The good news is the trip from Battambang back to Phnom Phen was a few less kilometres than I anticipated. It was just over 300. I did it in 3 days. The trip is nice to do by bicycle. There are two major towns with excellent accommodation, each about 100kms apart to stay. In between there are several villages each with their own individual twist. It did have its challenges. Each day was in the mid 30's with a head wind. Staying hydrated was a challenge. I consumed about 4 liters of fluid each day and have got in the habit of having 2 beers with supper. Even at that still think I am slightly dehydrated. On the plus side I don't think there is a toxin left in my body. Some of the cramping in my legs that I experienced at the beginning of the trip is fixed.
So except for a bit of sight seeing over the next few days before I fly out to NZ the bike trip is basically over. A few statistics. The total amount biked was just over 1200 kms. The longest day was 120 kms. Most days were between 60 to 80 kms. There were several days when I did not bike at all. Between HCMC and all of the cycling in Cambodia it was flat. Anyone with average fitness could do it.
On this trip I did several touristy types of things along with the back packing crowd. What I observed is the difference in the experience is huge. When you are in the tourist mode the control shifts to the provider. The places you go and the interaction with locals is totally different. It often felt like the people were being opportunist in trying to just make money off of tourists. This isn't what the average person living here is like. When you are traveling by bicycle the way the locals interact is totally the opposite. They go out of their way to accommodate with no expectations.
This is probably my last posting for this trip. I started this blog mainly to provide an audit trail for my family and friends some of whom expressed a concern about me doing this on my own. It appears from the statistics that more people have been following this that may not know me. So I will provide a bit of background.
I am a 69 year old man with 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. My wife of over 40 years passed away last year. We were fortunate and bought a house by the ocean in Gibsons Canada many years ago and I still live there today. The yard has over an acre in grass. My neighbors who all have ride on lawn mowers sometimes question why I cut my grass with a push mower. My answer is "So I can ". I have traveled to many countries in the world by bicycle because I wanted to. I could have taken a more traditional approach but it wouldn't have been the same.