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Cambodia – Koh Kong – 2nd February

Up early we made our own breakfast in the room and headed out to find some half decent bikes for a good price. We tried a few places that were mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide, however the bikes were knackered and wouldn’t have got us down the road let alone into the unknown terrain ahead. We finally found some bikes that were the best we had seen, and these were nothing special, at least they had brakes and what looked to be gears on one of them. We began our journey following the LP and a photocopied map that the bike rental cafe gave us. It was straight forward enough, straight down the road for 18km.

It all started off well and level, but soon we were faced with huge big dipping roads, up hill, down hill, up hill, down hill. The midday sun was rapidly approaching and the map we had did not show as far as the river that we were heading towards. Water was also running low as well as the bikes felling very tired and the chains were very rusty! We finally passed a billboard sign with a photograph of a waterfall and not much else, we proceeded as it did not look like a path that would lead us to the waterfall, the sign looked like an advert for the area. Down a huge hill, which was fun and to the bottom, success the river was there and the waterfall must be nearby. Asking the locals they said it was a few KM up the road from where we came. This was not good news and we decided to grab water and food here and try to get a boat to the waterfall.

The people are very friendly and they cooked us up a meal with our requirements of no meat. They showed us the meat and fish that they had and you would have to be a brave person to try it, cooked and uncooked meat in torn plastic bags together in a basket and dried fish that did not look very tasty. We had rice with eggs and a bowl of vegetables which was lovely and they brought us more rice however we were stuffed to the brim. We inquired about a boat to the waterfall $20. We asked about a truck taxi back with our bikes but that was $20. Due to it been New Year they were all having fun and relaxing, we weren’t going to hold it against them for charging high rates. We decided to brave the roads once more and started our assent up the hill.

The ride back was surprisingly enjoyable and we got back to Koh Kong in no time. Chill time and showers and then out for some food, where we had a great Thai curry and decent Pad-thai. Many locals were celebrating TET so we witnessed family gatherings, massive spit roast pigs waiting to be feasted upon and firecrackers were going off all over the place. For the remainder of the evening we sat at one of the sea-view bars and got the blog up to date.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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