The bicycle, the temples and the bad idea


According to a friend's recommendation ('It's all flat, even you can manage that on a bike.'), I decided to rent a bike (for a fair price one dollar for a day) and enjoy the temples on my own and on my own pace.

Have I mentioned that my physical shape is rather in negative numbers and the last time I sat on a bicycle was 2006? Well, now you know. Also, when I sat on the bike, my father's words of description of an all kind of bicycles came to mind ('You had to pedal even down the hill to make it go.') The basket in front was nice and handy, however when I placed a bag with my two cameras there, the bike became impossible to navigate. If I would believe in any kind of Hell, I'd claim this piece of metal was assembled there to torture souls for all eternity.

Nevertheless, I hopped on and headed to the Angkor Wat. About two second later, I knew for sure I wouldn't walk the next day. (I really need to start doing something about this. Read: I really need to get a horse.)

Somehow, after time and time, I managed to get to the temples in one piece. Only to find out that the ticket office is elsewhere and the 'elsewhere' is not exactly close. That was probably the most honest 'Oh for f*ck's sake!' anyone ever heard from me. So much for all the planning the previous day. But based on a comment of one tourist guy who was just getting back on his bicycle, I was far from being the only one that day and probably ever. So one of the nice guards offered to take me to the office on his moped for a small fee. Naturally.
But I got my pass, he drove me back to the check point, I somewhat hopped back on my bike and off I was on the road again.

It was only a short ride to the first temple, the actual Angkor Wat. I was quite happy to get off of the bike and go walking for a while. I 'parked' the bike ('No pay for parking, but must buy a drink.')

I continued north to the next temple.

I'd like to say that I kept hydrated and in the shade as much as possible. Still, due to my non-existen shape as mentioned earlier, on top of the second temple, my body just said 'How about no.' and that was that. Feeling like fainting while on top of a temple with dozens of steep stairs around is not the best thing to do. I would be probably pretty angry if I wouldn't be feeling so sick.
I got back to my bike and headed back. Strangely enough, when on the bike, I felt slightly better than standing or walking. Which I was truly grateful for as I wasn't exactly keen on getting to know the Cambodian health care system.
Naturally, on the way back, the wind was blowing in the opposite direction than I was going. But I made it back and survived. I stormed to the minimart to get some water, juice and chocolate and back to the guesthouse, in the hope of not dying.


Surprisingly enough, I could walk the next day. I was feeling ok-ish but still editing photos from previous day and being entertained by the bunch of kittens inhabiting the same space was the most effort I developed that day.

I might have felt better, but not well enough to try again and spend another twenty dollars and failing miserably.
And I knew I would come to SR and Angkor Wat in the future again and then I would do it properly without causing myself any harm.

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