Stung Hav – Sre Ambel = 76km
A day of two halves yesterday departing the sleepy Stung Hav. Lovely rolling hills despite sharing them with petrol tankers. Still bumpy road with heaps of pot holes so much so the vibration cracked my fork mounted alloy drink bottle holder. Handy Andy cable tied it together and we were back in the game.
After the 25km we were back on the flat and greeted with the dreaded National HW4.
Was full on concentration with heavy traffic but we stuck on the gravel shoulder the entire way and had it almost to ourselves except for the odd cow and scooter. The paddocks aren’t fenced so cows just wander and generally have an uncanny sense as to when to cross the road. I had just remarked this 5mins earlier to Andy when 100m up ahead a cow wandered into the path of a car going 100km and the rest was carnage. We literally witnessed the cow flying through the air. Luckily those in the car appeared to be unharmed but shaken and the car looking worse for wear. The cow would be history and bruised beef on the menu somewhere last night.
After the unpleasant cow episode a random coffee shop appeared so we took time out in the aircon and had coffee break. For those of you that know me well know I’ve never drunk coffee however I’ve become somewhat addicted to the strong Cambodian iced coffees with condensed milk!
After 35km on crazy HW4 we were at the junction to turn off onto HW48 making our way towards Sre Ambel. Struggled to find anything edible at the junction but you can always rely on noodles and coke.
Arrived in Sre Ambel about 3pm hot and bothered and we have definitely hit the wild west of Cambodia.
Found the only guesthouse in the town and for NZ20 we have aircon and are snuggled up super cosy with Betty and Nancy.
After a cold shower (no hot water here and power cuts in and out) we went for a walk down the street. I think the only Westerners or “barang” (as they call us) the locals would see would be cycle tourists. So we hear the whispers of barang as we walk down the street but a smile and hello reassures them that we aren’t scary and before you know it you are trying to converse.
Then opposite our guesthouse is the one stop shop. Coffee, beer and noodles for dinner
So here we are taking it all in resting up for a day before hitting the 150km ride over the Cardamon Mountains. We aren’t sure yet how tough they are going to be, also the variables of the early arrival of the wet season, the heat, the availability of a bed, whether it will take us 2 or 3 days of riding. We may also be off the radar as not sure if Wi-Fi will be available. The Wild West bring it on!