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Published: January 30th 2018
Tuesday is a free day. After breakfast we take advantage of the Hotel's complimentary bicycles, which are in a surprisingly good condition.
Our aim is to exit the City in a general Northerly direction and find some quiet rural pathways to absorb the peaceful and friendly environment. The weather seems to be following us, it is overcast and very humid (again). We set off, following the river, and as usual are impressed by the friendliness of the local people and children, if smiles were currency most Cambodians would be rich indeed.
Paula comments that everywhere we travail, it feels like we are on a royal visit and likens the local reactions akin to a Charles and Camilla moment. Leo baulks at this suggestion, so she drops the idea like a hot cake! We cycle for about an hour, stress free, as our fellow road users are more than cautious in passing our bikes, sensibly so, as we are not without a wobble or two, even with our vast experience of Asian Cycling.
The streets are quieter now and we enjoy looking around us, leisurely. We decide not to go too far as we are not dressed for rain,
and do not want to risk damage to the I-Pad (we've killed at least one on previous trips) so we decide to return via the opposite bank at the nearest opportunity.
Anecdotal notes: Leo is getting over a snuffly cold (poor man) and as a consequence our tissue supplies are dwindling fast. So, finding a pharmacy is paramount. We park cycles and Leo pops into a promising shop. Gesturing towards nose blowing, asks for tissues only to be directed to incontinence pads, Leo takes out a hanky to show what he wants the Pharmacist says: "l don't have ", Leo makes sharp exit, empty-handed. 2nd attempt, at next Pharmacy, Paula's turn to procure said item. Being a woman (lol) by looking into a glass display counter, spies a multi-pack of desired product, points and negotiates a price. At USD2, enquires as to the quality. Vendor assures her they are made in Thailand, a benchmark for quality we have learned, whereby Paula responds with 'not Chinese rubbish then' before realizing he was in fact of Chinese origin - oops! Pregnant silence, swift departure, but mission accomplished.
We discover the Battambang Traveller's new location, along two and a half street, picking up the latest edition of it's free quarterly newsletter. Interestingly, the City has applied to UNESCO for World Heritage status, on the merits of it's commitment to creating jobs, growing business, alleviating poverty and disadvantage, whilst improving health and safety, and on the other hand, preserving culture and heritage (new siting of Bamboo train ticks one of these boxes) with (planned restoration of Central Market, Psar Nath at cost of USD25 million). Good Luck! Leo thinks that if this was Cyprus, they would just paint the outside and split the balance, not really a Cynic then?
Bicycles duly returned to hotel we have another mosquito purge of our room then walk back in the direction of town. Nothing in mind, maybe late lunch, a free agenda. Not much else planned for today. We have noted in all of our travels that three full days in any location is more than sufficient to savour the best bits, here is no exception.
Full day tomorrow. N.B. Leo has learned that Angkor Beer is a division of Heineken. Hasn't he done well? No more today.
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