April 21 – Sre Ambel – Trapeang Rung = 81km
What a challenging but incredibly rewarding couple of days through the Wild West of Cambodia but we have nailed it. So pleased we forced ourselves to have a rest day in Sre Ambel before attacking the Mountains despite food being a challenge.
We were carbo loaded ready to start the 2 day challenge through the Mountains. We were loving being on the quiet highway 48, minimal traffic taking it all in.
After 40km we had an option to stay at Botum Sakor at one of the 3 homestays but we were both feeling great so grabbed some water and pushed on.
After Botum Sakor we hit the hills and then got caught in a storm which was actually lovely and refreshing in the stifling temps.
Smashing out the kms with more thunder and storms following us we arrived 81km later exhausted into Trapeang Rung. Super relieved that there was a guesthouse right in town. Very basic room with fan, bucket to flush toilet, no hand basin and more creepy crawlies than we have seen this trip. Just a reminder that we are in the jungle. We didn’t take much rocking and after yet another feed of pottle noodles and a beer we crashed at 7.30 in the super stuffy room.
Trapeang Rung – Koh Kong = 61km
Managed to get some sleep despite the unnerving night sounds outside in the jungle so up at 5.30am ready for what we knew would be the toughest day riding over the Cardamom Mountains.
The hills were gruelling but super satisfying as every pedal was one closer to what felt like the finish line. There were no drink stalls for 28km so just as well we were loaded up with water.
We had an option of staying at a guesthouse in Tatai at the 40km but we were on a roll and loving the tough ride. The temp was rapidly rising to the mid 30s so we wanted to keep moving. The road was probably the best we have ridden on, traffic was light and the sounds of the wildlife in the jungle were amazing. Some real tough pinches out of Tatai matched with some super fun downhill where we hit 52km an hour on our Speedo! Before we knew it we rolled into Koh Kong bang on midday. We had carved up the Cambodian Cardamom’s. Civilisation looked good and we saw the first Westerners we had seen in a few days.
After checking out a few places to stay we hit the jackpot and got ourselves the VIP suite at the Nathy Koh Kong Hotel for NZ$27. The best digs we have had in Cambodia!
So here we are 9km from the Thai border having nailed Cambodia. Going to chill out here for 3 nights and reflect on an amazing adventure in this country and start planning the next stage of the journey.