As it was Songkran.. Decided to head down to Baan Ricky with Jim from Ubon.
His first time in this area and it is a great place.
The night before load up.. ready for a 4.30 am wake up. Leave the condo at 5am.
The KTM 450 is getting carb work done. So Jim will use my KLX 300.
He said it runs pretty good with the 300 kit and Ohlins suspension.
For a big guy.. You need that extra power and suspension.. Stock it is like a sowing machine..
Day 1 we ease ourselves in to the riding.
Arrive nice and early and get straight out on the bikes.. It was a bloody hot day too.
The conditions are perfect.. No dust.. damp and everything is green…
We go exploring up and down trails seeing where things lead..
Come across this nice village..
The kid in the yellow shirt spoke really good English..
He is blind.. But not shy and wanted his picture taken.. Great kid..
We were popular in the village
Take the kids for an ice cream 😉
Continue on riding.
This was fun.. We made some fun video and a few snaps in here
Down the Bamboo trail.. Managed to find it.. Luckily had my tracks from riding with Alan Davies.
Thick Bamboo leaves.. hiding the ruts and branches.. Nice drop off to the right..
Someone dropped the mighty KLX and we needed to adjust the hand guards
Lunch on the road..
Back to Baan Ricky and Beer O’clock.
First Enduro / Adventure ride with the Lectron Carb in the TE 300..
The mileage is out of this world and so is the handling.
Did just over 100 km and not even on reserve.. Close but not there yet.
With the original carb.. I would be out of fuel around 80km.. dry as a bone..
Today the Baan Ricky Burma Border Run.
This is a great track from beginning to end.
After Alan Davies passed away.. I put together a few of his tracks to make the memorial ride.
When ever I have a few days at Baan Ricky or show new people around this area..
Always dust off the memorial ride track and ride it again.. Never get tired of it.
Off we go..
Jim getting wet and wild further on..
My turn.. Cheers for the vid Jim
No words needed
Damn.. Past the first guard house and Jim gets a flat..
We keep a nervous eye open for Elephants..
The local rangers pass armed with a sling shot.. See we are OK and carry on..
The track was pretty rough this time around.. Every other trip I have seen 4WD tracks or met them up the top at the Border Patrol post.. But this year around.. Looks like no one has been up here on 4 wheels for a good few months at least.
They have been having rain every day.. so I think the track is getting early rainy season rutting, washouts.. etc..
My summer house in the country..
We stop for a pic and cool off before starting the climb up to the top of the mountain.
Nice and steep and a good blast.
They asked us if we would sleep up there.. No.. then opened the gate for us.
Seems hit and miss if they care about you going up or not..
Getting higher with steep drop offs and big ruts to ride up and over.
Plus there is a fair bit of mud and water about.
Looking at the picture.. We came up from the left.. ( Back of my bike )
Thailand and the Border patrol station is to the right.. (Turn left from how my bike is facing)
I am standing in Burma..
The guards at the previous stop told us three times.. Go to the left.
Fair play.. As the track to the right looks like the one you should follow..
But you will end up at the Burmese army camp on the hill..
Years back there use to be barbed wire on the ground.. You couldn’t see it clearly.. I suspect a few flat tyres were had.
We arrive at the Border Patrol Police camp.
I have to say.. some of the best and clearest views I have ever seen up here.
Looking back in to Thailand
Last April I was up here with Mike.. When we pulled up the guards kindly came over and invited us in for coffee.. We had a good chat for 30 mins and left.
So this trip I wanted to return the favour.. Took up a jar of instant coffee and made a DVD of our ride up here and around the area and passed it to them.. Plus a couple of photos.
So we are now invited for another coffee LOL.. One of the guys here is friends with the police in the picture and will pass the picture on.. I left one extra picture so they could keep on there..
Seeing how thrilled the locals were with Jurgen giving a picture upon his return made me think.. Why not here too.. Plus the video which they star in 🙂
Here is the video from April 2016.
Almost at the top and open her up.. Only to see loads of wet sloppy mud..
Managed to keep the bike mostly out of it.. Jim had more of a bath..
Buddha and Burmese army on the other hill top..
I wonder how many other TE 300 Huskies have made it up here..
Oh boy what a fun bike to climb this mountain on..
Asked the guys if they wanted to sit on the bikes.. They couldn’t believe we were asking them at first..
Ok OK enough with the Helipad porn 🙂
Stunning views in to Burma.. If only we could carry on…
Back down we go..
Another fun bridge to cross.
We head off to Pilok through the short cut..
Along the rubber plantation then following the gas pipeline.
The same area Mike and I dead ended and came out at the base of the road that leads up to Pilok.
We are stopped barely 5 mins in to the rubber plantations by the National Park Rangers.
