Kep & Kampot

Day 70 – 22nd May to Day 71 – 23nd May

The thought of getting on the road with our new Baja’s was very exciting. Finally we had a couple of bikes that were awesome. Compared to the Minsk’s they were more powerful, more suited to off road madness, had a working speedo (digital I might add), working lights (even with a high beam!) it was going to be amazing.

Our next destination was Kep on the South West coast and to be honest it was a bit of a boring drive. The road was almost straight the whole entire way and the bikes ran like a dream. Which on one hand was awesome but on the other hand quite boring with no challenges to face. The other problem with the Baja’s were that they had saddles of steel and numb bum came a distinct problem after only 40 mins of riding.

There was a couple of things different on the road in Cambodia compared to Vietnam. One was the quality of the roads, while its true Vietnam has the odd deadly pot hole or two (that I fell victim to) the majority of the roads are in good condition. Cambodia on the other hand was very different although currently it seems the whole road system in Cambodia is being upgraded, it just depends on how far they’ve got by the time you get there. Some roads are tarmaced and beautiful, others have been flattened and have a loose layer of gravel on top whilst others are still just a dirt track through the jungle. The road to Kep was flattened but covered in deadly loose gravel. Secondly, there is a significant increase in the number of temples dotted around and also the turnings of the road (usally small paths) have these ornate arches which I still don’t understand the purpose of. Thirdly, whilst driving through Cambodia you come across a lot of political houses. They seem like  every other house on the street but they have a big sign outside appending them to a certain party such as the Cambodians People Party or Funcinpen. Fourthly and finally Cambodia seems to have a lot of large imposing building, often in the middle of nowhere, and looking very empty, with large, very official, looking and sounding signs such as the ‘Department of Transport’ or ‘Department of Economic Growth’.

We were taking it pretty easy so it took us 2 hours or so to get down to Kep and man my butt was hurting. When we got down the whether was pretty poor and not much seemed to be going on so we grabbed a beer and decided to push on straight to Kampot. Its a shame the whether wasn’t better because the beaches looked amazing but c’est la vie. We left Kep but made sure we got some photos of the larger than life crab that we came across.

The road to Kampot was slightly more interesting and we had some amazing views, we also came arcoss a massive trailer loaded with people and goods pulled by a tiny scooter. Kampot was significantly larger than Kep and we managed to get lost for a while. Its quite a quiet sleepy town full of charm and sits on the banks of a river, we stayed in a cool guest house overlooking it. Kampot is famous for its pepper and we went out that night to sample as many peppery dishes as possible, I can tell you the pepper is pretty damn good. Apart from a jungle trek or two there wasn’t much else to do so we left the next day for Sihanoukville via Bokor national park.

Bokor national park is home to the Bokor Hill station, built in the 1920’s by the French as a holiday resort. It is now totally abandoned and apparently more like a ghost town. Unfortunately Als and I didn’t get to see it as the road up there was closed. We could have done a two hour trek to check it out but unfortunately we had all our stuff loaded on the bikes and no safe place to store it, nothing to do with the fact we both hate walking. We did get to drive along the edge of the park and it did look amazing, a proper tropical jungle. Next time we’re in town we’ll defiantly have to check it out.

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