Content and Images by Michael Duffey

Here are my ramblings from my time in Cambodia…

After creeping through the mountains that held me from food and sleep, I rode around struggling to find a bike friendly guest house. I stopped at the service station and just layed down in a garden bed. I couldn’t find the Sunday guest house to save me as they rang ahead for me in case I could get a bed.     duffey1
The next day I put a solid recovery day in at the beach. It was my first trip back to the beach after 5 weeks. I may have grown up in the bush but the beach and the waves are soothing.
I put in another solid recovery day at the beach the next day. It was nice to have time to start my plans for Kampot, Kep and Phonm Pehn and return to Vietnam at the start of my visa.
On a whim after meeting people and having a real nice time, I decide to go to Koh Rong Island and do a scuba course for fun.  That was a great idea.  Taking some time off of the bike on a tropical island was much needed. However, being that the pace of the island, the atmosphere and the people were relaxed, it brought about a change.
I was staying in a place where there is a mosquito net and 15-20 mm gaps between the timbers that provide privacy but they allow the breeze in.  No power from 1:00am until 8:00am and limited water for showers was a change of pace, but the people were so relaxed and happy which made me feel the same.
The staff  at the Koh Rong Dive Centre were friendly and helpful and let me catch up with the world since it had been a while.  I had “Zuzu” as my instructor and we hit it off straight away.  He is real friendly but when its instructing time its business time, which was great.  Scuba was fantastic, spending time with him was great, then came the question…
“Slow down, where are you rushing to?”
It was in response to my constant need to get somewhere, either in or out of the water. He was right, I needed to slow down.  Not just under the water where I was kicking too much, too hard, going too fast, to quickly try to get to the next place.
I stayed on and relaxed, burnt thru my allotted travel time to Kampot and Kep, but I met some interesting people.
The main girl at the main night spot (which is a open air restaurant called CoCos) was Hillary. She also instructed yoga classes every morning. She is a lovely girl and over the next 10 days we got to know each other. People everywhere are traveling for different reasons, and those reasons change. My reasons were opportunity driven by painful times.  One evening she gave me her opinion of me, I listen better now.  Its time to get back up.
One of the most memorable days was a trek to the other side of the island to Long Beach, what a beautiful place.
They were shooting Survivor Bulgaria on the other end of the island, so I couldn’t do explore the entire coast. I was deep in thought when I saw a drift wood humpy with a spanish girl, Ana, tending her fire. We talked and I ended up seeing out the rest of the day with her. The clear water and warm sun was feeling fresh.  I meet her again after she got a job at Cocos. I practiced my spanish with her which consisted of ordering cold beer and hot dogs.
Now I must return to the real world and get back on my bike.  I’m behind my schedule, but this is a trip of no hard plans. I have decided to head straight to Vietnam now. Ho Chi Ming City here I come.
Bikepacking is fun on and off the bike !

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *