Day 3 Kampong Speu – Kampong Chhnang

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in Blogger6 | 2 comments

So it’s day three…and I’m tired. Not just tired from all this physical exertion from the past two days, but it seems my lack of sleep and jet lag has finally caught up with me. My head and body are tired, my whole being is just exhausted and I’m yawning as I get on my bike – not a good start to the morning!

This morning we were doing our usual greetings to all the locals as we passed them and were getting lots of excited kids waving wildly back at us and their parents greeting us too and laughing. This greeting between us and the locals has found its commonplace in the trip and it’s the thing I look forward to the most each day. Something as simple as saying hello to someone I now find so important out here and I end up wanting to speak to everyone we pass, which has caused my bike to swerve a few times so far! As well as this I’ve noticed that we are receiving two types of reactions from the children we pass:

1.Total excitement, running to the side of the road, frantic waving, screaming, hi-fiving us and saying hello to us before we’ve even spotted them.

2. Or paralysed with shock. Stunned and astonished, unsure of what they are watching pass by. As in some cases, in the rural areas we’ve been through, we may well be the first westerners the younger children have ever seen. Or at least the first westerners in lycra!

We also experienced a third reaction today from two different children  that were clearly quite afraid of us as we passed them , most likely thinking we were chasing them (we’re going that fast clearly!)

On a later cycle break, we sat and bought drinks from a roadside stall. Our driver Mr Dee then pointed out to us the vast mango and cashew trees that lined the road we had been travelling down. He also showed us how cashews were harvested from fruits and the actual nut sticking out the end of the fruit in a soft shell. He cracked a shell to show one cashew nut inside. Which made me realise how many cashews it takes to make one packet and therefore how many trees it would take! From being here a few days, I’m really starting to notice the difference in culture and lifestyle compared to at home, and how there’s a real sense of appreciation for life here and getting on with everything as you’ve got no other option.

During the afternoon section of today’s cycle, at one point we were minding our own business cycling along as a group, when all of a sudden ahead of us, the road was blocked with cattle travelling towards us! This brought a new challenge for me and the team as we had to skilfully weave our way cautiously through the cows on a very narrow road. As funny as it was, at the time I was slightly anxious of getting knocked off my bike!

Today was our fastest cycle yet finishing at 1:30pm giving us some time to explore our surroundings in Kampong Chnang for a few hours in daylight for once.  So we headed down to the market place on tuk-tuks to have a poke around. The market itself was beside a vast lake decorated with great lily pads stretching across the horizon. What I found especially outstanding about this particular site was the floating houses all grouped together on the water, with makeshift pathways made out of


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