Sunday 17th December
Miles: 43 Climbing: 1900ft
I’m eager to get going on my first day in Cambodia and I’m interested to see how different it is to Vietnam.
I check out of my hotel and start packing my bike back up. As I am doing this a minibus of tourist arrive, led by a man in either a police or military uniform. I think they are probably Vietnamese but can’t be sure. They start taking pictures of the hotel and the statues in the grounds and eventually come towards me. I’m kneeling down strapping bags onto my bike when the uniformed man approached and said something along the lines of “Excuse me. Is ok? One photo?” I said of course and one of the women stood next to me waiting for a photo. I then stood up, unfolding myself to my full 6 foot height. You should have heard the squeals and screams that came from the group of tourists. It sounded like a mixture of fear, shock and disbelief as I towered over the woman standing next to me. I wish I could have captured the moment on film. Anyway, they got their photo and I think they wanted many more but were far too polite to ask.
The first thing I notice once I’m on the road is that it’s much wilder than Vietnam. These is a lot more greenery and I can hear more wildlife around me.
I have just over 40 miles to go until I reach a town with accommodation where I plan to spend the night. When I reach the town I take a small road which quickly turns into a dirt track. I’m a bit uncertain that this is the right way to the hotel I’d seen on the map then suddenly I pass a chalkboard sign that’s written in English. It says cheesecake and I squeeze my brakes so hard I nearly go flying over the handlebars. I leave my bike outside, not even bothering to lock it, and head into the shack that serves as a restaurant. I don’t go straight for the cheesecake, I have a sandwich before ordering my desert. Now it’s not the best cheesecake I’ve ever had but it tasted like heaven right then.
I also notice two bottles of good Scottish whisky behind the bar which makes me love this place even more. I decided I’m probably going to come back here for dinner and head off to find this hotel.
When I reach the hotel it is amazing. It’s very cheap and basic but it’s all made of treehouses joined up by walkways.
I do end up going back to the same restaurant later on to have some whisky. At 3$ for a very large measure it’s also a lot cheaper than home.
I realise that it’s been a while since I had a rest day and I really like this place (the whisky might have helped) so before going to sleep I decide I’m going to spend another night here.