On 11th October we were given a treat. Dawn Shrives bought along some chocolate for us to buy and taste.
Dawn works in Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle, where she lets people, not only children, indulge themselves in the wonderful art of chocolate moulding.
We sampled chocolate with lime and ginger, which I must admit required a desired taste. The more cocoa in the chocolate, the better it tasted. So Dawn says, I personally prefer Galaxy bar any day. We were also told not to put chocolate in the fridge. It doesn’t need to be kept cold.
Mike Edwards came to talk about his trip to Thailand travelling with his wife on a tandem. They had allowed themselves four and a half weeks to travel 1,000 miles through Thailand. As everything had to be carried on the tandem it meant they had to travel very light, the only clothes they allowed themselves were change of shorts, tee-shirt and underwear, and a puncture repair outfit and a few other necessary items. Two bags were other side the front wheel and two either side the back one. As the weather was so warm they washed their clothes every evening and they were dry by the next morning.
Arriving at Bangkok airport they had to manoeuvre their tandem into a small lift by upending it and then down an escalator to get to the train station to go into the city only to find the last train had left. The only thing to do was to cycle into the city centre along the motorway. In Thailand cyclists and motor cyclists are allowed to use the hard shoulder but what they did find rather disconcerting was the fact it was two way traffic and you could suddenly find a motor cyclist bearing down on you.
Finding a hotel was not as easy as they had expected, they did not know the word for hotel and it was not obvious which buildings were hotels. They came across a large block of flats which proved to be a hotel and booked a room for the night. It was very clean, very cheap and very basic with a bed, a toilet and a wash basin and seeing the slide looked like a prison cell. This room only cost a few pounds but accommodation was not expensive and you could get a nice room for around £15.
They saw some lovely temples with Buddahs and one morning whilst they had stopped to hear the lovely chanting at one of the monasteries they were invited to have breakfast with the monks. Everyone has a spirit house in their garden and they put out seeds in it for the birds to eat.
We saw some lovely slides of spectacular scenery, beautiful sandy beaches and pretty fishing villages. They went out on a fishing boat with one of the fishermen and were a little concerned when the boat started to leak and water had to be bailed out. They found everyone in Thailand very friendly and on arriving one evening to find there was no hotel in the village they were lucky enough to find someone who spoke English and he invited them to stay at his house for the night.
They made the journey in the time they had allocated, going through Malaysia and on to Singapore where they went to the famous Raffles Hotel, however, the prices they charged were just a little too expensive for them to stay there.
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