By Saturday night, the walls in the 30 square meter Southeast side Bangkok living-working box began to close in. Motorbike in mind, on snap impulse, SW packed a three day change of clothes onto his reliable two-wheeled transport machine, and set off towards the goal of embarking, surviving and conquering the modern route to his late mother’s childhood village with an aim of maintaining rusting, dusting, fading family bridges.
His last visitation to second cousins–whose secluded village prevails in the middle of flooded marshlands on the Southeastern outskirts of Nakhon Sawan city—was roughly two years ago. It was time to seize the day with a dual purpose of ‘traveling to’ and ‘checking in.’
Yet by the time SW was all packed up, tire pressure checked and adjusted, and on the road late Saturday afternoon, the slow commute shared with many mourning-appareled evening commuters (due to the royal cremation and mourning ceremonies for H.M. the King’s late sister whom passed away at the beginning of the year) coupled Saturday outing traffic, and the delays of trialing uncertain Bangkok exit routes saw the day quickly fading away with still a massive amount of kilometers to cover.
Filling up the tank at 14193.3 km, a non-special flashing snail-pace tour of the city ensued. After a few failed short-cuts, and several narrowly close traffic incidents, the signs of logic dictated to turn back and delay the venture for Sunday’s day light.
The backtracking decision cost nearly three hours, 2 liters of petrol, or some 70 kilometers up, around and back down the Bangkok metropolitan, ending back at a Finish friend’s dwelling in the central Bkk neighborhood of Din Daeng.
Hesitant to commit to the road early, the temptation of changing plans and instead visiting the brother 250 kilometers in the Eastern Thailand province of Juntaburi, departure finally ensued after a random lottery draw to inquire the day’s spirits’ input; the initial target, Nakhon Sawan was confirmed for Sunday November 16, Central Bkk departure at noon.
With his light load, the modern cowboy’s Emerald Pegasus clocked 14257 kilometers to date. A standard central Bangkok exit followed Northbound Vipawadi-Rangsit Road up and past Don Muang airport where the route merges with Pahoyothin Road to form Highway 1, continuing up into the North flank suburb, Rangsit, This first 40 kilometers requires motorbikers to use the slower-paced Frontage Road, where safe speed ranges from 40 to 70 kilometers.
Finally, Bangkok and its crowded frontage roads and elevated and separated middle express lane fade away where highway 1 forks in a Northeast direction, the North going route turning into Highway 32, the prime route to the Northern region. Getting to this fork at around Bang pa-in district of Ayutthaya province took the better part of the first hour, calling for a fuel stop at Bang Pa-hun district, another 40 kilometers north on hwy 32 bypassing Ayutthaya city: 14344.9 km, 3.67 liters at 75 baht; Since lass pit-stop, achieving 41.3 kilometers per liter, or roughly 2 kilometers per every baht (50 satang per kilometer)
Fresh into the second and third hours, the SW coasted through some 150 kilometers of Ang Thong and Singburi provinces on smooth wide-shoulder-lane highway, before making a final pit stop near in Chainat: 14458.4 km, 2.925 liters at 60 baht; Since last pit-stop, achieving 38.8 kilometers per liter, or roughly 1.89 kilometers per every baht;
Passing through the thin stretches of Chainat and Uthai Thani provinces, by 16.30, the SW had achieved his destination. Beeping his horn three times as he passed under the Nakhon Sawan provincial welcome sign, clocking just over 14500 kilometers, making the days journey a smooth 250 kilometers, or a mere 130 baht in petrol.