228km Kratie to Don Det
You’d think we’d be well trained by now after nearly two years on the road. We’ve been across our fair share of deserts and up high mountain peaks but the wilds of northern Cambodia still managed to give us a run for our money. Hot. Desolate. Almost no shade. One account we read online of this section even described it as a route without scenery. The assessment wasn’t far wrong.We started out in cool air at 7:30am from Kratie, with a packed lunch in our bags from the market. Soon the sun was rising and we were working against a headwind to cover the 150km to the next town. Slipping under a tree for a rest wasn’t easily done. Our first priority was to steer clear of landmines left over from the civil war and that meant sticking to marked paths but a bigger problem was finding a tree at all! Land had been intensively cleared for farming. When we eventually got to Stung Treng we’d see the heavy wood furniture made from these former forests – a profitable business for those with access to the land.
The day continued with little to distract us from the road. Normally we are surrounded by village life. Children yelling hello. Chickens being transported in their dozens, hanging off the handlebars and sides of a single motorbike. Men drinking iced coffee while staring transfixed at the latest boxing match in a local cafe. Women out working in the rice fields. (more…)