I spent the last 11 days in Zagreb, so rather than describing every detail in one city I’ll just talk about the main points and highlights.
In Zagreb I stayed at the Bureau Hostel which was about a 15 minute walk from the main train station. I spent 11 nights in the 6 bed dorm room on the top floor. I made friends with a roommate named Mario who gave me lots of tips for exploring Zagreb.
I spent the first week exploring the city. I walked through parks and squares all along the city. My days were limited from about 10am to 4pm because the sun set at 4:30 and it was COLD. Especially for me who basically had no warm clothes. I had to wear the same pants and two sweaters the whole time to stay warm.
My favorite spots I visited were the Naive Art Museum, the park starting at the train station, the college campuses and my favorite spot was the Mushroom Museum. It was on the third floor of a dark unmarked building that made it feel kind of scary. But then you walk in and find yourself amongst 1600 freeze dried Croatian mushrooms It was so cool to see all the varieties.
I also spent a good 4 days really sick just laying in bed. Thankfully it wasn’t Covid but it didn’t make it easy to go outside due to the coldness of Zagreb. I did get a chance to do some editing to the blog. I got a new URL now that Henry is gone: twowheelsoneworld.org. And I also added a few more pages, like a Q&A page, so if you have any questions you can ask me there.
The last 4 days or so was spent getting ready for my flight to Bangkok. I had to get tested for Covid, get my bike packed up into its box and schedule my airport shuttle.
The Covid test and packing my bike was nice and easy. I booked the Covid test and got it just in time. And with all my practice packing for trains I was able to get my bike apart nice and fast.
The hard part was the airport shuttle. I had tickets for the shuttle which left from the bus station. Zagreb has city trains too so I figured it’d be easy enough. I wake up the day of my flight, get all my stuff packed with my panniers in a backpack on my back weighing down my shoulders and my box stuffed with my bike, tent, clothes and sleeping bag. I walked to the train station, got there sweaty but released I’d finished the hard part. Then Google put me on the wrong train and I realized I’d have to figure out the trains without Google. So I had to walk 1.2 km to the closest train station that could get me to the bus. It wasn’t really a big deal, I still made it with more than enough time but by the time I got to the train stop my shoulders were just dead.
I got to the airport 4 hours before my flight, but I had to wait 2 hours to check in. So I watched a movie and ate some food in the airport common area before checking in.
When check in was open I got there and they told me I’d have to pay $300 extra to put my bike on. I was reluctant to pay and wanted to figure out another option, so I called my dad for advice and he gifted me an early Christmas present of paying for my bike. Thanks mom and dad!!
That was the last complication of checking in. Now after 11 days I was leaving Zagreb finally.
6 hours later I landed in Doha, Qatar for a two hour layover in the best rated airport in the world. Fully equipped with a Lamborghini.
This was the camel I found^
Nov 25. Thanksgiving
5 hours later I made it to Bangkok. I waited an hour and a half for my bike and bags to come through and then I found my shuttle to the quarantine hotel.
It was 90° when I arrived in my pants and sweater. I was not ready for that.
The hotel was crazy. It had a kitchen, living room, king sized bed room and a bathroom with a super deep tub. I’d never stayed in a room like that it was crazy.
The hotel gave me my thanksgiving quarantine meal of mushroom Alfredo pasta and a can of coke.
The hotel manager called my room at 11 am to tell me I had tested negative and could leave. So I set off to the train station to get a train out of the chaotic city of Bangkok.
When I got there I noticed that the tickets were booked up online so I went to the Tropical Summer Hostel 20 min away. I got a private room for $7 and found a nice dinner of noodles, meat and veggies down the road for $1.19.
I also got milo ice cream and nuggets from the 7/11. Milo was my favorite drink when I was in Colombia this winter and they have all sorts of milo products in Thailand.
I woke up at 9 due to jet lag and I was ready to go by 10. The Hostel owner stopped me and made me breakfast for free of rice, meat, cucumbers, and edamame’s.
Then he sat with me and we talked for a while about my trip and he gave me recommendations on places to go on my route. When he was sending me off he asked me how old my parents were. I told him 44 and 45 and he stopped surprised and told me he was 43. Then he told the whole hostel he could be my dad. He was a funny guy, he honored me with a post about me on his Instagram.
I got a ticket to Ratchaburi by train for $1.50. I waited for 1.5 hours in the station before the train left.
I got on my train 10 minutes before it left. It was not like European trains where it’s on the same level on the platform. This train was a good 4 feet off the ground with steps going up and the doors are very narrow. So I had to take off all my bags and push my bike up the stairs and onto the train.
I got to Ratchaburi 2.5 hours later and unloaded my bike with the help of some fellow passengers.
I had the Deluxe Suite booked at a hotel in town for $15. I got some ramen noodles to make in the room and then I went to check in at 4 o’clock.
I decided I’d go to the Aphawa Floating Market. 15 miles or so down the road and then see what I was up for for the day since I hadn’t ridden in a long time. I got to the market around 10 am and walked through the market alleys a bit before setting off again. I decided to set my sights for Chao Samran Beach 40 miles down the road.
I went past so many temples in the day. The temples are all beautiful and each one is unique and equally as surprising you’re just riding down the road and all of the sudden there’s huge arches of gold and fancy coloring and dragons and Buddha statues. Some of them weren’t even temples, some were schools. I wish my high school looked like that.
I spent the day searching for sunscreen and maps. I found sunscreen a bit too late and have yet to find a map. Hopefully tomorrow.
In the spot I found sunscreen was at a 7 Eleven at the edge of a town and there were monkeys outside. I had never seen a monkey so I thought it was pretty cool. I came outside with peanuts, ice cream and sunscreen I ate my ice cream then put my peanuts and sunscreen in the bag and the monkey came up to me. So I took a video and it stuck its hand in my bag for my peanuts. I showed him away and saved my peanuts. Now I know not to show them where I put my food. 100 feet down the road was a sign that said “Beware of Monkeys Zone”.
Later in the day about 40 miles down the road I stopped at a roadside stand and got a kiwi slushy kind of thing for $.89 it was a great way to help the sun and heat of the day.
For the last 10 miles my road was pretty busy but it had a nice wide shoulder so I wasn’t complaining. When I was 3 miles away from making it I saw a HUGE statue of the Buddha in the distance. I got an attempt at a video but it was pretty far away so it’s blurry.
I finally made it to my camp at 3 after a long first day on the road. I did about 65 miles. Aka a metric century just over 100km.
I went for a swim immediately after arriving then showered in their makeshift shower and set up my camp.
My camp is in a crowded campground but it’s right on the beach. So I’ve spent the evening sitting in my chair in the sand.
Here’s my view right now as I write this:
And this was my dinner:
Overall a very good first day back on the road. A little sunburn was my only problem, but now I have sunscreen and I’ll probably do shorter days as I get into longer stretches of beaches to avoid the heat of the day.