After returning from my Christmas holiday in Germany, I decided to take next 10 days really easily, visit beach in Sihanoukville and do some writing before my next flight to Singapore.
Even holiday in Germany was really nice, I was happy to be back in Phnom Penh. All the hassle in the traffic, noises, smells, encounters and people made me feel alive again. Do not get me wrong, I loved to visit Germany, but it is all known to me what is going on there. It is clean, organized and things work. Over here in SE Asia you never know what happens next, where and what you are going to eat next, so it will keep your senses awake, your mind more open and this way I feel more alive.
Before riding to Sihanoukville, I decided to change my front tire (I brought new front and rear tires from Germany with me). I have changed tires numerous times myself, but this time I was not able to get front tire off from the rim. I was really surprised! I knew that Heidenau tires are tough ones to work with, but I did not expect them to be this tough. I took the tire to the tireshop and even they had big problems to get the tire off with the machine (for those who want to know, breaking the bead was causing problems). Finally tire gave up and I got my new tire changed.
Second surprise happened when I was riding from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. I noticed quite an early phase that something was wrong with my bike.
Every time I opened throttle fast, bike hesitated and burned some fuel in the exhaust (causing a loud bang).
Luckily bike was running ok when I twisted the throttle slowly, so I was able to make it to Sihanoukville.
In Sihanoukville I got a room from Sunday Guesthouse (same family is keeping guesthouse there as in Phnom Penh) for reasonable price (they asked how much I want to pay for a room :)).
Days in Sihanoukville went really fast. Normally I got up around noon, went to beach to either write blog updates, take photos or just relaxed in a hammock listening waves hitting the shore few meters away from me. Atmosphere at the beach was really nice, people were nice, food was good and beer cold.
Usually I got back to the guesthouse around sunset time to go through photos and videos.
I also tried to locate the problem with the bike. My guess was that there must be some water in one of the connectors (I washed the bike just before the Christmas holiday and before this it had worked normally).
I did not have contact cleaner, so spent one day going around the town searching this cleaner from one store to another and gas-station to gas-station. None of them had contact cleaner, which was surprise for me because people over here fix anything and everything… Now my only option was to open all the connectors, leave them open for some time and hope that this way all moisture would disappear…
On my way back to guesthouse I ran through the red light and got stopped by local police. I knew that this time I would need to pay (which is right because I had broken rules), only question was how much…
Police stepped next to me and told me what I had done wrong. I agreed and asked how much is the fine.
I have never heard police saying “how much would you like to pay?” :), but really this was his answer 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
I told him that I could pay $1. Police asked $2 and I agreed to pay.
When I was ready to leave, police told me that my headlight is on and it is not allowed in Cambodia. I showed him that it is impossible to turn it off from BMW, so he let me go without further penalty.
I had missed sunset in most of the evenings, so I decided to search good place to take few photos of the sunset before my return to Phnom Penh.
Finding a good spot took several hours, but finally I was able to find ok position close to a long pier and few boats. Sunset was nice, but nothing spectacular due to lack of clouds. I got few ok photos and now I was happy to return back to a buzzing Phnom Penh.
I decided to ride a different route back to Phnom Penh compared to what I took to Sihanoukville. This time I decided to ride road #3.
Start of the road was under construction and partly covered with loose gravel. Enough speed got my bike going to the direction I wanted it to go, but this way I was quite much faster than other traffic…
Bike still showed same symptoms as on my way to Sihanoukville, so keeping connectors open did not help at all. I would need to find cause for this problem after my return from Singapore.
Day before my flight to Singapore I met Jose and Pilar in Phnom Penh. It was really nice to see and spent a day with them listening how their trip has gone so far and where I should go after my return from Singapore. I was heading to Laos after Singapore and they were coming from that direction.
Sihanoukville was a nice small town. Atmosphere over there is relax, people are nice and food is good. Of course prices are higher than elsewhere because this is touristic location. Many people continue to the islands from Sihanoukville, I did not have time for this.