Monday, 2 September 2013


We head out of Siem Reap on our XR250's , just me & my guide slim, an absolute champ of a guy as i was to find out over the course of the next 5 days. Just dodging and weaving through traffic to get out of town was an adventure all on its own, but we made it and were soon cruising the rural roads. 

Anyone who has travelled Asia will picture the wooden houses on stilts, the bodgy little stores on the side of the road selling a vast array of items and badly needed semi cold drinks, and the simple villages farming rice and fishing in nothing more than mudholes.
The scenery was fairly typical of Asia but with it’s own uniqueness and beautiful to look at nonetheless. I always enjoy seeing mountains and jungle and Cambodia was no exception and definitely lived up to my expectations. 

After a couple of hours riding through farms, rice fields, jungle and dirt tracks we come across a huge inland lake which is apparently a holiday destination for nearby locals.  Unsure if it was part of the Tonle Sap or not though.  A cold drink, some barbecued snake for lunch, a few pictures and a quick rest and we are off again.
 But about another hour into the trip, disaster strikes, the worst possible scenario for me unfolds before I know it’s even happening.  I’m enjoying the ride , the scenery and the remoteness, as we are now firmly in the middle of nowhere surrounded by rice fields, jungle and hills, when a piece of rubber (the chain guide) comes off the swing arm and gets jammed in the front sprocket, causing my bike and the back wheel to lock up instantaneously.
I manage to hold the bike straight for a few metres but we were in a really rough patch of road full of huge holes and they eventually cause me to put the bike down, which didn’t seem that bad at the time, just a meter or so skid along the dirt.  But I have landed awkwardly and my foot and ankle have a searing pain shooting through them and my arm has 2 nice big holes in it!
  I got straight up, picked the bike up and then proceeded to unleash every profanity I knew, at the fact I was now bleeding, with a busted foot and a bike which I thought at the time had ceased rear brakes. The adrenaline had worn off and now I couldn’t even stand up, this was bad. 
Slim finally realized I wasn’t behind him and came back to investigate, where he found a bleeding , cursing customer, extremely pissed off at what was clearly bike failure and it was only day one?!  I tried not to take it out on him mind you, but I was devastated that after all the expense, my trip was now potentially over due to a dud bike.  I was hurt bad and stuck in the middle of nowhere and my week had just been screwed.
I could see more of the inside of my arm than i really needed to and seriously thought i had broken my foot.  Slim patched me up then got the chain freed up whilst I sat in agony and wondered how the fuck I was gonna get to the next town, let alone continue riding for the rest of the week.  Clearly we had no option but to move on regardless.  
2 hours of agonizing riding later, we got to our stop for the night, Samrong.  We had briefly stopped at Banteay Chhmar earlier where we supposed to look at the temples there, but as I was unable to even walk (I had to painfully hop if I got off the bike) there was no point in doing anything other than having a cigarette and a cold drink before moving on.
Poor slim had to kick my bike over for me all week as i seriously couldn’t put any weight on my foot and honestly thought it was broken and that tomorrow we would have to work out how to get me and my bike back to civilization.  We checked into our hotel which was a huge mission in itself, I was slowly hopping everywhere and we had to go up 2 flights of stairs just to get to the room... 
 It was ridiculous and the pain was excruciating, Slim kept telling me ‘tomorrow, I think is ok’!  I was trying to tell him ‘ no Slim,  it’s fucked, I think it’s broken’!  By the time I had somehow managed a shower and collapsed on the bed, my foot was the size of a football and already black.

Slim was a great bloke though and against my wanting to, grabbed a scooter with me on the back and tried to find an open hospital with no luck.  Bouncing around on the shitty roads and then having to hop my way back and forth to my room was far from pleasant.  He also went and bought beers and food back to my room as I was unable to even stand up by this stage and simply lay in pain watching bad Cambodian TV that I couldn’t understand anyway! 
So it’s obviously a great start to the trip,  I rest until noon the next day before the call is made that I simply have to wear only 1 boot  and push through the pain , in the hopes my balloon shaped foot would miraculously go down at some stage.

 Lakeside stopover and our trusty (almost) machines

Our outback restaurant with bbq snake

First day dirt

My foot,  is it supposed to look like that?!

My arm...