Eat what you can and leave the rest - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

December 11, 2023

Eat what you can and leave the rest

Stueng Trang to Chhlong

Dear little friends,

Oh hey look here, the forecast just keeps getting worse! Hurray! 95 today, you know what that means, it means we are going to get up with the chickens, that’s what. We put sandal to pedal by 5:48 am.

There was some chat about grabbing breakfast in Stueng Trang. This is not a town you want to spend a rest day in or anything. There was a long downhill from our guesthouse to the river road and if there was anything edible on that street it went by in a blur. 

The river was beautiful.

We had a big bridge to cross, not a terror bridge, just a long flat bridge, this one financed by the Chinese. But first we had to climb UP a hill and dang, we aren’t built for hills at this point in our trip, there was some gasping and complaining from some of us. As we crossed the bridge over the Mekong, straight east, the sun emerged looking like a really bad 70s art print. I’m a daylight person, I love the light. But the sun was not going to be our friend today, so I thought bad things about it and its kitschy rise.

It might not be a terror bridge but the trash below is. We haven’t posted many photos of plastic trash but it’s absolutely appalling in many places.
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Up, up and away.
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Here it comes, the big red ball.
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We had some miles to make before noon, when I officially extinguish tolerance for heat, so we set to. It was actually a really nice road and beautiful ride, but there were sections of construction, or maybe just a pathetic attempt at construction, such as covering the road with 8 inches of gravel which can lead to some fascinating near-collapses of two people on folding bikes.

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The good times are over for now.
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Honestly, I’m lucky to be upright here.
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Rachael AndersonThat does look treacherous!
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2 months ago
A cow soccer game with a horse acting as referee.
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John SolemGood one! 😂
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2 months ago
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John SolemPenalty box.
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2 months ago
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Every so often there would be some sort of food stand but they all looked really, really funky. Sometimes we’re not sure it’s actually a restaurant, maybe it’s just somebody’s living room with all their friends eating there. But there was a nice looking noodle soup place to stop at. Sadly, even though we’re protein-deprived, the meat in our soup was mostly tripe, liver, intestine, and blood cubes. The pork ball was edible, as was the tiny amount of ground pork. You eat what you can and leave the rest.

The soup place. Red plastic chairs, tables set with condiments, and an array of motorbikes out front all indicate this is a place worth stopping at.
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A complicated bowl of soup.
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This is what 89% humidity does to even the stickiest sunscreen.
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This area has a lot of Muslim villages and we got to see some really cool school uniforms, some pink, some gray-beige, some black. Then the next village would be Buddhist. Some villages were a mix of both, all of them were friendly and smiling, a pleasure to ride through. Until there would be more gravel, then it was hard to maintain a friendly demeanor while trying to stay upright and in one piece.

A very handsome mosque. But it was interesting, we never heard the calls to prayer, yet the Buddhist temples amplified the morning prayers so loudly you could hear them a mile away. We may just not have been near the mosques at the right times, but it’s also possible that the dictator ruling party does not allow them to broadcast from the mosques. Maybe one of our readers knows more about this.
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The coffee guy spoke English, and near his little kiosk in front of his store we sat on red plastic chairs and chatted, and bought a coconut from his refrigerator. Coconut juice is slammed with electrolytes, after the coffee and coconut juice and the end of gravel hell we were flying down that road. If only it had had more shade. It really, really needed more shade. I put the freak hat on and told the sun to hit me with its best shot and surely enough, it did.

Our coffee stop. Unusual for us to choose one in a store like this but in the end it was a wonderful stop and the coffee was first-rate.
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Our kind coffee host.
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We always prefer to buy fruit from tables/chairs set out in front of the house. Unfortunately these papayas weren’t quite ripe yet.
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Let’s not gloss over the extreme poverty that still exists for many Cambodians. This man recycles scrap metal and plastic, there is a wife and two very small children in the front of the truck, a cooking pot, a hammock. Almost certainly they live in this vehicle.
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While it’s fun and amusing to announce that we’re going to Chhlong, we actually haven’t really seen the sights in Chhlong yet, we’re ensconced in a fan room at the edge of town and happy to have it. The clothes are drying in the fan-breeze from our bike handlebars in the room with us, the wi-fi is reasonably good, my nap was delicious, and when we venture out after it stops being 93 out we hope our dinner will be delicious too. Because we’re protein-deprived. A plate of food is pretty much all the sights in Chhlong we need to see.

Yeah, we found some dinner. And Bruce finally sampled a Krud. It really wasn’t up to the snappy jingle Gregory Garceau came up for it.
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Gregory GarceauNow I'm sorry I endorsed the product without tasting it first.
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2 months ago
Ron SuchanekTo Gregory GarceauGreg, I'm disappointed that you havee apparently shilled for the Big Krud without being an actual consumer.
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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Ron SuchanekTo quote the great Frank Zappa, "we're (I'm) only in it for the money."
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2 months ago
Ron SuchanekTo Gregory GarceauI completely respect that, but felt that some self-righteous indignation was needed in the moment.
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2 months ago

Today's ride: 33 miles (53 km)
Total: 309 miles (497 km)

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