Today I got up at 5am, tried to work, found my internet connection to be malfunctioning, drank two cups of coffee and went back to bed. When I woke up at 10am, I was still tetchy; and I can only conclude that us humans are a peculiar species. Here I am with food, shelter, friends, a KLX and CBR, and I’m waking up in something less than a fabulous mood? What is going on, really.
So I got to planning my next small adventure, and soon got over it. Tomorrow we will load the enduro bikes on the back of the truck and drive into Mae Hong Son province, over the other side of Pai. Then we’re going to attempt a track which apparently runs along near the Myanmar border, all the way into Pai. If we succeed, we get pizza in Pai. If we don’t succeed, we probably get to sleep on the mountain.
Now this might sound suspiciously similar to my previous adventure, in which we ended up spending three days trying to get through a track which started in Pai. But don’t worry, I assure you this is completely different: this time we’ll be on the north-western side of Pai, not the north-east.
Not the same at all.
Meanwhile I’m spending the day editing videos in front of a fan, because the hot season is here baby. The cicadas started before sunrise, and I am grateful for the gentle mountain winds and the jungle canopy which keeps air temperatures at enduro friendly levels. If you were riding burnt-out forest today you would not be comfortable; but up here, with low humidity and the greenery of coffee bushes, all is well.
In fact, as you sip your morning coffee, you can tell yourself that you’re helping preserve the forests and air quality of Thailand. Every year much of the north is covered in smog from agricultural and forest burning as people engage in slash-and-burn agriculture, burn agricultural waste and clear the forest floors to find valuable mushrooms and ant eggs. But a coffee bush takes several years to start producing, and is killed by fire. Moreover, it is best planted in the shelter of the natural canopy. So wherever you find coffee bushes, you find people who will make damn sure there is no wildfire.
Drink up, you’re helping.