10.02. – 13.02.2013
Singapore – Phnom Penh:
Now it was my time to get to the airport and fly back to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In the airplane I was sitting next to a couple who were coughing all the time, I was wondering what kind of bird flu I might get…
Getting visa after the arrival to the PP airport was really fast and easy. Passport, application, $20 and soon I had visa in my passport.
I was smiling all the time in a tuktuk for a thought that soon I would be continuing my trip towards Laos.
Tuktuk driver rode as fast as he could and suddenly I noticed that wind caught my hat! Quick yell to the driver and he turned tuktuk around. We road one way street to a wrong direction and soon I got my hat back :).
At the Sunday guesthouse I got my normal room, carried all the stuff from the bike there and spent the rest of the evening catching up with the people at the guesthouse.
Day´s target was to get new passport photos and to try to fix the bike.
Due to Chinese New Year celebration, it was quite hard to find a place where I could get my passport photos taken. Rode around in the town and finally managed to find open photoshop.
After the photos I tried to find a store which sells contact cleaner, but I had no luck. In every place where I asked, they offered WD-40 to me.
Back at the guesthouse I connected my GS-911 fault code reader to the bike, everything seemed to be ok with the bike, so problem must be somewhere else.
Next thing was to measure all ignition coils and see if they could be the source for the problem. I had carried one extra ignition coil all the time, so this was good reference for the measurements.
Outcome was that one of the coils gave different result compared to the other ones.
I replaced this defective coil and did few kilometer testride. Bike seemed to work perfectly, but only longer run would tell if the problem was now fixed.
Later in the evening I met one fellow rider from Australia. We went for few beers to a local motorcycle club, Lone Brothers Cambodia.
I was really surprised because there was one Finnish guy in this bike club, who had been living some time in Cambodia!
Later I noticed that Lone Brothers are a support club for Outlaws. Guys at the club were really nice and I had a nice evening over there.
Got up early to get in to Laos embassy as early as possible. At 8am I walked in, filled all forms, gave three passport photos and paid huge $50 fee to get my passport back at the same day ($10 fee for express service).
Day passed really fast while going through all my stuff, recharging batteries and organizing panniers.
Half past four I went back to the embassy and got my passport back with fresh Laos visa in it :).
Rest of the evening I continued packing things and at some point I started to feel familiar “burn” in my belly that trip is continuing again :).
Phnom Penh – Lao border:
First 40km was same dusty and bumpy stretch of road construction as on my way to Phnom Penh. Luckily this time traffic was quite light and the temperature was only 27C.
After crossing Mekong river I continued to a small gravel road. Few kilometers later I was in the middle of really soft sand. Actually it was not sand, it was 20cm deep dust and quite hard to ride because I did not see what was under this dust. Due to this I almost dropped the bike few times.
At one point I saw 3 dirtbikes coming from the opposite direction. I stopped to have a chat with these guys. They had been riding in eastern Cambodia with their rented bikes and warned me about the slippery stretch in front of me.
When I reached road #7 I thought that this would be fast ride to the border. I was wrong because road was actually in quite a bad shape. I had to constantly slow down to 1st gear and speed up between holes on the road. I knew that it would be difficult to get to a hotel before dark…
Last 200km I rode in the middle of the smoke. Farmers had been burning their fields (and sometimes nearby trees) after a harvest and the smoke was really thick. Smoke was burning in my eyes and throat, but I could not do anything to help it, just try to get away as fast as possible.
I was amazed of the houses locals were living. Actually they looked more like a barns than houses. I could not see any doors or windows, only open holes in the walls. This area of Cambodia seemed to be really poor.
High temperature did not make riding any easier. Few times temperature got up to 41C! I forced myself to stop every 45min to have a drink, because in these temperatures you do not realize how fast you will get dehydrated.
At the border Cambodian side went really fast. I think I used totally something like 5 minutes at the border.
Thoughts about Cambodia:
I really loved Cambodia. Angkor Park was really amazing place, it is impossible to put it in to a words, everyone should see it in their own eyes.
Sunday guesthouse was a perfect base in Phnom Penh and the family running it was really nice and helpful.
Cambodian people were nice, smiley, a bit curious and helpful :).
I also liked the more “wild” scenery compared to Thailand.