I planned the route from Sen Mornorom to Ratanakiri around 200km that I thought to cover in two stages. When I went up the bike in the morning I thought that the biggest problem would be the water, that there weren’t going to be many villages or stands to buy some on the way, so I bought lots of bottles. Besides this, I was worried about getting a flat tyre, because I had run out of spare wheels. I left with the bicycle and did many kilometres with light slopes up and down. The bottles were getting empty, I had less and less; when I started worring about not having water, suddenly a car stopped by my side and someone offered me a bottle from the window!
I thanked him very surprised and I drank the bottle. The car continued his way and I followed mine.
One hour later I started thinking about the importance of finding a place to get some water and, at that very moment, the same car appeared next to me and handed me another bottle of water!
That was weird! It was impossible that it was a mere coincidence!
I thanked him and stopped for a while. There were two men inside the car; the driver, who seemed to be a ranger of the region, the other looked like a policeman. The driver asked me where I was heading and I answered him that I went to Ratanakiri… he thought that it was very far and he offered to take me with the bicycle. I told him that I preferred to keep on going by bike, he insisted on taking me “don´t worry, it is free”, but no, I really wanted to continue by bicycle. I thanked them and they finally went away. Before leaving, they took out something and they showed it to me; it was a wooden cross. He wanted to explain me they were christians and he asked me… I also had a cross that my mother had given to me inside my bag, so I took it out and showed them. They got very excited and happy. Then we said goodbye and they told me to take care and disappeared.
I kept on pedalling untilI I reached the village one hundred kilometres far away from Sen Monorom, where I wanted to spend the night to continue the journey the following day.
Next morning, while I was preparing the things to leave I saw someone saying hello. It was the same man from yesterday! He also slept in the same guesthouse that I did!! There were many places to sleep around and they chose mine! He asked me if I was OK with the bicycle and I told him I was, and headed to Ban Lung. They took the opposite way… it was a bit weird.
I pedalled and pedalled, going up and down through roads surrounded by forest until I reached Ban Lung, the capital city of Ratanakiri. I stopped by a lake because it was very hot and I was sweating a lot and very dirty, covered with the red soil from the way. A signal announced that th lake was two or three kilometres away; I had read in the guide book that it was a crater lake, formerly a vulcano. I got there and oh my god! In the middle of the forest and mountains there was a perfect circle, wonderful. It was the first time that I saw something like this, superb. I went down the bicycle and jumped into the water, it was fresh; as I swam I left an orange path behind me from the red soil falling down my skin, I looked around and it was astonishing, it was like made with Photoshop.. but not, it was real.
After that I went to the city where I met Berta and María, we went out for a coffee and, stayed together.