At my left, the hills started to become higher and higher, continuing to the Mekong river where they constitute part of the border between Thailand and Cambodja. There are dense forests here packed with wild animals, including tigers, buffaloes and elephants. Numerous waterfalls feed small rivers flowing either into the Menam Sa Keo, which flows through ChaCherngSao and debouches into the Gulf of Siam, or into the Tonle Sap, or Grand Lake, in Cambodja, which joins the Mekong River at Pnom Penh. (there are some interesting seasonal fluctuations between the mighty Mekong which originates in the Himalayas, and Tonle Sap which supports or supported stupendous fisheries as well as irrigationworks for rice culture.)
Somewhere along the road a bus was parked with a leaking gas tank, surrounded by a number of patiently waiting Thai who are well accustomed to such matters. But there were some impatient exceptions who were on a schedule and apparently had to get somewhere.
|Those filled up my jeep, and showed me the resulting big differences in driving characteristics. A sergeant major of the police, a saylor and a student sat in the front and bombarded me with questions.||
At a roundabout, I stopped and asked a farmer to take a picture of the jeep and its occupants, which seemed to make him feel inordinately proud for the rest of the day.
At Nakorn Nayok, a pleasant small town full of samlors, all but the policeman alighted and were on their way. The two of us continued via numerous emergency bridges which fortunately were quite save, till we got to a fork in the road. Here the policeman played me a dirty trick because he had to go the other way, which would cause me only 5 minutes delay, he said. In reality, it was some 15 kms out of my way, but I took him to Prachinburi and because it was lunch time, anyhow, he treated me to a bottle of beer and a bowl of rice. I invested the money I saved that way buying some native sunburn oil. Mileage here was 64276, and I gassed up for 50 ticals (baht) again at one of the many gasstations appearing like mushrooms from the ground all over the countryside.