29th March – Sen Monorom to Snoul – 127km (total = 1359km)

The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/163207065

The photo:


The chat: They say pride comes before a fall… Having agreed just that morning that we’d ‘99%’ nailed bike touring in the dry season in Cambodia, that 1% we clearly hadn’t nailed bit us right back – in the kidneys, mainly.

The ride was essentially the return of the ‘cheat’ we’d done to get to Sen Monorom a few days prior, but with no minibus this time. The first 60km was beautiful riding – descending a total of 1700m through rolling hills (check out the max speed on the garmin data!), but with 1000m of climbing thrown in for good measure.  Feeling good as we hit the valley, we pressed on after a brief stop for coffee.

The temperature soared on a road now devoid of any tree cover – Snoul District has been one of many areas deforested despite vehement protests from local people, to make way for rubber and other plantations (see http://sahrika.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/hundreds-block-road-in-kratie-land-protest/). With shade/drink options few and far between, it became clear from the lack of loo stops and increasing weakness that I (Andrew) hadn’t drunk enough fluid nor eaten enough salt. Despite Emma’s best efforts to redress my sodium imbalance with every manner of salty snack she could find, with just 20km to go my body was complaining with eyewateringly painful  cramps. In my legs yes, but also my hands, shoulders, stomach and bizarrely my eyelids too.

Barely able to push the pedals, I crawled into the hotel that evening and into bed – from there I did not move for 14 hours. It did cross my mind more than once how lucky I was to have A/C and a doctor to care for me – pity anyone sick in those stifling tents we’d rolled past earlier. And yes, Emma would have made an excellent nurse… (p.s. to worried mothers – I’m better now, thank you. P.p.s. to worried doctors – I’ve pu’ed too)

Trees! And hills!

Looks may be deceiving - Cambodians often smile in adversity. This is the site of recent shootings and arrests of protesters over land rights

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6 Responses to 29th March – Sen Monorom to Snoul – 127km (total = 1359km)

  1. Mariola says:

    Really sorry to read about your whole body cramps (I just can’t imagine what eyelid cramp might feel like) but it took me right back to your Ironman in Frankfurt – remember??? Maybe not, as you were pretty ill then… and now you’ve done it again! Knowing that you’ve recovered and sensing that you’ll take extreme heat and exercise more seriously now, has spared you a litany of concerns and entreaties.
    Emma, as ever, has come up trumps – what a star.
    The 150kms you intend to do tomorrow seem a bit ambitious on the tandem in the circs, but knowing you……anyway, however you travel, we look forward to the next bulletin, as always.
    Enjoy yourselves and do take care, Lol, M x

  2. M & M says:

    A belated addendum from me – hadn’t seen your current blog until now. Mummy’s absolutely right of course and it’s a relief to know you’re feeling better but you should take another day resting – at least (have also sent an email).
    But really loved the pictures from Sen Monorom – Emma that was one very muddy elephant and for the “no zoom” photo you must have been truly up close and personal as the perspective is clearly wide angle. We can imagine the delight of cool air – we felt the same in Papua New Guines giiong from our coastal town to the Kanabea mission station in the hills where we needed a blanket at night.
    And thank you for your phone call – fantastic to hear your voice.
    I do hope those muscles are recovering….

    All love to you both

  3. denise says:

    Glad you have recovered; in order to avoid recurrences, ask Emma to recount her Duke of Edinburgh expedition story.Try to avoid both of you having the same problem at the same time!
    Do you need any diorylate sent out ? Emma will explain the significance of the dioryate too.
    Apologies for advice to increase fluid intake, being disguised in some of Emma’s childhood memoirs.x

  4. _disco says:

    ouch….sorry to hear of your hydration issues but also glad to hear you are on the mend. On a more positive note…46.5mph on the downhill! woohoo that must have felt like fun. :0)

  5. Denise says:

    Do you have sterilised/EU cannulas in your kit ?
    The Crew

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