Saturday, 14 February 2015

It ain't what you say.....

Laos as in 'cow'? Laos as in 'layos'? Or as the French say "layooos"? Well, what do the French know anyway? They can't even speak proper like what we can unless they're saying English words like "croissant"....We've seen so many French in Cambodia & Thailand and now they are here as well. Are there actually any of them left in France? Has anyone checked recently? 

Anyway, on with the blog

We rode well today. After a 6am fried pork & rice breakfast (one of these local meals is going to get us in the 'tummy dept' at some point) we smashed out 63km in 4 hours including 35 minutes for rest stops.

Here are the bikes having a little snooze whilst we have a pee

The road was in ok condition. Not the super slick Tarmac a fully carbon Pinarello rider would like but Tarmac all the same. There were a few potholes but they were pretty easy to spot

The lack of traffic made the dusty sections much more pleasant and overall it wasn't a bad ride.

It gave us time to reflect on our time in 
Cambodia. It had been great. The people really make it. Friendly, open and warm but also with a great sense of humour and patriotic pride. It felt 'real' (once away from the stupid touristy areas). We've heard it said that Cambodia is like Thailand 15 years ago. No it's not. It's like Cambodia now! How could you possibly ever say that? The way you would have viewed anywhere when you were 15 years younger would be way different for a start. Basically, if you're interested in visiting Cambodia then come sooner rather than later before the tourist plague infects the whole of the country.

We sat with the lady owner of a cafe and had a 'chat'. We laughed together when her chickens made a funny noise and winced together as the trucks blasted past in clouds of dust. After about 20 minutes we left, riding off to our next destination. She just sat there, like she probably has for all of her days and all of her days to come. It wasn't a particularly nice spot on planet earth but it felt somehow that she was content there and that was quite lovely.

Crossing borders can be amazing. The imaginary, beauraucratic line dividing places can give, depending upon where you are, such great contrast in just about everything. This wasn't one of those borders! Once across (30 mins max plus a few dollars for our visas) we rode on in the heat. Nothing looked or felt any different. I noticed a new squiggle on the vehicle number plates and the words for hello and thank you are much easier to remember and say. That's about it!

As we rode through the hot and possibly slightly less barren landscape it felt weird that only 20km away lay some islands in the Mekong that were full of backpackers who were probably barely out of their beds yet. We didn't really want to go straight into 'touristville' but we'd now done 83km and there were no other towns anywhere near ahead. We turned down the little road to the ferry place and were soon aboard

Bloody French backpacker scum with their rental bikes spoilt my shot!

And now, here we sit, in this slightly bizarre mix of ramshackle bungalows, MTV and backpackers on the beach with a guitar who looked quite cool until they played & sang Tight Fit - The lion sleeps tonight followed by Yesterday. "Shall we go somewhere else for a nice cup of tea Kate?"
Living the high life

And in case paradise isn't enough, you can always have this instead

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