January 15, 2013
We knew we would be getting a late start considering we were at a home stay, where socializing always keeps us longer than we think it will, but we enjoy these visits. Our hostess made us pancakes and coffee. She gave us a can of sweet milk and motioned that a jar on the table was sugar. We had talked about palm sugar production the night before and how it is similar to maple syrup. I thought the sugar was just thicker than maple syrup, not individual crystals. I took a small spoonful and mixed it into my coffee. The hostess then came back to the table and swapped the jar with another identical jar and said she accidentally put out mayo and this was the sugar. Oh well, I got some extra calories for the day.
We finally hit the road around 8am after many goodbyes and signing the guestbook. Yesterday’s feelings were long gone and we were both happy to be biking. The weather was nice and cloudy, however we continued to have a headwind. I think I will also be biking in a long sleeve shirt for while. It appears as though I have developed prickly heat on my arms. This is when sweat is trapped in your pores and you develop a rash. Just as lovely as it sounds.
The ride was not exciting until we had about 30km before we reached Kampot. Mountains started to appear- the first ones we’ve seen since Thailand! Soon, a man on a motorbike putted along side us and said hello to me and then moved up to Chandler. I thought he would say hello and then move on. Instead, he held a conversation with Chandler for the rest of the ride. For 30km, or about 2 hours he rode along side Chan, cruising on his moto at 10 mph. He left at one point, only to return a few minutes later, after he got a bottle of water. Apparently, he wants to be a tour guide and was asking Chandler to explain the meaning of different words. The topics vocabulary lesson ranged from specific names of construction equipment and fruit trees to the use of the word “immediately”. They also spent a while discussing the subtle difference in the pronunciation of the words “three” and “tree”.
We had a little trouble saying goodbye, because he wanted us to stay at his brother’s guesthouse in the town center, but we had trouble conveying that we wanted to stay on the river. We finally got things squared away and he left after thanking us many times. We found a nice bungalow on the river. It was a single unit up on stilts with a thatched roof and a brick bathroom on the ground floor. We set up a hammock and spent the rest of the evening reading and relaxing, until we were ready to sleep. That is when the “backpacker” bar next door started blasting American dance music. Luckily, it only annoyed us for a moment, we were both so tired, we fell asleep quickly.