Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Darn sarf

About 10 years ago Kate and I were on holiday in France. We happened to be staying in a town where the Tour de France was coming through so we went down to watch it. We were by the barrier waiting for the riders to come through when a coach load of American tourists ( they're getting a bad rap right now, sorry) pulled up and they all bundled out, checked shirts and cameras at the ready. 2 ladies were stood behind us, well within earshot. When the support cars started coming through laden down with spare bikes one of the ladies turned to the other and said "Gee Betty, I thought they would have been riding the bikes". Yes, that is a true story!

Well, right now we're glad Betty and her mate aren't around as we certainly aren't riding hours. In fact we haven't even got them with us! The prospect of a 2 day ride down a busy highway to the coastal towns of Kampot and Kep just didn't appeal so in true backpacker style we took a 3 hour bus ride instead, leaving the bikes locked up at the guest house in phnom penh.
You see we've changed our minds on our route. Originally we were going to ride down here and then cross the border into Vietnam but we've decided to not go there at all now. After speaking to other travellers we heard a lot about the busy highway 1 along the coast, lots of Russian tourists at the beaches (if you've ever been to beaches with Russians you'll understand our concerns, we've actually met some lovely Russians but never on a beach....) and most importantly a howling northerly wind that we'd cop in our faces all the way north.  We'll save Vietnam for another day, and another form of transport (anyone interested in joining us?). 

So instead we'll chill down here at the coast for a few days, away from the tourist hoards, return by bus to phnom penh and then actually ride (yes really!) for a few hundred Km's north, basically following the Mekong river into Laos. We'll still be riding into the wind but hope that this 'road less travelled' will bring the fun and adventure we're looking for. As nice as these tourist spots are, we are looking for more opportunity to order food that doesn't have a picture next to it, from a menu that doesn't also include spag carbonara or a BLT. The cheap beer though is most welcome!

Safety first! A drink driving campaign I guess?

We thought we might go in here to soak up the atmosphere ( tee hee)

Our VIP room for less than the cost of a pint at our local in London

Downtown Kampot

We did a sunset river cruise tonight (there are defo benefits of being in a tourist town). The passenger manifest was a mixed bag. The best were a very English (and slightly boring) couple, then there were the 10 Cambodian kids  and finally the French alcoholic objectionable arsehole. Luckily the noise from the engine drowned out most of the above... Still better than sitting in rush hour traffic on your way home from work we kept telling ourselves. God, I'm starting to sound like a right old whingy bugger but flippin eck, why can't people just sit down, shut up and enjoy the view?!

Health and safety gone mad, life jackets in the toilet? Who's ever drowned in a urinal? I wish that French bloke had...

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