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Bamboo Train is very cool!

Had a big sleep in & didn't go out till 10.30am. Asked them at reception if they had a moto driver who they could recommend as wanted to go exploring out of town today. He showed up a few minutes later & said it would cost $50!!!!!!! Seeing as I spoke to a moto driver yesterday& he told me $9 I was like " see you later buddy... will find one outside the hotel around the corner!!" He followed me outside & said " OK - will do for $9!" - not much difference there!!

Headed first south out of town following the river for the Bamboo Train. The train only runs once a week so the rest of the time the people that live along the tracks have invented their own form of transportation to lift on & off the tracks to move people & things easily.

Two sets of wheels looking like big dumbells are put on the track, a bamboo platform sits on top of the wheels, a motor is attached at the back that hooks onto the back wheels, a stick attached for accelerating & off you go at a great pace! Past houses, but mostly deserted fields of rice ( looking very dry & brown at this time of year) we flew by. We had to brake for the odd cow or dog on the track & I just loved sitting on the front with the wind in my face as we raced along. We slowed down for one coming the other way & as there was only me & the driver on ours & the other one had lots of people, bikes & rice we lifted ours off the track to let them pass, put it back on & then headed off in our opposite directions. We went 6km out & stopped at a drink rest stop. I wandered down a path & was shown through some brick works - big round kilns & a machine that you put the clay into that squeezes out bricks in their shape & form ready to be fired.

On the way back the young driver let me sit up the back to accelerate & brake. All good fun until I saw a cow on the track & didn't know how to stop or slow down!!! He then showed me a piece of wood to stand on that slows it all down. The track is pretty bumpy & trees & bushes grow right up close to the track. Took an hour all up & cost $8. Loved it!!!

Back on the bike, still following the river south. Right on the fertile banks way below the road crops were being grown right down to the water edge. Drove over a swaying suspension bridge to the other side to the winery. Thought it would be way too hot here to grow grapes but apparently not!

Further on was the Banan Temple on the top of a hill which is supposed to be a mini Angkor Wat ( very mini!!!) that was built in the 11th century. Walked up the 353 steps for a view over the flat surrounding countryside )... $2 entry). Next I asked the driver to take me to Phnom Sampeou ( 9km away) He drove up to the turnoff & asked for another $5. I reminded him about our agreed price & that he didn't need to have driven me today & that I had been very happy to find another driver. He was still complaining so I hopped off & crossed the road - fully prepared to find myself another driver, when he came & told me to hop back on. So annoying when they do this - he tried it a few times. At or net stop I asked these guys from Belgium that I kept bumping into what they were paying for their tuk tuk for the day & they were paying $16 & a moto is usually half the price of a tuk tuk.

Phnom Sampeou is a massive limestone hil on this flat as flat countryside with a temple on top. This has 1000 steps to climb to the top which I decided against as it was way too hot!!! I hired a moto to take me to the top for $4 & to guide me around the sights & had to pay $2 to go up. First to the Killing Fields Cave used by the Khmer Rouge in the Pol Pot era. They threw people to their deaths into this deep cave to be dashed on the rock below - their had containers of bones & skulls. The view from several points was amazing & I could see Battambang 12 km away in the distance & the dusty dirt road that we were to drive on. There was a couple of big field guns up there that the government used in trying to defend this hill & temple

It was a dusty bumpy drive home & I was covered in nasty red dust. Passed a moto accident that must have just happened as the bikes were still on the road with a bit of blood around them. No bodies as they must have already gone to hospital but a reminder of not wanting to ever be in an accident here.

Home for a shower & to wash my clothes & backpack that were filthy. Had dinner at Geckoes again & relaxed & read my book before heading back to my room just on dark. Don't think I would like walking home any later as the last couple of blocks are pretty dark.

Assembling the Bamboo Train on the track

Assembling the Bamboo Train on the track


My feet hanging over the edge

My feet hanging over the edge


The Driver

The Driver


The track

The track


Passing a family

Passing a family


Oncoming traffic

Oncoming traffic


Lifting ours off the track

Lifting ours off the track


On their way again

On their way again


The driver behind me

The driver behind me


The turnaround point

The turnaround point


Te brick kiln

Te brick kiln


The clay pit

The clay pit


I was the driver!

I was the driver!


We switched places

We switched places


Moto going over the Hanging Bridge

Moto going over the Hanging Bridge


Suspension Bridge

Suspension Bridge


Sangker River

Sangker River


Wat Banan steps

Wat Banan steps


The Killing Field Cave

The Killing Field Cave


View from Phnom Sampeou

View from Phnom Sampeou


The straight dusty road back to Battambang

The straight dusty road back to Battambang


The Bamboo Train

The Bamboo Train


Mine geting assembled

Mine geting assembled


my feet as we zoom along the tracks

my feet as we zoom along the tracks


My young driver

My young driver


Front of the Bamboo Train

Front of the Bamboo Train


Local life on the track

Local life on the track


Someone coming the other way

Someone coming the other way


Mine had less people so was lifted off

Mine had less people so was lifted off


Past they go

Past they go


Re-assembling mine

Re-assembling mine


On our way again

On our way again


Here we go

Here we go


Turn around point

Turn around point


Brickworks

Brickworks


The driver who didn't know where the brake was!

The driver who didn't know where the brake was!


He trusted me with the driving

He trusted me with the driving


Moto driver going over the suspension bridge

Moto driver going over the suspension bridge


The River

The River


Steps up to the top

Steps up to the top


Killing Cave in Pol Pot

Killing Cave in Pol Pot


View over countryside

View over countryside


Long dusty road back to Battambang

Long dusty road back to Battambang


Temples

Temples

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Cambodia

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