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E-bike expedition part 5 Cambodia - Online diary 2017

You can sell your hamburgers to your Trump supporters

N 10°36'38.9'' E 104°10'30.7''
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    Day: 670




    Latitude N:

    Longitude E:

    Daily kilometers:
    102 km

    Total kilometers:
    23,613 km

    As the crow flies:
    68 km

    Average speed:
    23.2 km/h

    Maximum speed:
    44.3 km/h

    Travel time:
    4:21 hrs.

    Soil condition:
    Asphalt / gravel

    Maximum height:
    100 m

    Total altitude meters:
    70.938 m

    Altitude meters for the day:
    250 m


    6:15 pm

    Temperature day max:

    8:00 a.m.

    Arrival time:
    1:00 p.m.

(Photos of the diary entry can be found at the end of the text).


We leave our dream beach at 8:00 am. Just behind the beach, the narrow strip of asphalt leads 100 meters uphill. At 32° C and a humidity of well over 90 percent, it’s exhausting. As on the way here, we cover the 102 kilometers without taking long breaks to avoid the extreme heat in the afternoon as much as possible. We reach Kampot again at 13:00. Mika, the Finn and owner of the lodge, gives us a friendly welcome. He told us on the phone that there had been a whole armada of ticks in the room since our last stay. “I cleaned everything thoroughly several times,” says Mika’s wife. “But the ticks are still inside.” We are shocked because we have not discovered a single tick on Ajaci. “I can only imagine that Ajaci caught a few ticks while playing on the riverbank. There’s tall grass there and ticks love gradients. Maybe the ticks didn’t bite him because we give him a prophylactic medication against them every few months due to the risk of ticks in South East Asia. The critters must have got away from him in the room and crawled under the bed. Did you check under the bed too?” “No,” Mika’s wife now replies. I immediately rush into the room and lift up the heavy wooden frames. It looks bad under the bed. In addition to what accumulates under guesthouse beds over a long period of time, we also discover ticks. Although we are completely exhausted after cycling over 100 km at 37° C in the shade, we help the two young cleaning girls to clean the room thoroughly again. Only then do we check in.

It is already 5 p.m. when we finally settle down on a chair on the wooden terrace by the Teuk Chhou River and enjoy the approaching evening and a good meal, just like last time. “Is that him?” I ask Tanja, startled, as another guest makes himself comfortable on the small terrace. Tanja nods her head in confirmation. When we were sitting here a few weeks ago with a few other travelers, we made the unpleasant acquaintance of this American who owns a hamburger store in Kampot. We had a political discussion with him about the current situation in his country. “You can sell your hamburgers to your Trump fans but not to us,” Tanja ended the unpleasant conversation with the result that the aggressive man left in a huff, sat down at the next table, stopped talking to us from that point on and ignored us for the next few days.

As the 58-year-old is obviously a regular at Mika and drinks his beer here every evening with his very young Cambodian girlfriend, it looks like we’ll have to put up with his negative aura in the coming days. “Let’s make peace with the man,” Tanja suggests. “And how?”, I ask, as I don’t feel the slightest desire to let the president’s supporter of a sick and moronic world policy spoil my mood. “We’ll just buy him and his girlfriend two beers.” “And you think that will work?” “Why not?” “Okay,” I say and get the waitress at the small restaurant to serve the man two beers. When the Finnish waitress tries to put the beers on the American’s table, he rumbles and vehemently refuses. The waitress shrugs her shoulders and carries the full glasses back. “Didn’t work,” I say disappointedly. The rejection makes us feel even more uncomfortable than before. Then Mika and his wife join him at the table. Apparently they are friends, because they want to go out for dinner together. One reason why Mika’s wife doesn’t want to open the lodge kitchen that evening until she’s back. As we haven’t had anything between our teeth since this morning, we are very hungry after the long day. We decide to walk into town to find a restaurant.

“I no longer feel comfortable with Mika. Even if we are somehow responsible for the ticks in the room, I find it strange that his wife didn’t clean under the beds, even though she complained to us that she had cleaned everything with great effort. Then they are also friends with this strange man and in the end we didn’t get anything to eat. I wonder why we stay there at all? There is no reason for it. As we had already spent a week here before our lovely stay on Paradise Beach, I somehow feel like those people who always go on vacation to the same place. Just not seeing anything new. That could bring surprises. And who wants surprises in life? Especially on vacation?” I say ironically. “If you ask me, we should get out of here as soon as possible,” I continue, sitting in a Cambodian restaurant. “It’s crazy. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Apart from that, I feel like I’m in the American comedy ‘Groundhog Day’. I just didn’t want to say anything, as we had agreed to rest for a day before continuing our journey.” “Okay, then let’s head for the border tomorrow. My limbs are aching after today’s drive, but as the atmosphere at Mika’s has changed, I don’t want to stay a day longer than necessary.”…

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