Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Phnom Penh

Day 6 cycling:
Pursat to Kompong Chhnang
Distance: 98.6 km
Ridetime: 6:02 hrs
Average speed: 16.64 km/hr
Max: 23.1 km/hr
Between Towns Total: 540km
Odometer Total 760km

Day 7 cycling:
Kompong Chhnang to Phnom Penh
Distance: 95.1 km
Ridetime: 6:25 hrs
Average speed: 15:03 km/hr
Max: 22.0 km/hr
Between Towns Total: 635km
Odometer Total 855km

Back in Phnom Penh, and at the Last Home Guest House

The ride to Kompong Chhnang was as gruelling as the previous stretch, but I eventually made it to the Sokha Guest House. It was $8 for a fan room & an additional $4 for aircon, which I unwisely declined - I had a hot & sleepless night, and seemed in poor shape for yet another 100km ride when I arose the next morning. The $2 breakfast provided was solid (2 bread rolls, jam, omelette, milk coffee). This, coupled with much cooler weather - it seemed all morning that it was going to rain at some stage - resulted in an easier day's cycling than I'd feared. But now of course another issue arose - the buttocks began to get quite sore - I must do something about that seat!

I began to really enjoy some of the roadside drinks you encounter on the way. Almost as enjoyable were the reactions of incredulity when I stopped & ordered one. Sugar cane juice squeezed from the cane between a set of rollers is refreshing; even more so was the drink made from shaved ice, to which was added syrup (green, red...) and maybe some condensed milk or some other fluid ladled into the mixture. Whatever it was, it was a nice change, as there's only so much Coke; yellow, green, orange or pink Fanta; 7-Up/Sprite; Red Bull; or canned Lychee juice that one can take.

It seems that ice may be OK here, unlike in many other southeast asian countries where you're cautioned against having it in drinks. Overall, and I've not been super-careful, I've had no gastric concerns during my time here.

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