To travel to our excursion today we had two choices, take the mini van, or cycle. We were told it was about 4km all on the flat.
Now I know what your choice would have been, but I took the bike. Sitting on a ship and sailing around chilling out in a hammock with a mojito has been wonderful, but I needed to use the muscles in my legs, and just do some forms of exercise.
The bike ride was great. There were nine of us that chose to cycle, with four of them being 70+. Two of them however run marathons and are extremely fit.
The first part of the cycle was through town centre. First rule of being on a Cambodian road…. there are no rules. Seriously Dad, it was just mad. People, cows, mopeds, cows, cars, cows, tuk tuks, going in every direction on any side of the road, with no real method of indication other then honking their horns. After the town we were out on open dirt roads. It was definitely the best way to see the country side.
Our first bike stop was to a brick making factory. Three people, (one to shovel clay, one to load and one to cut) one machine and 4 bricks at a time. It looked grueling!
A quick cycle down the road to a pottery studio. When I say studio, I mean a 70 year old lady, working clay by hand into these huge pots. We watched her from start to finish form a pot. Probably not your sort of thing, but I think you would have appreciated how she made it. It was interesting to watch. She formed this whole pot using nothing but her hands and some hand made smoothing tools. No potters wheel, she kept walking round the pot. I felt dizzy watching her. We then found out she sells her pots in the big city’s, but there is a middle man. She earns $0.75 a pot! We were horrified after watching how much work and energy in 30°c heat she has to put in to making a pot.
On then a short walk across the road to a sugar plant. We got to try sugar wine. It was 75% proof and absolutely vile. Worst thing ever! Then onto a solid sugar , which was very similar to fudge. This elderly man showed us how he extracted the sugar from the tree, by climbing a huge palm tree, walking across a bamboo plank he placed between the trees and coming down the other side with these vials hanging off his shoulders. All in flip flops!
Back then to the bikes! The initial plan was for the group to cycle in and then swap with other people on the trip for then to cycle back. Most people bailed out. Leaving more bikes then people willing to cycle them back. So I got a round trip cycle ride. By the time I got back to the ship I was a hot sweaty mess! Cycling out at 9am was not too hot. Cycling back in midday heat was quite a bit harder.
The afternoon was spent on the boat again sailing backwards down the river. The water level is too low for the boat, so we are going back to a previous port where we will be getting on a coach to take us the rest of the way.
I also commandeered the ship today. With a rum in hand! I think that is as close to pirate as I will get.
As it is our last night on board, we all dressed up for the captains farewell dinner. We were treated to musical performances from some of the staff. Again, not really your thing, but they were very good.
Also settled my bar bill. The mojito’s I made myself and for a few other people on board the other night were not on there. I will be remaining silent on this. Especially as the measures of rum I used would make most barmen wince.
Time to pack I guess. This is always a mission.
Next stop Siem Reap.
Night Dad x