My son, Stephen, the swimming instructor sent me this article where I’m featured in this April 2014 Swimming Times 🙂
A link to the document is here
Today was an earlish start to get the first ferry across the Megong River which starts after 7 🙂
By the time I had breakfast at The Riverside Guest House Cafe and whinged about Room 1 and it’s tap that won’t turn off and the shower that is a dribble, I started to run late made worse by the crowded market & the banana seller with yellow ones been stuck in the middle. I finally made it & fortunate to get one with just two huge trucks. The crossing reminded me of my Danube trip although this river is nearly 2 miles wide.
I followed Oliver’s instructions & took the dirt road to the right passing the sign that proudly proclaims the new road was made possible with an investment from Steung Treng Mineral Joint Venture Company which begs the question what did they get in exchange..
The new road is deserted and quite bumpy due to its coarse tar & chipping coating plus you can only use half the road as the other half is deep in loose chip pings. Of course the few cars using it are all Top Gear viewers and treat it as a race track. Make sure you look away as you get blasted by high velocity chippings. Closer to Krong it’s still under construction so you enter almighty dust clouds.
The wholesale forest destruction is much worse here in fact around 95% of the wood is gone, just endless vistas of burnt out forest. The insanity of just burning standing timber is beyond me, meanwhile folks are building shacks from gorgeous hardwoods. Nothing is been planted in the vast majority of the burnt out mess.
The day was long, over 83 miles, and very hot to Preah Viher I managed to drink well over 4 litres of pop with barely a pee. With the heat I could barely keep awake so found an old workman’s shelter and had a snooze.
Later, when trying to read Gaia, I found I had lost my spectacles. I and an army of kids tried to find them but I bet they fell off in my snooze which was 10 miles back. To cap it off my spare set are useless for distance vision
There is plenty of accommodation in Preah Viher but I unfortunately chose the worst The Chea Somoun 🙁 but it’s only one night! Venturing out I chose the right restaurant though 🙂 because as I started the usual ordering antics with the waitress, a young women dashed over asked what I wanted in perfect English & proceeded to order my food! Len it turns out is showing a group around the indigenous tribes & obviously well up on the land rights issues as well as schooling, which is markedly less over here witness the kids doing the laundry by the village pump. Whereas, in Vietnam all you see are school kids. Real shame that she had to dash off with her group as it would have been good to learn more.
Tomorrow looks another long hard day to get to Siem Reap for Angkor Wat
I’ve now been away for 23 days in SE Asia. Cycling for 15 of them and covering, according to Strava, 1.016 miles with an ascent of 33,843 feet and 841.5 hours in the saddle. I’ve covered about 1/3 of the total distance to Singapore! So I’ve awarded myself a total rest day here in Stung Treng before taking the ferry across the mighty Mekong River to Angkor Wat, Bangkok and down the peninsula to Singapore. Although quite how I’m going to manage in this heat is anyones guess. Today’s puzzles are: how can a bike mechanic stay so immaculately dressed in cream trousers and pale shirt whilst fixing my puncture, I was covered in grease just by watching him at work 🙁 Another puzzle is how the guys running The Riverside restaurant & guesthouse (where I moved to this morning) manage it seemingly with no effort, whereas others guest house owners make it all seem so much work! So with the puncture fixed, pedals sorted, handlebar tape fixed & more tape on the saddle plus a visit hairdressers today for a cut & shave for £1. I’m ready to start again. But must buy more water 🙂