, but can  they not invest in proper mattresses ?. Our Breakfast this morning however was the same as before.

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To drink we were served a fine choice between Coke or Fanta. This is surprising as we are riding through the Tea and coffee plantations.

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We only did the back roads today which was harder than I remembered them, non-stop concentration on a slippery wet tar road, winding up and down small mountain passes, in and out of the valleys, switching back on itself the entire time. If you add to this the endless stream of motorbikes and “Water-Pump-Cars” ( I posted some of them yesterday, it is literally a diesel water pump motor that has many things it can be attached to or can be used to drive things like a tractor would drive the machine knocking the pips off the corn, these Motors can be hooked in front of your “Bakkie” your plough, your pump in the rice paddy etc.) the latter leaving fresh mud on already slippery corners. But we were riding under a canopy of the Natural Forrest and it was nice and cool, but really very very rural. It took us 3 hours do ride the 1st 100km.

Photos of the road today. Note the Tea Drying operation we stumbled on, (the tea leaves are ‘shaken” inside big metal “woks” by the mother while the father stokes small fires under the wok and the brother runs the little fridge next to the road where they sell cool drinks. Then we swapped some of our Almonds with a family chopping open Macadamia nuts while squatting outside their house.

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Tomorrow morning we ride to the Border and then we hope we can cross without incident  and then I hope that when we load our new maps of South East Asia into the GPS’s that I see the little tryangle latch onto the road I am actually on and not one way to the left and in front.