My good friend David Power, who lives in Thailand, has written this very thoughtful analysis of road deaths and traffic accidents in Thailand:
“Driver behaviour and reckless attitudes are the main contributor to the high road toll in Thailand. I have been driving on Thai roads all over Thailand for the past 7 years. I never cease to be amazed at the number of times I witness something completely crazy like overtaking around blind corners or crossing to the incorrect side of the road and forcing on-coming vehicles off the road just so that they can save time on their journey. Their attitude seems to be that if their vehicle is bigger than yours you will give way to them especially if they flash their lights at you at the same time. I witness these incidents on almost a daily occurrence.
Thailand has the second highest accident and death record per head of population of any country in the world. The hospitals have many brain injured road accident victims. Recently, I went to a funeral of a man I knew. I poured water on the his hand in the temple where he lay wih a huge dent the size of a tennis ball where his forehead should have been. He was only 35 with a wife and two young children. He came from a very poor family and was a very hard worker. He drank a lot of whiskey and only went about four hundred metres before he went off the road into a concrete fence and his head hit the steering wheel. Such a sad loss and a complete waste of a very hard life.
The old cars that do not have computers would not be suitable for devices like Roadbot. It will help reduce the road toll but driver education and attitude adjustment would save many more lives. Maybe a tour of the hospital morgues will have more effect on Thai drivers that break the road rules than a small fine. They need to be made aware of the consequences of their actions.”
It was 12°C in the caravan when I woke up but the day ahead will be bright and sunny.
After breakfast I did little bit of work before going with Rodney down to the local Medical Centre to try and get an appointment to have a PSA test. Unfortunately the clinic was fully booked out for the day and so I’ve booked in for next Thursday.
We returned to the house and I had a good discussion with Rodney about the possibility of putting in a slab for the caravan. It will also require the fitting of a new gate and the installation of an electrical socket. Rodney recommended that all I needed was a couple of square concrete slabs to level the caravan and this was a good suggestion.
I managed to get two loads of washing done and hung out and while I was doing this I received a call from Linda Nolan updating me on the house sale. The couple who were interested came back with another offer of $520,000 with the request for the deck to be rebuilt and so on so I totally rejected it as out of hand. It looks like I will be putting in tenants again and progressively doing some improvements to the property over the next year or so.
I had some fruit for lunch and a nap afterwards but it was very hot in the caravan.
In the afternoon Rodney had to go down to the fire station to check the appliance with some team members and I watched some beautiful documentaries of David Attenborough on The Frozen Planet. The photography was absolutely sensational.
We went for a walk at 6 o’clock and the temperature was still fairly warm. It got up to 32°C during the day in the caravan.
Pearl cooked a nice roast pork and vegetables for dinner which was lovely. She was a bit tired during the day due to some antihistamine nasal spray she had taken to fix it up hete sinus issues.
I did some work online checking the AdSense code for gdaymate.com before retiring at midnight.
The day was bright and sunny and excellent for travel. I drove through to Muswellbrook where I stopped and photographed the local Showground. There is plenty of room here and the Showground is so large that you do get some insulation from traffic noise. It is quite close to the local Aldi Supermarket. Some of the powered sites are undercover which would be excellent in stormy weather. There is another cluster of powered sites at the northern end of the Showground.
I then drive north of the town to photograph the Vietnam Memorial Rest Area which is okay for a brief stop at two noisy to stay overnight. The memorial has been very well designed and pays due tribute to those who fought in the Vietnam war.
I then drove to Aberdeen to photograph the rest area which is just north of the town. There is plenty of parking for caravans and RVs beside the rest area in a one way street.
When I left Aberdeen I turned right and drove to Gundy which is a tiny little village with basically only a pub and a shop. I photograph the Gundy Recreation Grounds which seem to only have a limited number of power sites. The area is reasonably flat and quite scenic but unfortunately there is no mobile reception in the town either from Optus or Telstra. You can see a photograph of the camping area below.
I left Gundy at lunchtime eating an apple and drove to Scone which is only 19 km away. I refuelled at Scone and was intending to photograph the two caravan parks in the town but unfortunately it was not possible to find parking on the New England Highway.
I then proceeded on to the Burning Mountain Reserve which is a lovely spot to stop and rest beside the New England highway. It is a little bit back from the highway but the traffic noise would be an issue if you decided to stay here overnight.
My final job was to photograph the rest area north of Blandford and this is a day stop area only. However there is a large cleared section beside the rest area where it would be possible to overnight but again it is beside the highway so noise would be an issue.
Slept very well and headed out after breakfast to do a day of photography for Caravan Park Photos.
My first stop was a rest area north of Singleton near the New England Highway. I then proceeded on to Jerrys Plains and photographed the Recreation Reserve. This was a nice area but the only downside was that there is a lot of traffic on the highway.
As I left Jerrys Plains heading for Warkworth I had to pull off the side of the road to allow a huge piece of mining equipment pass. It was one of the largest wide loads I’ve ever seen in my life.
I photographed the Jim Johnson Reserve at Warkworth which was again downgraded because of the traffic noise.
My next stop was to Bulga on the Putty Road where I photographed the camping area opposite the Tavern and also the Bulga Recreation Reserve which was the pick of all the sites I did today.
On my way back to Singleton I called in to Broke and photographed McNamara Park which is a large camping area with many spots and would probably be a very good place to stay.
I had a pie and hashbrowns for lunch when I returned to the caravan and a nap afterwards.
I went to Big W and purchased a set of flannelette sheets for $25 which was surprisingly good value. Later in the afternoon I called into Aldi and got 12 cartons of full cream milk.
At 4 PM I walked down to the Singleton Railway Station and stayed there until a large coal train went by. The trains pass by quite frequently and at high speed. It was a very nice enjoyable walk.
Watched an excellent documentary at night called Keeping Australia Alive which is about our marvellous health system. Did some work online and some reading before retiring at midnight.