Krabi ATV.

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Activities, New Release

Krabi ATV Ride : Thrills on 4 wheels

Krabi ATV Ride
The ATV certified and enthusiastic instructor for the day was Mr. Prompong Janjaem or in short, Pong. The wild and exciting scenery of the ATV base camp is located in the beautiful nature of Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Phang Nga Province – just a short drive from the Krabi Province. The group joining the expedition consisted of a diverse group of people from Malaysia, Singapore, Germany and Thailand. The transfer from the Rafting base camp, where we had just finished a thrilling 5 km rafting experience, to the ATV base camp for the second part of the tour – riding an All Terrain Vehicle or Quad – took few minutes. Upon reaching the pick up point the ATV staff members were already waiting for us under aggressive rain… We were explained the basic theory of ATV riding by Pong: one needed to pull and push the steering; going uphill one had to lean forward and downhill backward; in a curve one had to tighten the knees around the vehicle’s main body and lean on to the curving direction, right for right and left for left; the use of the gears, on the contrary of other motor-vehicles, was by pushing the foot gear pedal up; the brakes one on the right foot level and the other one on the right hand level of the steer; The accelerator consisted of a thumb throttle instead of the typical motorcycle twist grip; the automatic start button was situated on the right hand and needed to be pressed together with one of the brakes; safety measures included wearing helmet, using extreme common sense and caution and of course, a group of watchful assistant instructors. The squad started the march heading out to the first ATV training circuit, where we would have the chance to warm up our newly learned skills. I, despite the heavy rain and a muddy terrain, had swiftly decided to take along my SLR camera ready for some photographic action. To an onlooker the view of fifteen heavy and roaring quads parading in rough weather and wild surroundings could have easily been mistaken for an USA platoon on a mission of some kind. The 400 cc quads painted in a desert camouflage style and the centaurs wearing helmets and outdoor clothing – perhaps – reinforced this picture.

My first thought on riding this remarkable 400 cc quads was: POWERFUL TECHONOLGICAL DEVICE, EASY TO USE; my second one was how it resembled an elephant ride tour that I had taken a while ago – I am not sure about the difference in weight between the two but I am sure the elephants weighs far more but ATV overtakes in the noise department.  Few minutes of training ride was enough to boost my – and seemed to me everyone else’s – confidence. The quads seemed unstoppable; hills, rocks, bumpy and muddy terrains were swallowed up by the potent machine. I felt the ATV’s potency so much that I was positively overtaken by it. I was enjoying in a way I never thought I could by a thrilling ride. Up, down, right, left, over, across, through, many are the propositions that ATV quad allowed; streams, vegetation, rocks, hills, cloud, rain, mud, wooden bridges became the playground. As time went by I was at one with the surrounding lavish landscape, pouring rain and splashing mud terrain. The second circuit was characterized by a sharp downhill track leading to a stream. We rode along beside its eroded and muddy terrain. On the third circuit we ventured into the thick jungle vegetation where the trail narrowed and the tree branches would add up to the natural obstacle to avoid: upper body side or front bending would do the work. As the ATV expedition was getting faster and faster paced, the group, half of it women, appeared to be enjoying more and more and so was I. However, the increasingly fast pace made my documenting task rather difficult. Still my eagerness to take snapshots of the rest of the group left me with no other choice but to speed up, overtake and suddenly stop when I evaluated that the uneven terrain would enhance the photo shots. On one of those digital raids – we were on the fourth circuit – I stopped by

the side of the dirty track after I overtook everyone including Pong. As each rider, by now not novices, rallied in front of my lens, I would release the shutter button set in the ‘Continuous Mode’- capable of shooting photographs at up to three frames per second while the release button is pressed. By the time the last vehicle has passed by, including the last of the ATV assistants, the camera’s memory card was full: 130 pictures taken in less then one hour. I decided to digitally downsize the pictures, so to free some memory space. The process took a few seconds. Ready to set off again! Yet I had gone inside the thick vegetation and only then I realized that I did not know how to employ the rear-gear. A quick scan of the operational buttons made me locate the command for it. But, silly me, no one had explained me how to operate it, and if they did I wasn’t paying much attention. I had no other choice but to put the gears in neutral, dismount from the vehicle, push the vehicle back and forward, if I wanted to get out from there and join the rest of the group. Easier said than done the first task of the new mission was accomplished; now I had to speed to catch up with the others. Off I went pressing the thumb throttle to its limit. But few seconds later unpredictability on the way: the track came to a Y junction. I intuitively decided to take the left path that eventually took me to a drastic down hill. I had to stop, take few breaths, and cautiously commenced to descend putting in practice the techniques learned in the instruction class, leaning back as much as I could. I went on for an indefinite period of time, passing by the base camp few times but no trace of the lost companions. There was just a circuit that I hadn’t rallied yet: the Y junction trail going right. Few minutes later a main paved road appeared on sight and along it half of the group was lining up, the rest descending from a side hill pathway. Further up, white cottony clouds were lolling on the peaks – misty scenery indeed. Naturally I felt relieved to be able to join the group again. Seconds later we were back to the base camp. Pong enquired about my absence and told that I had lost the opportunity to visit the main attraction of the day: Monk Cave Temple. Well, I imagine I have no other choice but to repeat the experience once more, perhaps together with my fiancée in few weeks time – she is looking forward to the ATV ride. But for the moment I have stored few other cut stones of my stay in south Thailand: extreme ATV riding experience led by an extremely professional and friendly team.


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