Before leaving Poipet we made many stops to give out equipment throughout the area.There are many people who live at the poverty level in Cambodia and I can't believe how many children we have met in a short period. We hear kids shouting "hello hello" and some times I don't even know where it's coming from! Today was filled with energy and we even made a stop at two schools to give donations. The first school we came across was positioned outside and it was perfect timing when we showed because they were having an English lesson. They had a great teacher and we were having a lot of fun with the kids. We hope the equipment stays at the school so the kids can use it freely on their spare time.
When we reached the second school, the kids were coming! The whole school ran over to my bicycle and I was bracing myself for the attack! Luckily there were a few teachers to control the crowd. My classic classroom management tactics were not going to work under these circumstances! We donated equipment for all ages and then continued towards Siem Reap in the sweltering heat! We gave out equipment throughout the day and we pushed hard to make our destination.
We made a pit-stop for lunch in a small town 80 km out of Siem Reap. I spent four dollars and basically ate out the restaurant! The girls at the restaurant were lovely....The women in Cambodia are beautiful....I am absolutely loving life right now!
It is hot and the temperature is plus 30 degrees. Today we rode 152km and we were battling the heat and headwind to make it to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is famous for having the world's largest temple complex. I was here two years ago and I have very fond memories of sharing that experience with somebody that was very close to me. I am not going to replicate that experience, it just wouldn't be the same...
Jeans is going to soak in the sights and I am going to get the trailer refilled. We are taking a day off and back on the road tomorrow....Thank you everyone for your support, much love going your way.
Today I woke from the cabin and we got the wheels running around 6:00 am. I have been eating chicken for breakfast....which I have been loving. Great way start the day with a chicken red curry. At our lunch spot, the vendor became fresh out of chicken due to my greedy behavior....I need to feed the legs! As soon as you step outside the sweat is coming. Drinking about 5 liters per day to keep the body moving. We have been cycling through the country side and it has been very peaceful. We haven't been meeting tons of children through this stretch of our trip, but we still made a few stops when the opportunity was given.
I saw many kids today playing on a field and I guess they had a PE class where they could enjoy some time outside. At this point Jeans was interval training and was way ahead....I couldn't get her attention so I made a solo pit-stop. The kids were great and we threw the disc around, kicked the soccer ball, danced a little and attempted to communicate with one another. I donated two soccer balls, two basketballs and a frisbee to their school. Their teacher was present and was very thankful for the donation.
We made our way to the Thai-Cambodian border and how things have changed....Once we crossed the border into Poipet we cycled into a frenzy of chaos. It was interesting to see the people and their daily routines. We saw many people hauling a trailer filled with supplies, crossing the border to do business on the other side.
We need to count our blessings and be thankful for the life we have been given. We heard there are many homeless children in this area and we are hoping to be able to give out some goods before we leave to Siem Reap. Our charity ride is up and running and we are looking forward to meeting many kids across our tour of Cambodia....Wish us luck.
Back on the bike and the journey begins. Its going to be an amazing journey to Laos and today was our first day on the road. Before we could begin we had to get ourselves and our bikes to Bangkok. I had the good fortune of meeting a lovely lady at the airport who overlooked my oversize luggage and then upgraded my ticket to first class. It was quite evident I had no business being with the royalty members....I was caring dirty panniers, didn't have a clue how to work most of the gadgets and my hygiene could have been in question due to the fact I was running around the airport trying to get organized...It was obvious I won the lottery, but I appreciate all the good luck that came my way prior to the trip.
Yesterday I found a sports outlet store in Bangkok and they gave me a discount on all the equipment we purchased. They were great people who were very interested in the project. The trailer is filled to the top and we are ready for our first few legs of our trip!
Today we started cycling at 5:00 am to beat the traffic. My cycling partner Jeans and I got out of the city as quick as possible, but you couldn't avoid the traffic....it was coming in all directions...We managed to weave through the chaos and every time I would look back Jeans would be off-roading and she even took out a local on a motorcycle....I told her not do anything that is beyond her comfort zone....At first, she was having her doubts about the trip...and was worried about holding me back....However, this is not the the US postal cycling team and I am not Lance Armstrong demanding you take EPO.... we are here for the kids, to give back and we are not competing in a time trail! Once she realized there are no timelines or pressure, she felt completely comfortable and was able to start embracing the spirit of the ride.
Today we cycled 130 km and now we are in a little town 140 km away from the Cambodian border. We cycled through a few areas that were impoverished and we handed out some equipment. I quickly remembered how good it feels to able to bring a little joy to someone's life and the spirit of the ride is in full effect. We will reach Cambodia tomorrow and I scored on finding a cabin to enjoy my evening and get some rest.