– ODO- 19872-20042km
– Location- 150km west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
– Weather- 28-32 high altitude cloud and haze
Today I pushed myself. Siem Riep, my next short stop, is 300km from Phnom Penh and rather than splitting it into two long and one short ride I thought why not push it. My alarm went off at 4:30am and I slipped out onto the dark streets of the capital. The ordered blocks were quiet but for a few white tuktuks. The city sprawled out as I rode crossing the river and heading north. The wind was strong from the outset, pushing in gusts at first before building to a near constant resistance. The flags for the Buddhist temples stuck out towards me but I leaned in and pushed on.
The capital has the best-stocked supermarket is seen since India and I made use of it. My bags were full of fruit and snacks. Across the day I stopped only a handful of times.
The countryside here was much more pretty than the border region. Houses stood on great stilted legs above the flat flood plains. Uniform in their deep wood and colourful blind patterns. Some colour stood out in pink or baby blue. The entrance to each side street was arched in red flaming gates and temples guarded by plaster elephants. Fields stretched as far as the eye could see. Few trees or buildings or anything to distinguish the countryside but the ocariknalt high ground usually reserved for a temple and a few huts. In each shop, a family looks out, the men in hammocks, small children playing amongst the boxes. Family scenes going by unnoticing as I pass through. Children wave on the daily to and fro from school.
After 10 hours on the road, I’m exhausted. My hotel was $6 and they let me carry my bike upstairs in the lift. Dinner was $10. Beds are cheap and do I need it tonight.