By David Parkinson
David Parkinson (Parky) moved to Hua Hin last April having worked for the Australian Television Media Advertising Industry for 23 years. Parky recently returned from a charity bike ride (alone) from Chiang Mai
to Kanchanaburi via Sukhothai travelling over 1000km (getting lost) and raising 70,000bt for the local Down Syndrome Orphanage in Hua Hin/Cha AM. Parky had very little bike riding experience prior to his arrival in Hua Hin this was certainly his toughest challenge ‘I had mostly been a jogger and had done a couple of small bike rides down south, so my legs were fine for the long trip however my ‘rear end’ certainly felt each kilometer and I was having to take anti-inflammatory tablets each day. Parky received a lot of assistance from Tour de Thailand a well experienced long distance bike tourist organization based here in Hua Hin.
I was motivated to “ride for a charity” by his golfing friends at Springfield Spitters and San Suk Golf Society. ‘ Having been a regular tourist to Hua Hin for the previous 6 years and lived here for the previous 11 months I was really surprised by the generosity shown by my fellow golfers living here permanently, holiday golfers from overseas, my Ex-media colleagues and family.
I have previously helped this same orphanage 3 years ago when I had my 50th birthday party on the beach at the Sofitel which coincided with a Client trip to Hua Hin from Australia, the clients were requested to give cash donations rather than presents. Why Down Syndrome, well my Girlfriend Ay (a Captain in the Thai Army) herself, has a younger sister living with Down syndrome so to me it was a very easy decision.
It was a life experience for me travelling along all those Kilometers along with a limited amount of Thai language skills and absolutely no sense of direction (having got lost on many occasions), the landscape was unbelievable particularly Doi Intharon National Park (Thailand tallest peak) the road to Thoen which is very similar to the NSW (New South Wales, Australia) highlands and of course the ruins of Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet.
It was a great opportunity to meet the local Thai people in the small regional villagers and finished each day with a cold beer.The Down syndrome orphanage received a number of gifts including Educational books and toys, cleaning products, medicine and a Special Lunch of Deep Fried Chicken and Chips! Asked if he would do it again, “well maybe yes, had I not got a charity involved possibly not, but seeing the smiles on the kids faces and witnessing what 70,000 Baht can do for them makes it all worthwhile” Editor: Love it. Another example of: How can we help the less privileged?