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Published: January 17th 2018
Day 6 Pursat.
106 km. flat ride. Hot today.
Two pieces of great news today are that I got my jacket back, since it was collected last night by our guide Channi. Also the rice paddy rat population is being controlled.
The weather was a bit overcast, yet warm this morning and I thought it would be a cooler day. I got that wrong as it became 38 degrees in the sun and 34 in the shade at 2pm. - a sizzler.
The journey was a long straight journey on Highway 5 down to spurs at. If there were any bends on this road I never saw any. All we got was an endless dusty view with very slight deviations now and again. Heavy goods traffic was encountered all the way and almost every configuration was sent from 4 wheelers, 6, 8 and 10 wheelers. We never see 10 wheelers, preferring to use artics or 6 wheelers and trailers. Also many artics were seen, quite a few of which were fuel tankers. This contrasted with previous goods transport seen which was almost limited to motorbikes and trailers (remorques) and the rotovator type units pulling trailers. Many of these are seen
pulling trailers with big items of furniture on board and ‘hawked’ around the towns and villages. I saw two pony and carts but unfortunately did not get a photograph. I enjoyed seeing traditional beehive shaped brick kilns found by the roadside puffing out smoke and creating piles of bricks used in house building which are more like a tile with large hollow sections. We passed some load music at one point, which was a wedding and reminded me of yesterday when we encountered two of them. The first one was after getting off the boat and were travelling g down a dirt road (road in the broadest possible sense) when we found it blocked off by a wedding party and a cover over it, very loud, heavy music (again in the loosest possible sense). There were some lovely girls and young women sat down smiling and many men dancing on the dirt road. They immediately invited us to join in and dance and plied us with drinks of canned stout and soft drinks of apple and coconut - quite nice actually. After 15 minutes we begged our leave and carried on our way, not wanting to miss the fish paste
experience. I also forgot that yesterday we visited another small producer of Sticky Rice in piece of bamboo. The bamboo is packed with sweet sticky rice, packed in with coconut leaves and then cooked over wood shavings. The outer shell of the bamboo is then cut off with a hatchet, which leaves a thin strip to peel off to expose the cooked rice. Really tasty.
At our morning break stop we saw women barbecuing specialty meats. Yes, you have guessed it - rats. Most of us tried it and I bought one for myself. It was a bit spicy to be fair as it had been marinaded in a chilli sauce. I would have preferred the plain meat to be fair. They had vessels with scores of rats marinading and they sell these each day so the poor rats must be petrified of being caught by these monstrous people with no regard for their welfare.
The problem with straight roads is that it can become a bit of a ‘time trial’ if you are not careful with some of these younger ones involved -60 yr olds in this case. This so happened on the last 15 km to the KM
Hotel in Pursang. We just had one frightener when a lorry coming towards us was overtaking another lorry who was already overtaken a motorcycle. He left us about 4 feet of road and passed us leaving a whisker between us, rather frightening.
Several took advantage of the outdoor pool before dinner at a local restaurant serving wonderful Cambodian food at really low prices. Two servings of really tasty Chicken Noodles and two small beers for US$7.50 (£5).
On the way back we called at a roadside stall selling a Cambodian delicacy of chicken embryos in their shells. Tasty. Followed by bed at 9.30 for a bit more sleep before the 6am alarm. Hot night again at 28 degrees at 10pm. Mozzie buzzing somewhere. Get it quick Roger - too late it got him.
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