Firstly, apologies to all with the slow updates in Cambodia, unlike Vietnam where I had great internet via wifi, 3G and 4G comms everywhere North to South, things are a bit difficult on that aspect here.
We are well and truly inside Cambodia now. Howling storms during the night and when opening the bedroom window early hours I was hit by a raging wind off the Gulf of Thailand which nearly blew me across the room.
I hardly slept a wink during the night due to being high on endorphin's to a hype of activity that day - riding; 134 km ride, changing guides and support crew, changing borders, seeing a big change in cultures on immediately crossing the border, Giles singing along the route, and a final count of 218 bridges in Vietnam.
Certainly a big relief now cycling with little to no traffic along the open roads and in the cities, unlike Vietnam. Feeling somewhat safer out there cycling in the zone of Cambodia, but one shouldn't be too complacent until on the standing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.
The lack of sleep didn't help the situation cycling (2nd day in Cambodia) as all I wanted to do was sleep at the helm of the bike. However, an extended lunch break, a few zzs in a hammock and a huge downpour of rain after lunch woke me up for the last 30 km to Veal Renh. This time when the raging storm hit we were all yelling out like Lt. Dan. We've arrived in Veal Renh with a rest day today and sadly our guide Phea has dengue fever and therefore has to be replaced with a new guide.
On a more happier note the Cambodian people are as friendly as the Vietnamese. Three foreigners cycling through the country is certainly a novelty and everyone and his cat and dog run out to say "hello!!". Passing schools a hundred children would yell out at the same time,, There are times that you would hear a voice would yell out "hello!!" Now you would think that three highly trained ex SAS soldiers would identify where the sound came from, but guess what?? They're either camouflaged up sitting up in tree or peeking through some hole in a makeshift fence or wall of a house.
For those who are planning a trip to Cambodia it's certainly mosquito season now with lots of water laden areas for them to breed; just take the necessary precautions whilst here and my advise to TLRH riders is; keep moving fast on your bike so the mosquitoes can't catch you:
"Mosquito bites are irritating – and can be fatal. Malaria and Dengue Fever are serious diseases carried by mosquitoes.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are defined as malarial areas with low rates of transmission while the rest of Cambodia should be considered as high risk malarial areas.
Dengue fever is prevalent especially in heavily populated areas. Insect protection measures should be taken throughout the day.
Because mosquitos breed in still standing water, in the wet season mosquito activity is increased. However mosquitoes may still be active in the dry season."
The team have been following the coast around the bottom of Cambodia with the Gulf of Thailand on our left. Off direct route tomorrow after our rest day today towards Chi Phat (110 km) via Srey Amble slightly East of Phnom Bokor national park between the Cardamon Mountains before cutting back towards the coast again to the Thai border on the 10th July. I'm told there will be a bit of off road tomorrow, so it's out with the old spare bike that'll handle the sand and gravel ahead.
For the meantime it's our rest day as mentioned and saying goodbye to our sick guide, checking the local markets in Veal Rhen, before 6 straight days of cycling ahead.
Chum Reap Sur Lea Hey
"hello and goodbye" in Khmer
Truck, Troy and Giles
On the long ride home.