The road was a typical red dirt road then changed to a 4 lane dust base layer for the future dual carriageway. The dust was everywhere and I mean it. I`m not the complaining type but that was my limit. The road was bordered by jungle for most of the journey, but our flora and fauna pickings were slim. Teresa has seen some brightly coloured interesting blue birds and I had spotted something black running from the road. Unfortunately the road was so bad that we had to mostly concentrate on avoiding obstacles.
Lots of drink breaks entailed: one shop owner didn`t even want the money for the teas. The whole district is so remote, it made us feel that we had moved in time to the 19th century. Water from roadside communal hand pumps, families living together in one ramshackle room, no electricity, farm animals walking around everywhere and limited clothing or sometimes none. It’s a much used, clichéd saying, but we don’t now how lucky we are! Or perhaps they are the lucky ones with no materialistic goods to worry about.
For lunch, we stopped in a very basic canteen for cheaper labour Cambodian workers employed by the Chinese road building company. The lady was waiting for a group of knackered workers but received dead cyclists instead. Few litres of cold drinks and fish soup with sticky rice. The workers arrived just as we were leaving and were pretty shocked to see us there. Cycled till we dropped so stopped for about 45 min trying to wait for the temperature to cool down. In every village the kids, and even some adults, where waving their hands shouting hello or goodbye. About 30 km before our intended destination, Teresa snagged her foot on some iron sticking up from a dilapidated bridge.
Finally we finished off with 1 km of tarmac on arrival in “Thaeng Mean Chey”. A quick visit to a pharmacy for some iodine and eye drops after the “sand storm road”. Prawns on a stick snack and searched for a bus for tomorrow. All quick and easy, inclusive of a very pleasant guest house for the night.
We showered everything, clothes, bags and ourselves. To finish the evening, off we went to get a bite, but at passed 9pm there was only one open place; a kind of “ice-cream” shop. Fruit with ice , condensed milk and cinnamon – very refreshing even with seconds. Teresa tried to get a banana shake ended up with durian – anyone for onion flavoured milk shake?