Saturday, August 5, 2006
In March 2002, the distance between Tbeng Meanchey and Preah Vihear, the northernmost temple in Cambodia, on the track you see in this picture, took us six hours on my pal Sokhom's Daelim moto. Its a lot quicker these days after the track was converted into a road though back in 2002 we travelled through the forested area you see in the photo for two and a half hours and saw no sign of life except lizards scampering across our path, heard the constant shrill of cicadas and were reminded that the area was heavily mined by the HALO Trust warning signs posted every half kilometre - stepping off the track was not an option. Though the 'romance' (who am I kidding!) of the old road is now gone forever, you can still take a similar trip on many back-roads throughout Cambodia. In January, Sokhom and I, and the trusty Daelim, took the track between the northern outposts of Choam Khsan and Tbeng Meanchey and it was just like stepping back to March 2002. Excuse the pose, my lower back was killing me and I was attempting to stand up as straight as I could whilst we took a quick break.