Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Jetpack email subscription

I would love to know the reason why of my 173 email subscribers only 1 is an identifiable person! Is it some sort of spammers paradise generated by Jetpack?Here is a selection:-

groovyardor670ki38 6 days, 6 hours ago 6 days, 8 hours ago 6 days, 9 hours ago

The last twoe appears on spamlists like here So it looks like it’s best to avoid Jetpac’s Email signup option!

Anyway I’ve deleted it now although there doesn’t seem any way of clearing the existing people.

Rest day in Stung Treng & some trip statistics

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. A bike mehanic in cream trousers!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 🙂

Biking SE Asia – Borkeo to Stung Treng

1-IMG_0267I managed an early start leaving the hotel at 6.38 taking the bike next door to get the kickstand fixed as a bolt had come out. Imagine getting your bike fixed on a Sunday at that hour in the UK 🙂

After last nights culinary experience I had a few bananas and rode on. After 20 miles I hit Banlung which is a large town with banks, lots of hotels & restaurants! So I had breakfast and ploughed on.

1-IMG_0281The destruction of the forest is almost complete to be replaced by huge tracts of rubber trees etc Truly amazing all that diversity being replaced by monoculture. after crossing a river there was then a grueling straight stretch of 25 miles or so with no signs of habitation & even worse no coconut sellers, plus the back tyre has a puncture again, so I had to keep stopping to put some wind into it.  🙁  On the outskirts of  Sangkom Andet a shack loomed into view that sold drinks I downed over  a litre of juice drinks immediately plus another half litre at the garage. It is just so hot in the afternoon!

The village had no hotel and with over 80 miles on the clock I couldn’t face another 25 miles to civilisation in Stung Treng. Pondering what to do my eyes alighted on a modern pickup truck with two official guys nearby, the rear was mainly empty, so I began a very animated conversation with them (No English of course) eventually I struck gold as they lowered the tailgate and let me sit in the back holding the bike as we roared down to Stung Trenk, after first saving the biking data!

They dropped me of at the bridge so I could bike into town. First place was Gold River Hotel where for $20 they gave me a lovely river view room. In town I found The Riverside Cafe that served excellent food!

Interestingly I met Colin who is working to save Cambodian  vulture,s  apparently vultures have just about been wiped out in India in a few years due to cows been given Diclofenac  (active ingredient of Voltaro). Thus leading to a huge increase in rabies due to wild dogs taking over eating the dead cows. All amazing and there is an article here. If like me you are curious to know more. Plus he told me of the new road to Angor Wat 🙂

The Strava for the cycling bit of the day is here:



and the pictures here

SE Asia cycle tour – Pleiku SE Asia cycle tour – Pleiku to Borkeo

After a hearty breakfast I left the luxury of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Hotel at 8am and set of for Cambodia. Much to my surprise I had another 100m to ascend from the hotel! The road has just been remade so was in perfect condition making for rapid descents. Although once again it was a continual up & down ride which made it very tiring.

Not so much traffic today but still pretty busy. Interesting to see all the pepper drying out in the fronts of all the houses

I eventually reached the border at midday where the chain jumped off meaning I arrived with black greasy hands. The border guy walked me to the water butt to wash them. He was curious why I was leaving before my 28 days expired 🙂 I changed my dongs to Riel and headed down the very rough track to Cambodia. Once again all very friendly I filled in my forms fortunate I had a passport photo and $20USD to complete the visa.

What a change is Cambodia! the roads are deserted and you can hear birds sing 🙂 the forest is being bulldozed & burnt down to make way for vast plantations some reminding me of the Spanish Estacia. In between these are houses build on stilts. I also saw a magnificient Buddhist building.

The afternoon heat was getting to me so when I saw a hotel I immediately stopped and called it a day at the Ratanak in Borkeo for £4.24 a night! Lovely cold shower and no internet!

Going out I managed to pick up a SIM for $4 that immediately translated to $15 as a Metfone bonus deal. Apparently the internet is 0.2 cents per 100Kb which I make is $£13 per GB so more expensive than Vietnam but still way way below what 3 wanted to charge me £6000 per GB. All very efficiently done with no need for passports, credit cards etc.

The real shock was trying to find cooked food to eat, no restaurants here & the market vegetables looked good although the meat & fish were covered in flies. I eventually found a street vendor selling bread rolls I pointed to the eggs in boiling water. Cutting the egg open I discovered it contained fluid & a chick 🙁 bit to free range for my liking. So I ended up with just a bread roll and cabbage.

The village just seems so much poorer than Vietnam its certain Cambodia is going to be interesting, especially with the heat!

The Strava is below:



and the pictures are here