We left late (error!) and the heat caught us. We stopped to drink water at a super-pregnant’s shop who handed us some chair to rest. We charged batteries, whistled a duet with a curious yellow-eared bird and, seeing that it was very near, we visited Sampeau Cave.
It is a group of pagodas placed on top of a hill, which you can access from a field in which, unexpectedly, you find some German and canyons. You get there climbing a stepped path that bifurcates; on one way, it continues to the pagodas; following the other, you get to a cave used by Khmer Rouge as a place to torture and exterminate people.
When the sun was down we followed the cryptic indications of a board that announced the way to Kamping Puoy. It was an unpaved road, much more uncomfortable than the former one, but we didn’t care, on the opposite, we were already looking forward to a change. We kept on pedalling till we got there enjoying infinite green horizons with lovely village landscapes that could have jumped off a fairy tale book. Kamping Puoy is an enormous pond dig during the Khmer Rouge period; it is said that more people died in its construction than in the S-21 (the jail and torture centre currently converted in Toul Sleng’s killing museum in Phnom Penh), mainly because of the mixture of extreme tiredness and starving. The place is quite impressive, you can’t believe it is not natural, that it has been built by men with their own hands. We reached it in the sunset, the sun was reflecting on the water and some ships were resting by the shore; it is incredible that there is so much peace where there was so much war.
We managed to negotiate a room and dinner at a reasonable price in the house of some villagers; it was a relief because there wasn’t anywhere else to sleep in 25km around.