Day 6We woke up and went for breakfast at around 7:30am. Well if you can call it breakfast, cold omelette and a dry baguette with no butter or jam really sets you up for a hard days riding.
(Riverside guesthouse, avoid the breakfast if you can but the dinner was very nice.)
Stung Treng is situated next to the Mekong so I had 'breakfast' and headed over to take a quick look. The town is busy and the locals took a keen interested in us gathered while the bikes were filled with petrol.
We then headed to our first stop of the day, this was to go river dolphin watching. We arrived at Preah Rumkel and had made a joke with Nick that we'd get our money back if we didn't see a dolphin but that deal was quickly off after spotting a couple just swimming in front of us.
The local children seemed to be having a great time out on the boats collecting fish that had been caught. Some fish all by themselves. This little girl was very pleased with her catch, while what could have been her brother seemed more interested with rolling an old tyre up a hill, his xbox must have been broken. The simple things hey Dave.
All the children seemed to have a role, fisherman/woman, coconut chef, dish washer or just general tyre kicker.
We headed out on two boats to try and get closer to the dolphins and a couple of the guys took a swim. Brendan again bringing the snorkel along for a quick look around.
We travelled 15km to the waterfalls and I'll think you'll agree what a sight they were.
We stopped off at a village in Preah Vihear for lunch.
Robert Daniel Frenandez Jr was on top form ;)
The trails were quickly becoming unexplored as Nick and Leng had swapped the route about a bit to try and get us in early that night...
As the guys stopped for a break in the shade I went ahead to take some pictures of the guys riding past when I came across this fisherman and his wife. I must of looked like something out of back to the future with my body armour, helmet and boots etc. We had a very brief conversation through the use of hand gestures where he asked if I had a lighter unfortunately I couldn't provide one. I had a look at his catch and he had around 50-100 what we know as Roach which is a small silver coarse fish we get in the UK.
After the photos I continued with Chea to catch up with everyone and found Scouse on the side of the trail with a broken clutch lever. Tony and Chea quickly replaced this and we were all back together within no time.
The trail was amazing, over fields, forests, fast sections, light sand, dirt, ruts. It had everything and I was totally pumped from the riding, screaming "That is awesome!!!" as I met up with a few of the guys.
We were now at a decision point in the day where we could take the easy option of red dirt and tarmac back to the hotel or continue off road. I enquired about he trail ahead and was told by Leng that it was the same as what we had just rode. As everything had gone so well in the morning I chose the off road route as did everyone else "cough" "cough".
"Leng in the nicest possible way..... " and the rest of that quote is censored. But lets just say we might as well brought a bucket and spade with us for the afternoon. Sand after sand after sand and yet more deep sand. The more experienced guys were coping well and quickly moved on. For the less experienced of us I think I can safely say the pace was slow. I dropped the bike 3 times and on one of them loosing my starter button so had to improvise with a starter stick which I managed to keep for the remainder of the trip. This was my lowest point out of the whole trip. If someone could had offered me a lift out to the hotel I would have seriously considered it but we all carried on and got to the next village where we sat done and had a well deserved rest for 10 minutes.
There was pigs freely roaming the village and for some reason there were a lot of bikes parts littering the floor. Playing guess the part (C90 gear level, some form of chain, chain tensioner, etc, etc) and talking about opening up a scrap yard with the parts we were told we needed to move on as it was getting late in the day.
I'm not going to go into too much detail about the remainder of the day. I think it can be summed up by three things.
116km of road.
60km in the dark.
Not a happy bunch.
Here is an a short video of some of the days riding.
We covered 298km over 12 and a half hours arriving at our accommodation next to the Koh Kehr temple complex.
All the photos taken that day can be found here.