I had to leave the peninsula right after Songkhla to cross the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. I felt this was a farewell journey, so I chose to drive on a secondary road, along the sea shore instead of the highway between Nakhon si Thammarat and Songkhla.
The first 50 kilometers were the most beautiful. The sea dressed up for the occasion in deep blue clothes. The waves were heading towards the shore in perfect sized jumps, trying to impress me and make me stop to salute them back. Small fishing villages and shrimp farms, tiny wooden cottages laid along the coast and white birds were commuting between the sea and land. The wind was blowing carrying Muslim muezzin voices, turbans and shawls, shy smiles and respectful greetings.
All this had such a cinematic look that I decided to become part of it for real. I did something which I had never done before since it seemed unseemly and foolhardy. I took off my shirt and helmet, put on the headphones and started rocking on the road. Yeah, I was Hell’s Angel!
After an hour of rock’n’roll, I needed to enjoy the tranquility of the area. I randomly selected a village, parked Unirea under a palm tree and went to the beach leaving the luggage carelessly unattended. The women were working on the shadowed flowery porches. The men were smoking cigarettes on the beach while the children played in the sea. The beach seemed the heart of the village, the quiet place where the daily stories, thoughts and plans meet and get stirred at sunset time. I took a deep breath and returned to Unirea. Needless to say nothing was missing.
For the last 30 kilometers I returned on the highway. More cars, but not less beauty. Everywhere I looked there were temples, gardens and many, many yellow, red and cyclamen flowers. Highways in Thailand are like botanical gardens spreading over hundreds of kilometers.
Coming directly from the North, I had to take the ferry to cross Songkhla Lake to Samila Beach. It was already dark and I was not up to go around the lake. I paid 10 baht and waited half an hour until the old metal platform completed the one-mile trip between the shores. The ferry was loaded with cars, people and one million motorbikes.
The last kilometer to Samila Beach Resort (where I had booked a room) would have been the most challenging part of this trip if I had not met a nice local guy who realizing I was lost kindly offered to guide me to the location.
Altogether I spent five hours on the road. I could have made it in two but then there would not have been any story to tell, would it?