Got my second slow puncture of the trip but too slow to worry about so I pumped up the wheel and carried on. Teresa’s front light was even worse after the abuse it sustained from the taxi ride.
Banana milk shake and more drinks in a street side café and we headed off to the temples. Entry for a day was $20 and a long queue of mainly white faces were sweating in the afternoon heat hunting for a sunset view of the temples. Met two yanks on a speedy 24 hour flight from Bangkok just to see a glimpse of Khmer (or should I say Hindu) glory. Headed first for the most recommended, oldest and best kept of the lot, Angker Wat. Truly unique, never ending stone creation with carvings galore. Absolutely breath-taking! It took a few generations to build with the stone to build it dragged over fifty kilometres. It’s hard to even imagine the labour hours required to create this project .
Succumbed to bribery to get to the top level ($5). Money well spent. The view, size, quality. I was standing speechless in the glory of the place looking into the slowly dropping sunset, just to be disturbed by the guard firstly asking me if I already pay the bribe, then offering to take some camera shots of me (trying to be helpful).
We slowly walked back through the main stone alley meeting heaps of tourists. When Teresa came here in 1991, there were a total of 5300 tourists for the whole year visiting the site. Today, it seems to be 5000 per hour. Can’t blame them, can`t blame myself too.
Cycling back we stopped for an hour’s massage done by blind people (part of a local charity project). First one ever in my live, except the marathon ones. A very pleasant and highly relaxing experience but could have been a little bit stronger. We paid with a tip – charity after all - and left for the hotel promising ourselves that we will get out and about later. Instead we died from tiredness (and perhaps over-relaxation) instead.
Cycled 22: Taxied around 170km.