18 Dec Cycling to Cambodia
As we get ready to leave the campground, we figure we’ll skip the restaurant for breakfast. More than likely, they would be out of food anyway. We pass right by it and head to the small store further down the road by one of the park check points. After loading up on more spicy noodle soup some of us are struggling to find a bathroom fast enough to battle another bout of diarrhea. Luckily, a nice gentlemen, renting a small bungalow in the park offers us his own private bathroom to do our deed and we are forever grateful!
Unfortunately, since entering SE Asia, one or the other of us is having bouts of either stomach cramps, diarrhea, and the occasional vomiting. Hopefully, we’ll get used to the diet here soon to get rid of this problem.
It is just another day of long, uneventful miles of cycling to Cambodia. It is hot and humid, the sun beams relentlessly and we coat on an extra layer of suntan lotion. Not quite used to the long days of cycling, Randy just wants to get it over with and cycle as fast and with the least amount of breaks, while Jessica and I like to at least look at a couple of things along the way. So when we come by a Wat, we stop to take a few pictures and wonder what some of the statues actually mean. We’ve never seen a monkey with glasses before, and the 3 headed elephant seems more Hindu than Buddhist to us…but what do we know. For the moment we just enjoy the unusual monuments.
Although, we drink plenty of water we still feel parched by the time we reach a fairly big town, where we plan on staying the night. As we enter the town, we notice a few decorated floats and dressed up people ahead of us. Also part of the road is closed off and there seems to be a big commotion further down the street. We ask a lady whether she knows of a guest house. She tells us of one in the center of town and tells us to follow her, which we do. As we follow her, we notice that the big commotion is actually a huge parade. We just happen to be at the end of it, where people still get ready to get in formation. We pass all kinds of groups participating: some in uniforms, a group of children on bicycles, several groups in folklore costumes, a high school band, and what have you.
The lady stops in front of a small, old looking guesthouse in town. The parade goes right by it. We say our thanks and good bye, but decide to keep watching the parade before checking the place out.
People in the parade were already taking notice of us, as we were pushing our bikes past. They smile and wave and yell “hello”.
Now as they pass us up again, some take pictures of us and the bikes. At moments we feel like we are part of the local attractions. The group of cyclists is extremely happy to see us again and some come over to take pictures with us and we take pictures of them.
As the last float with the image of the King pasts by, we are ready to check into the guesthouse. Unfortunately, without really looking at the Inn, Randy does not feel very comfortable with the place and wants to keep looking for another guesthouse. After some more searching and riding, we finally find a suitable room at the edge of town. To get dinner, we have to walk about one km back into town, where we have another plate of rice and chicken before calling it a night.
The next morning, we try to get going much earlier to make it to the border. Again it is another hot, dusty day on the road with little to see, except a town’s Pillar Shrine along our way. We check it out for a short while before continue our cycle to the border.
The rest of the day follows mostly rice fields along flat terrain. There is plenty of hot sunshine and very little shade to be found.