It seems that jealousy and envy have overcome my mother as she joins me on my travels. Maybe my adventures have reminded her of the times she had on her journeys (she actually met my Dad in Darwin when they were both travelling around the world) or maybe she’s not yet ready to see her youngest jet off to the other side of the world, all I know is her experience, and maybe even her nagging, will come in handy. As she has seen it all before, of which I’m consistently reminded, I’m sure she’ll have a few good tips and maybe even be a decent tour guide as she digs out facts about the South East of Asia that she would’ve learnt over 25 years ago.
As I began planning this summers trip her continual nosing and ‘helpful advice’ has transpired into another ticket being booked to Thailand. However, we aren’t just backpacking around but instead we (her) have decided to embark on a 375 km cycle from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Combining her love for travelling with another of her passions, cycling, we are making our way across the Thai/ Cambodian border via the dirt tracks and back roads in what is certainly a different way of seeing the countries. When she explained her intentions at the tail end of last year I thought it sounded like a good adventure that will save me a few pounds on travelling. Now I’m not so sure. 40°C heat and horrendous humidity sounds rather challenging, especially when I only got back from skiing ten days ago leaving me no time to train. Skiing, to some extent, will haven given my legs some degree of stamina but by no means has transformed my chicken legs into ones that’ll carry me to Siem Reap. My mother, however, cycles every week and does the odd charity ride of ridiculous lengths so will be embarrassing me as she pedals off into the distance. I may be saved by the change from her road bike to hybrids as we tackle the beaten tracks in the Thai countryside or the exhausting temperatures, or maybe I’ll just hang on to a Tuk- Tuk to save my legs.
The last time I did any form of fitness was probably back in my school days where the rugby coaches would force us into circuits or suicides at the end of a session but the effects of Mr Renton’s gruelling laps have certainly worn off. Other than the lack of fitness and the terrifying climate I cannot wait to start backpacking around till mid August, and the first week with my mum is no exception. Cycling, despite all the effort, will be a great way to see new countries and experience their cultures and doing it with my mother will only add to the entertainment.