I get back on my trips and go back in Cambodia
Arriving from Vietnam, I don’t have realy choice, I have to go through Phnom Penh, the capital. I still love so much big cities, so I find a nice place to stay with Raphael and Claudi, two german cyclists working for a NGO in Phnom Penh, they live in a small village on the other side of the Mekong river, this place is perfect to avoid crowded places and people while enjoying a stunning river views, just down of the garden. However, I’ll pass quickly there, the next day, I take the direction of Takeo, a hundred km south.
I get back in time. In may 2015, whereas she was still in France, Marion met on her road, Gilles, a french cyclist. Gilles sponsoring a young Cambodian girl in a child care center (Orphans and children from families in difficulty) in Cambodia. Learning that we’ll arrive in Cambodia around christmas, he ask us if we accept to get in the center to give a small gift to his goddaughter, Srey Penh. It is with pleasure that we accepted.
Here am I, on the road to Takeo.
Arriving there, I met Chanthy, a former resident of the center, who become a French teacher now. She’ll help me for translation.
These few days in Takeo are occasion to met Srey Penh and her friends from the center, to participate to an english course with her class, as well as going to visit her mother in a small village, 20km far from Takeo.
Well, a short stay rich in sharing and strong emotions, in total immersion with Cambodians
Back on the road, for the next days, I planed south of Cambodia:
Kept, a small nice city on the seaside, full of tourists and hammocks along the road. However out of town, I found an abandoned field overlooking the sea, perfect for me !
Kampott, city famous for its pepper (considered like one of the best in the world) it’s occasion for me to discover a bit more about pepper culture, and I realised that we met fields of it in Vietnam, without knowing what it was. I also discovered that from the same seed, we can make all peppers. Green (Picked in early maturity), black (picked in early maturity, then dried under the sun), red (mature harvested) or white (red pepper, soaked in water for several days, washed and dried) …
I planed to continue through Sihanoukville, famous for its nice beaches, and it’s turquoise water, but the cyclists I met are unanimous, the city is overgrown by tourism, to flee … So I continue my road to Koh Kong. From here, let’s go for 200 km of dirt track in mountains. It’s probably one of the most difficult track I cycled up to there, with gradient over 14% (So I discovered that over 13% my bike is rocking back… Anyway, 14% on track, it’s time to push my bike). For the rest it’s 3 wonderful days, alone in the middle of the Cardamome Mountains. I just cross a small village, along a lac, but I’ve been hosted here wonderfully, with a house only for me, to put my tent, and dinner offered by my one day host family. Next days, it’s the same, red track, blue sky and wonderful green vegetation. For me it’s remains the most beatiful place in Cambodia.
I had planned to go visiting Angkor temples, but two german cyclists informed me that it was possible to make myanmar visa in Phnom Penh for only 30$ in three days. So if I can avoid to go in Bangkok only for that… I change my plans and get back to Phnom Penh. I’ll see temples later.
Here I’m back to Raphael and Claudi’s place. While my visa application is running, I suddenly decided to get back in France, just to spend the Christmas and New Year with family and friends… Not time to think about it, I take the first flight back. I get my passport at the Burmese embassy and I go to the airport.
41 hours later (including 17 of stopover in Singapore and 6h in Jeddah), here I am, in Paris. 🙂