Cambodian Countryside

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Since we had several hours to kill before we had to return the scooter, we decided to take all 50 cc’s of glory and cruise around the countryside before returning.  We had a great time spotting the the scooters with the largest loads.

 

This one takes the cake, hands down.

 

There was virtually no traffic on the roads, and as we got further from town the shops and homes thinned as well.

As the heat grew ever more oppressive, we finally decided to turn around while we were still ahead.  On the way back, we decided to stop at one of the many cane juice presses that often line the roads.

We motioned that we wanted the cane juice, and the delighted stand-owner began the process of selecting the cane, firing up the press, and feeding it through.  As the wheels crushed the dry-looking stalks, the tray starting filling up with juice.  After enough was collected, she poured it into a plastic bag and took it over to the cooler.  Not sure what she was after, our stomachs sank once we peered inside the dirty red box.  In it was about 3 inches of standing brown water, surrounding a large chunk of ice.  By the time we had motioned for no ice, it was too late – the machete had already begun whacking and chipping at the block.  Giving each other nervous glances, Bree whispered “drink fast”.  The lady handed us a straw, and we sat down and drank the juice in record time.

Unfortunately the juice was really cold, meaning a lot of that ice had melted.  It was totally worth it though as the lady explained in very broken English how glad she was that we had come to her stand.  They don’t get many westerners out in the country, and she was delighted to meet us.

It is always interesting to see how much time and energy we spend going from place to place.  We seek out the most beautiful, or the most interesting according to the guide books, but in reality, it is the random ride through the small villages that really become the highlights of our trips.  We would certainly do well to remember this going forward.

 

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