There are about 40 to 50 horny elephants on the rampage.
A local woman was stomped to death a few weeks early.
The ranger was chased the day before.. He was genuinely worried about us trying to go through.
Then looked at my bike and said the elephants will not like the noise of a two stroke…
Turned back at the top left track 🙁
Back we go and try and find another trail they told us about.
But it is in the national park.. They said we can’t go that far at the Entrace.. only to the river…
So we are good and do as we are told and only go to the river.
Then we bump in to the same rangers parked at the entrance on the way back out and say “Hi” again.
Very causally parked SAS Honda Wave on rubbish detail..
Refuel and carry on with some more exploring up and down trails on the other side of the 323
This was funny.. The fuel starts to pour out all over the track..
The is waving the fuel hose all over the place.. Then takes her finger off the trigger.
You wouldn’t believe it.. The fuel stops coming out… Lots of laughter..
I guess three Farang had her a little uptight LOL
Like a Boss.. Steady Eddie in control..
Ah to be young and adventurous and want to go up every hill or trail..
This bit is slippery and the mud sticky.. You don’t have tread any more
Felt the ar5se end moving all over the place and some times the front too.
Jim found the mud..
Is that Jim?
Yes it is..
Is that the middle finger.. How rude..
Have some funny video of Jim going all over the places.. including sideways..
Saving the best till last 😉
Bikes are covered by the time we get back to Baan Ricky.
End of another great day on the trails…
We want to see if we can link up any trails to the dam through the National Park.
There is one place we were stopped and not allowed to pass.. Not sure what is down there..
But there are 4wd National Park vehicles coming out.
Had a look on Google Earth.. The images are 2004.. so not very useful and all green..
The other track.. we get all the way to a ranger station with camping etc..
But told we can’t take the track.. 500 baht fine.
More to come on that in the report.
Before I start.. Going to plug the Lectron carb in the Husky.
You can see we did 153km today..
Now.. I started with a full tank.. Carried a 1.5 litre fuel bottle of pre mix with me.
After 30 km, dumped that in the tank.. When I could see I was getting close to reserve
Switch over to reserve rather than running out.
Get back to Baan Ricky and I am only partly in to the reserve.. another 20 km still there?
Mileage, predictable performance.. All my boxes are ticked..
Today we try and ride as much dirt as possible.. avoiding the tarmac..
But first some rear bearing surgery on the KLX..
Ricky to the rescue.
Managed to get separated.. Waiting for everyone to regroup..
Another trail to check out and see where it goes next time…
I did say.. We are going to do everything possible to stay on the dirt and off the paved road 🙂
More great views
Up to the view point.. top right on the map pic with track overlay.
On the GE image at the top of the post.. We head down to the bottom right track to the waterfall..
Opps.. over cooked it on the bend.
Great fun in here.. Lots of this 🙂
The Guards informed us the trail will take us where we want to go.. But we will be fined 500 baht.
I know … we could go and never be caught.. But we want to build up a good relationship with the Rangers in the areas.. If we are in trouble.. They are the ones that will come and help us..
Plus personally I would like to get on with them and have a chat.. Not be hiding from them next time we come through..
We head back.. This is another trail we wanted to try.. but it is closed off.. According to Google Earth.
Once upon a time.. This would have taken us to where we want to go..
Back up at the top of the dirt track and minor paved road.
This was hilarious.. We see this place.. Great.. Lets stop and have a coffee and water.
Been non stop riding for the last couple of hours and fast and dusty.
So we turn back.. Pull up in the drive way.. I was the first bike..
They all get up and walk over.. I am like.. OK.. have to take off shoes?
Yes.. please take off your shoes.. They invite us in..
I order Ice Latte.. .. Sorry we don’t have it..
Really.. What do you have?
Only 3 in 1..
Only 3 in 1… Nothing else?
This is our house.. Not a coffee shop.. But we would like to have coffee with you.
Lots of laughter.. Then a good chat and cold water.. Then a tour of the property.
We said our goodbyes.. They jokingly promised to have Iced Latte when we return 🙂
On we go.. We head up the new track we found the other day..
Blasting along.. I look behind.. See Jim and keep going.. Next junction in the bush.. Look back wait. Jim doesn’t turn up.
Back we go.. and look for him.. Can’t see him.. But spot the KLX blending in to the natural surrounds..
This is the spot that caused it.. Jim OK.. Sore leg only.. lucky no Bamboo sticking up..
Another one bites the dust…
Back to Baan Ricky and Beers and Pizza..
We load up the bikes in the pickups and head to Pilok.
I had forgotten how far away that area is. 1 hr plus from Baan Ricky.
