Archive for January, 2012

January
31st
2012

23,000 Kilometre Photo


23,000 kilometre photo

The 23,000 kilometre photo was taken on 31st January 2012, our first day in Thailand and shortly after crossing the border from Cambodia. The kind lady who provided the additional three digits we required was a little confused as to our request but we managed to convince her to join us outside her shop. The photo was taken by her friend and accompanied by much giggling between the two. With less than 1000km to Bangkok this was our final kilometre photo of the trip. In hindsight, we wished we had involved locals from the very start. – Posted by Emma

January
31st
2012

Cambodia By Numbers


Cambodia by numbers

Our path through Cambodia was far from straight, bearing a more than passing resemblance to the signature sword stroke of Zorro. Our route was defined by a combination of wanting to visit a few temple sites and the desire to enter Thailand as close to Bangkok as possible. Between the temple visits we spent a very social few days in the capital Phnom Penh and relaxed in the quiet riverside town of Kampot with a visit to the beach thrown in for good measure. Cambodia is perhaps the flattest (and hottest) country we have cycled in seeing us set our trip distance record on the stretch from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, but we still left with broad smiles and good memories. – Posted by Justin

January
30th
2012

The Hot South


The Hot South

Our desire to get to the coast, and specifically into the sea, has been waning a little lately. Originally planning to spend a week sitting out the heat on the Sihanoukville peninsula, we didn’t have the energy to cycle 80km out of our way to a beach resort which not one fellow traveller had enthused about. Time was short too, with extra days in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh eating into what was left of our Cambodian visas. On top of this pile of excuses, Chinese New Year was upon us, meaning that many other people would be heading south. Instead we settled into the sleepy river town of Kampot for a few extra days. – Posted by Emma

January
26th
2012

Day Of Food – Cambodia


Day of food - Cambodia

On the all important food front, it has been thoroughly enjoyable to cross into Cambodia. An abundance of fresh fruit, what we call ‘pot-luck’ dinners (where you pick what you want to eat by seeing what is in each pot) and Cambodian-style icy desserts in all but the smallest towns means we’ve rarely gone hungry. If it wasn’t for the heat regularly robbing us of our appetites, I’d have some concern about the balance of calories eaten vs burnt. – Posted by Emma

January
21st
2012

Cycling Flat Out


Cycling flat out

We were eager to arrive in Phnom Penh, which was the biggest city we have visited since China. Flat roads devoid of anything to divert us from cycling gave us reason to speed south, and besides, closing in on the end of our trip, we both wanted to see how far we could cycle in one day. Phnom Penh holds dark poignant memories of Cambodia’s past and as we rode into the city that saw a forced exodus of its population into the surrounding countryside, the thought of these events swirled around my mind. – Posted by Justin

January
12th
2012

Quiet Times At Angkor Wat


Quiet times at Angkor Wat

Awaking at 4:45am, I silence the alarm quickly but make no move to get up. We’ve both had a restless night in our too warm hotel room with a fan that only works at the fastest, noisiest and most sleep-disturbing speed. I’m already exhausted by the thought of starting the day at this hour, let alone heading out on a sightseeing binge. “Maybe we shouldn’t go today?” I trial the words on Justin. He’s quick to agree and rolls over to go back to sleep, but I lie awake in the stifling heat and reconsider. If I give in today then I’ll have this same internal battle another morning. The words are formed before my brain can compile a counter argument. “Maybe we should?” – Posted by Emma

January
8th
2012

On The Temple Trail


On the temple trail

Watching yet another slow sunset over the Mekong while sipping a cool fruit shake and gently rocking in a hammock we felt a twinge of guilt at having so easily succumbed to the charms of Don Det island leaving our sense of adventure behind on the mainland. Amongst days of doing nothing much, we planned our onward route through Cambodia with an eye for adventure including another off-road fling and visits to remote temple ruins. – Posted by Justin

January
7th
2012

22,000 Kilometre Photo


22,000 kilometre photo

The 22,000 kilometre photo was taken on the way to Dam Dek, Cambodia on 7th January 2012. After a drink stop we managed to convince one of the local guys to pose for a photo with us and contribute the two fingers we needed for our total. Its possible his initial hesitancy at being photographed was due to the strange footwear combo we are wearing. Our excuse was we were cycling due west for most of the day and only one foot was in the sun. – Posted by Justin

January
4th
2012

Laos By Numbers


Laos by numbers

We purposely slowed down in Laos, giving ourselves almost two months to cycle less than 2000km through the country. From steep climbs in the north to heat waves in the south, our cycling wasn’t without challenges, but extended breaks in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakse and Don Det ensured that days off the bike outnumbered days cycling for the first time in our trip. Among our most treasured memories are the children of Laos who enthusiastically waved and shouted sabaidee whenever they spotted us cycling by, some almost falling over in the process. While we saw little wildlife in what was once the land of a million elephants we were still won over by Laos’ lazy charms. – Posted by Emma

January
3rd
2012

Lizard Days


Lizard days

We’re woken every morning by the soft ‘splosh’ of string fishing nets hitting the water, the slightly off-beat thump of a drum being hit at the temple across the river and the comically loud ‘eh-eeerh’ emitting from a gecko through our thin bamboo walls. Rising not long after the sun has pulled up into another brilliant blue, ‘no weather’ sky, we pull pillows, sleeping mats, books and computers onto our shady hammock-adorned deck and settle in for another day of idleness. Spending our last nine days in Laos on tiny Don Det island, the already slow pulse of our journey in Laos has come to a standstill. – Posted by Emma