After waving a tearful goodbye to our friends at Samlout FHQ for the last time, we cycled off into the heat heading for Pailin. It was a great farewell tour through 40km of “rustic Samlout” at it’s best – bumpy dirt roads, slightly over enthusiastic dogs, and scores of children and adults who were all pretty excited to see 2 white people sweating on a tandem.
The hills today didn’t seem quite as bad as yesterday – possibly because the route was half as long, the roads twice as good, and the prospect of a cool swimming pool awaited.
We rolled into Pailin, a border town with Thailand at midday, and headed for the first of many rather odd hotels – this one had no other guests as it was not due to open for another month and resembled a building site, but was about 6km out of Pailin, in a remote rural area with a swimming pool over looking the cardamon mountains. The peaceful birdsong at sunset was shattered somewhat by the arrival of a group of 20 Khmer people who seemed intent on necking the entire supply of whisky in the hotel. Or possible Pailin. When the karaoke started we made a decision to leave them to it and head to bed before the planned 5am start for Thailand.