Today’s ride would see us leave the wide valleys of the last few days behind as we climbed higher into the winding mountains of Northern Thailand and turned east away from the Myanmar (Burma) boarder towards the city of Chiang Rai.

We left our cozy riverside room in good time, but with no rain for a few days now the temperature was already soaring and we knew it was going to be a hot one.

After a leisurely 10km or so of very gradual and rolling climbs we stopped at a lovely vineyard for a drink (only water for us).

Shortly after the valley ended and our real test began.

The climb was not only fairly long, but very steep in parts! However, the frankly phenomenal views kept us going.

After stopping to refill our water bottles, in one of the many ‘front room shops’ found all over Thailand, we made our assent on the summit.

It seemed to get steeper and steeper as we approached what we hoped was the top, but as is so often the way there was one more bend to go.

By this time my white vest had gone completely see through with sweat and we were both struggling to hold on to our handlebars due to the amount of liquid pouring out of our bodies, down our arms and leaving a snail trail of perspiration along the tarmac behind us.
Finally cresting the top we were relieved to see another small shop with a fridge full of cold drinks! The kind owner assured us it was down hill from here on.

The views this side were if anything even better and we whizzed down past forests of litchi, fields of corn and even through the odd police road block.

After passing one to many fruit stalls we finally stopped and filled the panniers full of locally grown goodness.

As it happened the restaurant across the way made a mean papaya salad so we took the opportunity to get out the sun and get filled up.

After lunch the road levelled off slightly, but the views remained and after a bit of searching we stumbled across a delightful motel with a much needed ‘Swam-nam’ just outside the town of Mae Chan. At least this would give me a chance to sooth my newly developed sun burn.