We left early in the morning. We didn’t know it but, after three weeks staying in Siem Reap, our bodies were much eager than our heads to start cycling again. We did almost 40km before breakfast and we were feeling strong and fluent; after a typical bai sach churuc, we kept on pedalling and reached Spien Kampong Kdei before lunch, 60km away from the starting point.
One might think that we were running away from the city and that we could hear a high call from the countryside. Well, it is kind of true, although we were treated as queens and king in Siem Reap, we were missing the rural area as well.
Spien Kampong Kdei is one of the 22 bridges which joined the the way between the capital of Angkor in Siem Reap and the angkorian temples in the Southeast. Unfortunately nowadays only 11 of them remain and many are ruins.
This bridge is the longest, with 21 arches supported in 20 columns, and it is decorated with a nine-headed Naga balustrade and four stone post in sandstone. An asura and a deva, similar to the guardians of Bayon temple, are carved in the western sector; these and the general style of other decoration items make specialist assume that the bridge belongs to the same period of Bayon, in XII-XIII centuries.
We went ahead, following the worst national road that we had biked so far, looking for a place to have lunch. Two abyss separated us on top of the road from the houses that appeared at both sides, we were over an asphalt catwalk that seemed more and more dangerous as trucks and crazy minibuses combed us when passing by.
The day was becoming really hot and we couldn’t find a restaurant, so we stopped at a shop to ask if they had something to eat and the owner and two villagers who were there started laughing when we told them that we were thinking about getting to Stuong. They also said that they didn’t have food and there was no restaurant nearby. When we were beginning to design awful tortures for them in our heads, a young man appeared and invited us to his house. In a blink, we were laying on three hammocks on the shade of a fresh yard, surrounded by fans and with a lovely grandmother giving us some fruits and waters, and good local conversation.
Two hours later, when the sun had come down a bit, we decided to go back to the road. The family who had saved our lives from the heat dust and hunger had left us alone, resting in their house, had gone to work and come back, so we said a thankful goodbye and continued.
After several stops to get and drink water and even a coffee, we reached Stuong. We were exhausted and dirty as few days we’ve been, but we were also happy: we’ve crossed the threshold of the three figures, we’ve done more than 100 kilometers!!!