Cambodia: Cycling & Cheating

It was time again to return to Thailand, but the exact date was left open, so we could take it easy.

Easy or not, we had several drink stops at roadside establishments.

Going all the way to O-Smach border seemed over the top (and unnecessary), but we agreed to continue after Trapeang Prasat.

As a result we ended up 79.39 km later in a great (almost) lakeside place; Bot Oddom Guest House in Anlong Veng!

The ride itself was smooth enough but the sunlight got intense later during the day and I could feel some parts of my skin getting 'cooked'....

And as luck would have it we managed to find in town 2 weird beer brands we'd never heard off before:

Klang Pilsner (Smooth) & Kudo Lager Beer (Kudo! You did it like a CHAMP!).

The last one we sampled the traditional way; in a plastic cup with ice and a straw....

I asked Tim to take this 'historic' photo with my mobile which he did like a CHAMP!

Later though we opted for more familiar brands...

The guest house's balcony turned out also to offer a decent place to observe sunsets!

We ended the day with a 'hot pot' dinner, pretty good actually.

The next morning we started a little later since we had only a short ride to the border and wanted to score breakfast first for a change.

Inside Monorom Guest House hung a great kitsch Khmer painting on the wall which I considered good enough for a photo.

Tim studied Monorom Restuarant's menu with great care before deciding on its classic 'Bread with (greasy!) Omilat' and coffee.

Cycling started easy enough and after a few km we stopped at the Cremation Site of Son Sen (another creepy Khmer Rouge character) which was depressingly ordinary and boring...

The easy part didn't last long as we got closer and closer to the dreaded Dangrek Mountain range....

Therefore we parked our bicycles, waited for a suitable vehicle and had our thumbs ready, back to old-fashioned hitchhiking!

And soon afterwards a friendly pickup driver allowed us to load our bikes in the back!

Instead of arriving 2 hours later more dead than alive at the border, we got there in 10 minutes!

Dryly Ray commented: 'See? It was a piece of cake!'

Border formalities and crossing went fine although Tim almost got an incorrect date stamp in his passport; 1 month instead of 1 year...

The Thai immigration officer noticed his mistake too and apologized profusely!

Despite my impression that the last 10 km on the way to the border on the first day of our trip were straight up, there were still plenty ups and downs...

We stopped at a small restaurant with a great view point named 'Pa Paya Kupree'.

Here Ray called his wife and told her that we'd arrived a bit earlier in Thailand.

We considered the place beautiful enough as it was, but some people obviously thought differently and had began constructing a kind of miniature stonehenge with artificial grass...

I just ignored it and took a few more shots of the large reservoir(?) beneath.

Ray's wife Na and her brother showed up soon and it was time to load up our equipment again, the end of another cool cycling (& a little bit of hitchhiking) trip!

Back at Ray's house I grabbed some of our 'souvenirs', placed them on Tim's map and took this shot.

I still consider Mr. Roth's little handwritten note - with his offer to drive us 'every whear' - the highlight!

MapMyRide of the first day to Anlong Veng.

MapMyRide of the second (& last) day to Pa Paya Kupree.

Remember that the 'little' 5 km part to Choam was done in the back of a car ;-)

P.s. Don't forget to check Ray's version:

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