Friday was another rest day. I washed the bike, chain and components and rotated the tyres after noticing the back tyre was wearing considerably faster than the front. Not surprising given that’s where the weight is, I suppose. Will they get me to HCM where I’m planning a big service or do I investigate in PP?
Roll around town for a bit, and spend some time trying to sneak some photos of women in pyjamas. It’s not as bad as it sounds! Fashion could be considered strange for anyone dropped into a totally different culture. This is one I’ve found strange. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, or what the activity is, there are Cambodian women and girls going about their day in pyjamas.
Another meal at the guesthouse and early to bed.
Up early again Saturday but for one reason or another I’m slow to get going. The big one is I can’t find my gloves. Empty everything. Can’t find them. Ask at reception. No. Dig around reception myself with a vague feeling the last time I took them off was registering. Still no. Bummer.
Lovely rural scenes heading out of Kratie.
Stop for an early bowl of noodles (plus plenty of tea) and have a nice chat to the owner, teaching each other a few new words.
The next stretch has a Muslim feel with plenty of headwear and mosques.
Despite the rapid changes that have occurred, I am constantly amazed by the simplicity of life here. There was a sculpture of an oxen pulling a cart. You look at it and think, ah back in the day, this was what it must have been like for the people here. What hard work. But down the road you see oxen pulling carts and you realise how little things have changed for some. These people have not benefited from industrialisation!
I can’t remember where I got my information from but I head towards a river crossing. It was a fun experience in itself but I think the roads were supposed to be better on the eastern bank from here to Kampong Cham. I climbed the stairs and spent the trip with the captain. He was a diminutive bloke, who wore a serious sun protecting hat. He did take it off in the end and wanted me to get a photo of him without headgear.
The western side of the Mekong had a different feel. A few small hills close to the river and houses on some seriously high poles to cope with the flooding in the rainy season.
I stopped into a BBQ eatery and had a couple of rice wine shots with the locals. I actually stopped drinking from Siem Reap (excluding one beer in Kratie). I haven’t missed it but thought I’d join in the fun here, for the experience. It really wasn’t that strong, a small buzz, unlike the Chinese version I remember drinking which was very strong!
Look out for Cambodia to do well in future volleyball tournaments. From what I’ve seen it’s clearly the most played sport here.
It was time for another refreshing coconut juice. This time just 50c.
An hour later I’ve made it to Kampong Cham and it’s wide, nicely sealed streets. Makes a change from the dusty provincial capitals I’ve stayed in over the last week!
118 kilometres in 9 hours 43.