The route : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/162401662
Today was twice as long, but at least twice less painful than yesterday – having yesterday learnt the dangers of straying off tarmac, we stayed on the hard stuff today and headed for Snuol. The slight tedium of 140 or so kilometres into a constant headwind was broken by an epic petrol station. It is difficult to express the excitement I felt at 1pm in 40degree heat in the middle of nowhere at finding a petrol station with air conditioning and it’s own cafe selling icecream and coffee, with soft seats, but anyone who has lived or travelled in Cambodia will appreciate that this kind of arrangement is “ot thomada” (not normal). Petrol stations normally encompass someone sitting on a chair outside their house with old fanta and 7-up bottles filled with petrol which they then insert into your car/moto through a dodgy looking funnel, so this western vision was immensely exciting. For those of you uninitiated in Cambodian petrol stations – imagine pulling off the M25 to a Little Chef, only to find Heston Blumenthal whipping up some egg and bacon ice cream. We spent a happy 3 hours there, until the temperature dropped below 40, and then pressed on to Snuol.
The lonely planet had again not minced it’s words, describing Snuol as a “sorry little town”. Luckily it followed this up with one hotel recommendation if we were “unfortunate enough to need to sleep here”. Bike touring being what it is, our options that night were Snuol or stringing up a hammock under some trees. With such low expectations, we were hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the town, however, it’s frontier -town atmosphere and depressingly barren market failed to win us over. Sadly, ruining our hopes for a fun night in, our hotel also had a big sign at it’s entrance banning hand grenades, guns, and drug injecting.