The road is great.. but then you get to the last 30 km and twisty and windy and potholed to hell.
Shame really as a nice drive otherwise..
We park up at Pilok, Unload the bikes and head off exploring around.
Been a good 5 years since last here.. when we rode up here from Baan Ricky on road bikes.
Riding through Pilok village
Up to the border and gas pipeline..
The Burma post.. Note the Bamboo to keep invaders out..
He looked quite shocked when I pulled up.. Like I was going to keep going in LOL
To the right of the big sign there is a walk way up with two flags and some nice views.
Looking back in to Pilok
Views in to Burma
Leaving the view point.. right on the border. Burmese Building.
Time to move along and up to the next check point..
We are not allowed to ride in.. But walking in is OK the guards said… So lets take a look.
After walking through to the other side.. I presume it is Burma… as we must be over the ridge line.
This is what greets you.. and you can walk all the way down if you like.. No one there to stop you.
And walk and walk we do.
Better not go any further..
Next we head to Pilok Mine.. Not to be confused with Somsak Mine a few KM back the way you come in.
Pilok mine is in the hills to the left of the town as you come in.
Also the access road to the Border patrol police over looking Pilok town.
The turn off.
The Border Patrol Out Post.
Didn’t realize this was here.. We noticed a tank symbol on the OSM Garmin map.
After this head back about 3 or 4 km may be more to the turn off to Somsak Mining.
The sign is in Thai..
After going up the wrong way to Pilok Mine.. realised.. This has to be it as everything else looks like a goat track.
After a short journey on rocky road you arrive.. Until this stage. I thought.
This isn’t too bad at all..
But it does get steep and rocky.. Not that hard.. but you could have an off easy if not paying attention.
The 4wd with visitors creep along.. We passed them on the first part of the track.
Said our Hello at Somsak mine.. Went exploring around the mine.. which was even steeper and more rocks..
Then headed back up and passed the Pickup still making its way down
From here it is straight down.
Pics taken on the easier bits where you can stop.
At the bottom.. Mine office and accommodation to the right.
The mine is to the left.. Not much to see really at the mine area.. but we had a ride around.
The famous lady in person..
” She met Somsak, a handsome young Thai studying at the school of mines in her hometown of Kalgoorlie. They got married and Glennis arrived in Thailand in 1966. Somsak went to run the tin mining concession that had been in his family’s hands for some 100 years. Pilok was back then a prosperous community. Cross-border trade flourished and the mines attracted workers from Myanmar.
Due to difficulties in accessing Pilok 40 years ago, Auntie Glen lived in Bangkok while Somsak came back to her and their son once a week. When the mining business faltered because of a sharp drop in the tin price, and Somsak got sick, Auntie Glen decided to move to Pilok. She fell in love with her new home in the jungle.
Somsak succumbed to cancer in 1994, a year after mining was halted at Pilok in wake of a worldwide slump in tin prices. Young people left to seek jobs elsewhere. Those who remain eke out a living among ramshackle buildings and forest huts.”
Some 240 of Somsak’s former employees remain in the area, among them five families working for Auntie Glen and a Myanmar Buddhist monk taking care of their spiritual needs. Here our 4×4 are parked just outside the tiny temple, which is reached by crossing a small bridge.
Source :- Trips to Thailand: Kanchanaburi – Somsak Mining
Ignore the part where the writer claims a 2wd Fortuner can do it in the dry season.. If you are experienced off roader yes… But expect to damage to your vehicle.. If you are a driver from the city.. Forget about it and take the transportation.
Up at the mine.. looking at the temple.
A short video of the ride to and around the Somsak Mining.
Wet and Wild Songkran Ride..
Five Blockbuster days in 8 mins !!
There was a little excitement over Songkran..
Last night at Baan Ricky.. Sitting on the balcony having a “couple” of beers.
Then around mid might a car pulls off the road and dust etc every where.. Then I see the car heading up the MX Track.
Then gets stuck and tries to reverse. Almost rolls the sedan on to the roof..
It just came back from the edge of being a big problem…
Somchai head between his legs and hands up in the air.. I surrender.
My morning view..
The night before when the cops came.. He ran off.. I have never seen that happen in Thailand before 😉
Now it has been raining over night and starts again.. The mud is sticky and thick..
Regretting walking on it and now I am 1 ft taller…
The family turn up to retrieve the car.. Looking a bit sheepish.
How typical is this.. The little turd that caused all this doesn’t show up.
Leaves it to mum and dad etc.. to sort out.
We have all done some silly things when younger..
My Dad would have dragged me by the ear down there.. Help clean up my mess and make me apologize
They got it out eventually.. Mum is the one with the umbrella..
She was not happy.. LOL.. He was drunk.. no surprises there.