Day two of the infamous loop got off to a great start. Having almost frozen to death the day before, we woke to warming sunshine, clear skies and bacon sandwiches (of sorts). The plan for the day was to see Kong Lor Cave, which was just a leisurely 41km ride from the guest house. We departed at 8:30am, rode 4km in the wrong direction to fill up with petrol, then set off for the cave.
Once we reached the bridge it was really quite warm but perfect temperature with the breeze while we were riding. It was really easy to find our way as these stone mile markers are every 5km on the way to the cave and it’s only one road! We arrived at the cave in less that an hour, grabbed a bite to eat and got to it. Read more about the fantastic Kong Lor Cave here!
The journey back was scenic, to say the least. Towering, rugged rocks, pierced up through the rice and tabacco fields lining the roadside.
We passed this cute little house and while I was stopped to take a picture, we were overtaken on the road by a heard of goats!
They even passed on the wrong side…. naughty goats. Though, it’s not surprising they’re not too familiar with the rules of the road. For one, they’re goats… but secondly, the only real traffic you pass on these roads are these funny tractor carts!
After a fantastic day at the cave and a throughly enjoyable 82km round trip on the bikes, we arrived back at our bungalow just in time for sunset. Another nights sleep, another lovely breakfast and it was back on the road for day three, the final day of our journey.
We waved ‘Sabaidee’ to our bacon-y neighbour and headed for town. First things first, it was time to take care of the dust/wing/bugs problem we had been having. I made like the locals and bought myself a scarf and a pair of sunnies. Unfortunately, the only choice was pink but for less than $4 I scored myself a super practical outfit with bags of comedic value thrown in for free.
After a bit of messing around and a good laugh, I was feeling super cool in my Penelope Pitstop getup.
Looking thoroughly ridiculous, we headed for the hills.
The first stretch of road was smooth and good with some beautiful views along the way. Back on Road 8, we wound round S curves dodging the odd logging truck slogging up the hills at 2 miles an hour.
Just when we were starting to pick up some decent speed and cover some distance, the road surface became, well, non-existant. What had been tarmac turned to gravel, gravel turned to dirt, then dirt turned to mountain-side. Like solid gravel mixed with concrete. On mopeds, this made for a bumpy ride. After an hour or so we got pretty used to it. We continued to bump along until we reached the top of the mountain… then this happened.
The road was being built. The only road through the mountains, which we were at the top of, was being re-built. We asked the driver which way back to Tha Thek and he pointed forwards, through the avenue of digger arms, across mounds of loose soil, spilling down the mountain side. So, after exchanging a few glances, off we went! Amazing experience that will never happen again but very, very dangerous. The next three hours were also quite interesting. Road surfaces spanned everything you can imagine.
We passed a wild-west town and got incredibley dusty and drove miles and miles through this eerie forest of swamped trees.
We stopped for a few posy pictures…
a few nature wees… and arrived back in Tha Khek just before dark. over 250km in one day, bearing in mind that most of it was bumping over unsurfaced mountains, I have to say that I was exhausted. The last hour of the journey I was pooped but we made it. We smashed that loop in style! All 450km of it.