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