Happy Do a Good Deed Day. Farewelled the carpark's formidable lady boss and bus cleaners and on road by 8am. Only averaged 30kph over first 2 hours because roads in such deplorable state. Monstrous craters; plenty of earthworks all way but no new bitumen sections. Some lanes on dirt, some on existing road - vehicles going in every direction. Tricky to say least, but our Aussie drivers seem to be getting the hang of Cambodia and making sure they get to go where they want to!
Colourful offering tables, window boxes, fabric or tinsel door decorations in almost all houses no matter how poor. People moving purposefully to places to eat together, carrying triple panniers, white robed women monks, hurdy-gurdy music and draped cloth tents - very festive atmosphere.
Saw hammock hotels, haystacks built around trees, chilis drying on tarps in front yards, 'salad leaves' being transported by motor cycle.
Reached Siem Reap - town very crowded with Wat worshippers for holiday weekend. Found nice little air conditioned hotel (HanumAlaya) with wifi, but side street parking only. Straight for swim before dinner in their lukewarm pool with elephant ganeeshi fountains. Everything dark carved teak, bas- relief or frescos of religious/ historical stories, and silk cushions, menu covers etc. Dinner slow due to staff absences (gone home for New Year) so read their leaflets of activities and booked body scour/seaweed wrap for GirlRob and 4 hands massage for BoyRob (yes, “interesting” I hear you say…)
It may seem strange that we choose to stay in hotels occasionally when we have invested so much time and money into getting a fully outfitted expedition vehicle on the road. I have started a list of the environmental, physical, social, and psychological reasons which I will publish elsewhere on the blog.
I don't think sharing our baguettes with our travelling companions counts as our good deed for the new year, so we'll have to save that goal for another day....