Mud 1, Us 0
The last few places we have been we literally had no electricity, and no internet, no light, added in with drinking bad water = Rhys running to the bathroom in the middle of the night, trying to fumble his way out of his mosquito net, getting bitten by sneaky mosquitos, while trying to light a candle, in a frantic state of butt clenches, to run to our hole in the ground. What a SIGHT!…anyway, that’s a whole other blog to write!
Made it to Cambodia and guess what? I love it here, surprise, surprise? I will go out on a limb and say best country so far, the people we have met, the places we have been, and things we have seen are simply unbelievable. To see a dirt market, buzzing with flies, and strange horrendous smells of rotting food with people zooming around buying their daily groceries.
We’re in Ban Lung the Northern part of Cambodia. There’s a volcanic crater that is now a huge gorgeous lake that we are going to swim in tomorrow. AWESOME. Today, we were WATERFALL CHASERS. Not quite as dangerous as a storm chaser, but I’d argue just as exciting! Clinging to the back of Rhys on a motorbike from 1960, which runs like it was made in 1960, dodging massive pot holes, reading a hand drawn map that has trees and land marks that do not exist, the map is scribbled together like a 3rd grader drew it, on a search, a hunt to find these exquisite waterfalls that hide themselves on the remotest dirt roads ever in a jungle. Adventure.
We successfully found the first waterfall, which is a hard task to accomplish. A crap street map, no road signs, no road markings, and dirt roads covered in holes. No, let me re-phrase not just holes but huge gaping wounds in the dirt road that gush the kind of mud that you step in and it sucks up your flip flops and your flint-stoning it the rest of the day with no shoes. Yes, that kind of mud that acts as quick sand and sucks everything up around it.
In our triumph of finding this waterfall, Rhys was feeling rather confident and savvy on the ride back down the dirt mud sucking road— and then—- catastrophe strikes when you least suspect it. Uh oh, up ahead a road block. The news line might read ”Watermelon Truck with full load tips over and loses priceless goods to the Brown Sucking Mud” a line of other drivers, let me add in, a line of LOCAL motorbike drivers have started to accumulate behind the truck as the driver salvaged what melons he can from the leech-like sucking mud. Rule #1, when in Cambodia do as the locals do. Rhys broke this rule, and had to pay for it = the cost one pair of Havana flops.
I see the drivers ahead all stopped behind the truck because there is one small path on the road big enough for your one wheel and that’s it, the rest of the road is full of small mud ponds from the monsoon rain every evening. Instead of stopping, Rhys sees this as his chance to pass all the other drivers and fly by in victory– as we approach the puddle I see all the other drivers just stare with their mouths open, and i wonder what the hell is going on, and then it hits and it sucks, and it tries to eat us up. As soon as Rhys touched the front tire to the mud it was gone, our precious means of transportation miles from the town was being eaten up from the hungry forest jungle. Within seconds the mud was up to my thighs and we were sinking faster then the Titanic.
Do you think the locals would stop and help? No. Do you think the locals would point and laugh? Yes. They knew better then to play chicken with the mud and lose flip flops. Stupid Tourists.
In the end, we managed to get the bike out– or Rhys got the bike out under my close supervision of the situation. Wink, wink. Caked in mud up our legs, staining our shirts, even across our faces we began our slow ride of shame back to town. Not to fear though, all the locals were there for us…. you can’t get a bottle of water in a restaurant 10 minutes after you order it, but word travels fast when 2 stupid tourists fight the jungle for their bike. I even think I heard some faint cheers and claps from inside the huts as we drove past the townspeople and dreaded Watermelon truck.