The surroundings of Kratie offer one of the most charming landscapes in Cambodia. For sure, crossing them by bicycle, fast but slow, has a positive effect in the cellular harmony. The way is beautiful in a sense that makes one feels comfy, accomplice of someone else’s environment; besides there is this cool road which allows one to share Mekong’s way to Phnom Penh. One gets so integrated in the ambience, that one doesn’t even feel the transcendence of flowing next to this creator of life and generator of culture across the times, and just goes on with it, passengers of the same travel. The morning passed by among pleasant smiles, it couldn’t happen otherwise with so much good around.
We stopped to have a yummy bai sach moan for lunch in a clearly Cham area, where there were a mosque on pillars and lots of madrasas full of children who interrupted their games to send us bursts of excited and sonorous “hellos” like submachine guns. The man from the restaurant told us about the importance of culture inside their community, how all his daughters and sons were studying in Islamic schools and how supportive the most fortunate Islamic countries were with their poorer brothers, donating funds in different ways so they could access a complete education. Probably because we share his view on the significance of education, the chat in first person with this man was as suitable as inspiring for us. Our practise in pedalling showed up when we had almost reached our destination at mid-afternoon. We thought about a new stop point, but the route schedule prevailed over our wishes: one of the racks broke down and we had to look for a welder, so, finally, we slept in Chup as planned.