A very interesting day. Most of the morning was spent on narrow dirt (and rough) roads, deep in the tropical forest that is this part of Thailand. Driving and navigating were very difficult. Most of these tracks were cramped with farm animals, domestic animals and children. Most dwellings had power, but no running water or sewage; very rural. Several cars in the Rally broke down or had small accidents. As we started today toward the back of the pack, we came upon several competitors pulled over trying to get their cars running again.
While on one of these roads deep in the forest, Brant spotted the back end of a Black Cobra as it slithered into the high grass on the side of the road. Although he didn't see the entire snake, he did see a good three feet of the snake's hind end!
Our lunch today was on a floating barge in a very large lake. The scenery was beautiful and the food very spicy. I liked it, but it was a little over the top for some competitors. Main course was deep fried fish where you eat the whole fish -- bones and all; a delicacy in these parts.
Our Regularity Stage was cancelled because of road conditions, so our only competitive stage today was a kart track near our hotel. We did fine, but not quick enough to move up from 8th place where we have been for the last couple of days.
We are staying tonight in the beach town of Krabi on the west coast of Thailand. We are staying on the beach road at a beautiful Sofitel Hotel that is first rate (several restaurants, a 24-hour gym, and a first-rate golf course. Equally impressive are the other half-dozen hotels along this beach road. This small town of 60,000 reminds me of Phuket 30 years ago. A wonderful spot that specializes in seafood cuisine.
As I've said for the last couple of days, building is everywhere in Thailand. Improved housing for workers, commercial and industrial buildings and new infrastructure. While all the towns we drive through still have their traditional flea markets, they also have new department stores and supermarkets.
One last thought. If you have never been to Southeast Asia, come soon before it changes beyond recognition. There are lots of European tourists here, as well as Japanese and Chinese, but not a lot of Americans. In my opinion, they are missing one of the most interesting places in the world.