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Old 12-30-2012, 03:51 AM   #1
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Cambodia, Cardamom mountains, 5 days fun and pain

After visiting Cambodia the previous year and Having a great time riding the countryside on an XR 250 i agreed with friend David that we would return next year for a ride more serious, the plan was 5 days ride through the Cardamom mountains while the wife's lounged around in Phnom Penh and then bused it up to Battambang to meet us.

The bike of choice was Yamaha wr 450 because basically we thrive on power


Our guides were Pilot and La 2 very capable riders
The route

Day 1: Phnom Penh to Kirirom (hotel)
Day 2: Kirirom to Jiphat (homestay)
Day 3: Jiphat to Koh Kong (hotel)
Day 4: Koh Kong to O Saom (village guesthouse)
Day 5: O Saom to Battambang
Stay tuned

gavo screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 02:46 PM
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Subscribed to this thread. :)
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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The exit from Phnom Penh was through a maze of back roads, railway sidings and even what appeared to be a rubbish dump but it turned out to be a truck collecting a large pile of rubbish in the middle of the road, I've never ridden "off road" through piles of rubbish before
NOTE : There will be a lot of short video's in this report as it's easier than stopping to get the camera out, but there are lots of pics.
After the railways the track opened up and passed farms this is were I had my first off. We were travelling at a fair rate sometime past cattle as I was riding I noticed they all had a rope around their neck and the end tethered to either a stake in the ground or a large-ish rock to slow them down.
Pilot who was leading spooked a cow which ran across in front of me, all I saw was a rope stretched in front of me about 3 foot off the ground so I hid the brakes and lay down, lucky it was a rope with rock. no injuries and unfortunatly the vid wasn't running A short rest not long after I could see the heat was going to be a major factor


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Old 12-31-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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Pilot who had the dubious job of riding point also was first to test water crossings
At the 32 sec mark in this video he shows us just how well a honda xr cant swim
This is the after effects


some section were fairly tight with branches snatching at the camera atop my helmet
Lunch was a welcome break as sweat was coming out faster than I could pour water down my throat.


Now I might be a 55 year old carrying some extra kilo's but I did kind of train for this ride by walking/jogging 5km 3 x a week and a 10 km bicycle ride on Sundays and I would say much more is needed as I was to discover in the next 2 days
David had a spill in the afternoon, rounding a corner clipping a fence covered in shrubbery then bouncing across the road, again no injuries and no pic
A drink break along the road and across the road from the shop



We arrived at Kirirom for our first night stay,


A strange place, a resort built on a grand scale but with low occupancy and a slightly run down aspect,
Now don't get me wrong it was a nice place but when I asked La about it he said times were hard as most people day trip from Phnom Penh and don't stay.


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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This video is the second part of day one but from about the 2.30 mark on is day 2


Day 2
Some easy tracks first up at a rest stop I spotted this parked across the road .
The trailer was about 10x4 foot and the rear spokes on the bike were made from 1/4 inck steel bar by the look.
From what I could see only the bike had brakes so I don't know how the owner stops it when loaded.

gavo screwed with this post 01-01-2013 at 08:45 PM
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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The tracks started to tight up ,more ruts, more water, overgrown
We stop for a rest break



nearby was this camp and staying there was a forestry policeman. Amazing he's sleeping rough out in the jungle and his uniform is clean with neat creases in it

It was warming up some of the tracks were overgrown occasionally you could glimpse the track through the growth a few wrong turns and double back.
Fatigue was kicking in and David went down, again no pic but this time pain in the ribs high up just under the armpit.I asked La how much more of this terrain, he said about 40km, a decision was made to back track and take an easier road to our nights stay at Jiphat and see How David pulled up in the morning.
We stopped at the same rest spot on the way back and had some visitors this time






Lunch stop



We were back on dirt but not too rough we stopped for a pic at a scenic location and to allow David and La to catch up
He was in a lot of pain and having difficulty riding so I took his back pack as well from here






yours truly




It was getting dark and we had to make a ferry crossing to the Village





The guesthouse was Basic






And David will get me for this shot


Dinner was mainly fresh water crayfish from the river and very nice, outdoor dinning at its best





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Old 01-02-2013, 01:24 AM   #8
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If I remember correctly Gav, at that stage I didn't give a rats what I looked like or who did what!!!. Reclining seminude. Quite artistic me thinks.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:59 AM   #9
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Excellent. That looks like it'd be fun in the wet season.

My KTM 570 is parked in Siem Reap at the moment.... waiting for me to head back there and take a peek at the Cardamoms.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
Excellent. That looks like it'd be fun in the wet season.

