To Phnom Penh. St Val’s day.


They will not fall. Jolly painful.


Driving a moped starts early in these parts.


How deep is Tonle Sap?


Water Hyacinths. Very invasive. Seems appropriate for the area, really.


It’s not much, but it is home.

We’ve become unaccustomed to relying on other modes of transport.  Tuk tuk 30 mins later than booked.  Squeezing onto the back to join the 5 other travellers with all their gear we then had to hold onto our bikes hanging off the tailgate. Met Yann, a charming Frenchman now living in Hammersmith, travelling in south-east Asia for a few weeks between jobs.  Nice to chat while we waited for our driver, who disappeared after we broke down  two mins down the dusty road.  He  finally turned up  with a Jonnie Walker bottle of petrol.  No worries being late as the 7:30 am ferry was still piling on passengers at 8.30.

We settled ourselves onto the rather firm bench seats, very happy to have a seat and not to be perched on the rooftop, baking with the baggage. We had been told that the journey 4-5 takes hours, but were  prepared for a 5 to 6 hour trip with lots of water, bananas and pastries from breakfast.  The engine stops after 4 minutes, someone gets a saw out to chop something off the back off the boat. Repeat. Several times. 5 hours into the trip we pull over to the bank. It didn’t look like a port. Everyone piles off onto a rather sleeker looking vessel.  Paul is left to hoik our bikes and panniers onto the new boat while I scurry down below to try and grab a seat.

Very exciting for 10 mins when we accelerate to warp factor 6.  Sadly, it didn’t last. Engine stopped and someone tried a hammer this time. Sadly it didn’t work, so a serious engineer was called in. He had a very big hammer.  Which almost worked. We pootled down the river ploughing through the weeds for another weary, bone aching 4 hours.  Just made it to Phnom Penh before dark. Groan. More fun than a van, but gosh, so close.

Even Hanoi traffic wasn’t this bad.  We chose to cycle on the sidewalk avoiding the kids playing football, the aerobics class and the food vendors.  A manic cycle to find our hotel.  Thank you and Paul’s ability to cycle and brake one-handed.

Travelling by bike in Cambodia is fun. The fun is about to change as we try and actually cycle around Phnom Penh.




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