Saturday, November 27, 2010
Road to Siem Reap
Today we rode our bikes from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, about 320km. It took all day to make the journey -- we left at about 10:00am and got to our guest house after 6:00pm. Maybe it was just me, but everyone seemed pretty exhausted and ready to get off the bikes.
Getting out of Phnom Penh was hectic. A slow moving swarm of trucks, cars, and motorcycles. As we left the city the motorized traffic let up, but stray dogs, cows, water buffalo, donkeys, chickens, and people took it's place. Most of the cows we saw were tied to a tree next to the road. The water buffalo were typically working -- pulling a cart or dragging a plow. A large portion of the farm animals were just roaming around, unattended and unpredictable.
We each had a close call today: Danny found himself traveling on the wrong side of the road just outside of Phnom Penh, starring down a tuk tuk, a car, and a few motorcycles. Nick skidded out on some gravel next to a construction site, and almost wiped out. I came within inches of hitting a stray dog.
We all made it safe and sound, and I think tonight will be an early one. Traveling in the heat and sun zaps the energy out of you, not to mention navigating through an asteroid field for 8 hours.
I've included a few pictures:
1) The first place we stopped to take breather and get some gas. Gas is sold by the liter at just about every roadside shop (no pumps - you literally take as many 1 liter glass bottles as you need).
2) Getting gas and studying our guidebooks in Kampong Thum.
3) Me and my bike on a bridge between Kampong Thum and Siem Reap.
I also managed to post a video of the area outside of Phnom Penh. Nick's driving, Danny's in orange, and I am nowhere to be seen.