My KTM 570 is parked in Siem Reap at the moment.... waiting for me to head back there and take a peek at the Cardamoms.
Don't do it alone even with me and 2 guides we still had to wait for more locals to help remove Pilot's bike from the gully when he went off the side of the bridge
And yes when it rains the fun really begins

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:29 PM   #12
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As the sun rose over the little town of Jiphat I went for a little walk with the camera
Main street




The river where we crossed the previous evening also a different ferry running



and this curious little sign in town


Main street in the other direction plus our accommodation
.


The owner's dog, a lot of war wounds but he wouldn't stand still for a pic

I watched this old women in her pj's and an apron and cigarette giving the kids breakfast at a table in the street


David awoke feeling worse than ever, He decided to to return to Phnom Penh so transport was arranged for him and bike.
I didn't think to get a photo but it was a beat up old van like a toyota ace with no back window and doors barely hanging in there , the bike was lifted into the back with many hands, assorted other cargo thrown in next to it, a few passengers in the back but David got the front seat next to the driver either because he was injured or tall
TRAVEL INSURANCE must have, he did went to Thai run hospital in Phnom Penh $700, X-ray's test, Your'e ok just bruised badly. A couple of weeks later and returning to Australia, x-rays, you have 2 broken ribs. If they picked that up in Cambodia he wouldn't have been allowed to fly home

So now it was just me and the 2 guides Pilot and La.
The night before they were saying things like very steep hill, turn like snake and if rain very very slippery
The first endo was Pilot , he came down on some single track, no pic, no pain
The second endo waaaaaas -----Pilot, no pain but pic
He was crossing this bridge when the back wheel went sideways and he slid off the end/ side and down the gully.



The three of us could not lift the bike out so we had to wait for about 30 min for some passing locals to help



some interesting bridges along the way, maybe 6 like this, and as long as the weren't muddy you could ride accross slooooowly


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Old 01-05-2013, 01:12 AM   #13
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Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of pic's or vid in the first half of day 3, my only defence being I was to bloody tired
I've been riding dirt and road bike for many years and this was HARD work.
There were several large steep climbs that resembled giant staircases due to erosion and half buried boulders,sections that
were hard packed clay with a very thin layer of mud on top, super slippery
and the usual mud, undergrowth and the HEAT.
I sat in a stream for 30min trying to cool down. I layed down on the track at one stage because I could no longer stand and then when it started to rain I still couldn't get up, and did I mention the leeches.
I was very glad when we cleared the jungle around lunch time for a break and some instant noodles
Looking a bit weary

One of the only pic's on steep stuff , looking down

Vid for morning ride



and this sign in the town were we had lunch, made me wonder about last nights ferry crossing and the one we were about to do



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Old 01-05-2013, 03:21 AM   #14
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Right the ferry crossing just near the crocodiles sign



Now I've just realised that I did't take any more pic's until we reached Koh Kong but what I can tell you is this section was fun everything from jungle to fast gravel roads and a bit of sealed road and a thunderstorm in the hills.
In fact when we got to the end of the gravel and Pilot stopped to put his sidecover and electrics back I notice my bike was leaking oil from a hole in the sidecase caused by the gearshift going through it.
I don't know how long it had been leaking but when I pointed it out I was a little surprised when they said fix it at Koh Kong.
That was at least 25km's away however it made it no prob's , says a lot for Yamaha reliability



We check in to the hotel ( Asian hotel Koh Kong) a shower and de louse( leeches, mud etc) then I wandered across the road for a beer nice place , French sounding name in fact even a French waiter with great views over the river.







After 2 beers I went back to find Pilot and La but couldn't I ended up having diner at a eatery next door to the hotel and talking to a guy called Matt from the states, he was riding a bicycle around.
Caught up with the guy's but went to bed early while my bike left a big oil puddle in the car park.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:32 AM   #15
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Ok day 4, 7th Nov 2012
Late start today as some maintenance was required on the bikes especially mine which had a hole in the left hand sidecase so while the guys were doing repairs in the carpark out front of the hotel,I went for a walk around town.





Love the workplace approved scaffolds here

local morning market



and do you think this is a typo or they're taking the piss


the river front



And just over the bridge and up the road a bit to Thailand

So we left town about 1pm and it wasn't long until the sky looked unfriendly

A bit of truck traffic on these roads the reason I soon discovered was construction of damns bridges and power stations



Although it started raining there were still views to be had

Camp for construction workers, unfortunately very few jobs for locals mainly Chinese labour on Chinese backed damns.







We rode for a fair way in the rain but finally came to the small village of O Saom
The guest house


The owner's house

The main street, neighbours house, the rooms






And the vid for the day

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