We woke up at 5:10. Shortly after, we were on the road. We stopped for some fried bread and hot soy milk. The next stop was a second, more substantial breakfast at a 7-eleven. We each ate a spicy pork burger on a sticky rice bun, and a pastry style pie. We may or may not have stopped again before stopping for noodles in a bid to avoid threatening rain. We sat there for a while while the rain poured down. When the rain stopped, we started off, only to have our hostess chase us down because I had left my phone on the table.
We were not on the road long before rain started to fall again. We dove in under the roof of a small hardware store. We didn’t see the proprietor for a while. When he popped out, he was friendly and told us he’d been in the back eating.
The rain stopped. We got on the road again. The rain started and we stopped for a drink at what looked like a nice restaurant in the hinterland. The rain stopped we moved on. The rain started and we joined a gentleman under a roadside booth. We exchanged friendly chatter before he left in his truck telling us something about staying there under the booth. When the rain stopped, and he didn’t reappear, we moved on (we saw him again just a little further up the road).
We arrived at the Thai-Cambodia border, dodged out of the rain under a tarp behind a closed building that had a sign that said something about immigration. Under the tarp watching TV were two Thai soldiers watching TV. They told us that to cross into cambodia we had to back track a little and then head down a different road. They let us wait out the rain under the tarp watching boxing.
When the rain stopped, we went to the proper location for border crossings.
Now I need to back track a little to fill in a few things. From the noodle shop on there were regular signs telling us the distance to the border. What was not regular was the progression of the signs. It went something like 29km, 20km, 21km, 19km, 17km, 18km, 16km, 18km, . . .
Another thing of note were the hills we encountered as we approached the border. They added much to the scenery and much to the labour of pedaling.
At the border we exited out of Thailand easy enough, though we were charged 100 baht for I don’t know what. (It was particularly suspicious because the one official asked the other official what the cost was).
In Cambodia things got tense. We went to the visa purchase booth. The guy (wearing a black tank top) looked through my passport and then told me he could not give me a visa. I was out of blank visa pages. The empty pages at the back of my passport were for amendments and endorsements. Apperently the law forbids the use of these pages for visas. I asked if we could put it on those pages. I asked if we could put it on top of something else. He kept saying it could not be done. This moment that dragged into several (15?) minutes, was one of the most stressed of my life. There I was on a bicycle with a cousin who had flown from LA with the purpose of making this trip and I was being told that I could not enter the country.
He eventually asked us how we would be exiting Cambodia. We answered that we would be exiting the same way we were entering. After making us promise several times that we would exit at the same crossing, he let us fill out the visa application forms. He then had me write a waiver on the back of my application certifying that I was an idiot, and that the lack of visa pages were my fault not his.
After that things went pretty smoothly. After taking a little jog on a mud road we found ourselves back opposite the place where the guards were watching TV under a tarp. From the border on things were pretty much all down hill. We had one scary moment flying down a hill and discovering that water had washed out at least a half of the lane we were in. We decided that taking things a little slower on the wet pavement might not be a bad idea.
We nighted in Anlong Veng.