(Mis)Adventures in Angkor (Part 2)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

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We've already established that the Sole Sisters are masochists when it comes to bike rides. I'm not sure if it's because of other Pinay travelers we look up to, the goal of completing our 30 before 30 list, or we just have some deep-seated Ironman fantasies.

On Part 1 of our Angkor (Mis)Adventures, we woke up at an ungodly hour and rushed off to bike the 5.5 kms to the temple complex. We wanted to capture a dazzling sunrise but only got postpartum clouds instead. Never mind. We still snapped away despite the gray weather.

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Bike Locks that Lock

After our first stop, the Angkor Wat temple, we went back to where we left our bikes. We were ready to go to the next few hundred square kilometers of the archaeological park when we realized Chichi wasn't behind us. She was still furiously pulling on her bike lock but it didn't budge. It was stuck. No amount of elbow grease (Hutch) or begging (as was Chichi's strategy) could get the bike unlocked. Bummer!

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There was no other option but for Chichi to get the bike on a tuktuk, head back to the place she rented it from and get another bike. It was a great way to start Angkor Wat Day 2! Not.

Expensive tuktuk ride + blazing Cambodian sun + wasted time = Not so chirpy Chichi

After about an hour, Chichi got a new bike and we were reunited. From Angkor Wat, we biked to the Bayon temples.

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We made it to Angkor Thom just as the sun was at its highest. We biked 9 square kilometers around the structure. Yeah, you could say we had a death wish. But what's a bucket full of sweat when faced with the wonders of this 12th century architecture?

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Inspite of the relentless heat, we biked farther away. We were determined to be like Angelina Jolie and raid the tombs temples around Ta Prohm.

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This is the only temple that has been left exactly as it was found - the jungle and trees slowly eating up what was rightfully their space. Man-made structure vs Nature, season 21 episode 9.

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Busted Tire Part 1

It was almost time for sunset and we survived biking around Angkor under the heat of the Cambodian sun. It felt that we accomplished something really important, like Lara Croft capturing the first piece of the Triangle of Light. We weren't actually that bad on bikes! We only had one minor incident that wasn't even our fault to begin with.

Before we could pat ourselves on the back for a job well done...BOOM! We heard a shout (and a few not so muffled curses) and saw Chichi getting off her bike and checking the front tires of her brand-new bike. Uh-oh, seems like we spoke too soon.

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We were in the middle of the Angkor jungle, there were no tuk-tuks around and there was no way that we could push the bike the 5 kilometers (give or take a few) back to the main gate. Hutch came to the rescue and offered to go back and look for a tuk-tuk. Although, Chichi tried her best to hitch a ride...

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Angkor Sunset Fail

Photo Credit: Ali Catterall
You probably have seen these famous pictures of the sun setting behind Angkor Wat.  Those photos were taken on top of Phnom Bakheng and we were on our way just before Chichi's tires went boom. By the time Hutch and a tuk-tuk came back, the sun had almost set.

Angkor Sunset

Angkor Sunset

Busted Tire: Part 2

So there we were, Hutch and I riding off into the sunset. But the misadventures didn't end yet. It seemed like luck wanted to play a final trick on us. On our way our of the gate, I heard another gunshot sound as my bike wobbled off the path. Busted tire, again? Twice in the same day seemed really auspicious! Now, instead of having to bike the 5.5. kms back to the guesthouse, we had to walk the whole way!

Bonus Round: Chichi Meets another Bao

Chichi's side: After an adventure-filled day, we thought we deserved a treat. We planned to meet up at a Mexican restaurant on Pub Street in Siem Reap. Instead of the usual 2 USD street food for dinner, we'll dine on yummy tacos, quesadillas and burritos.

angkor bayon 6We went our separate ways for a while and decided to meet at 7:30 pm, in front of the restaurant. I was the first to  arrive at a quarter past 7. There was no sign of Lois and Hutch but I wasn't worried. They're probably still at the travel agency buying our bus tickets. 7:45pm, I decided to get a table for us. 8:00pm came and there was still no sign of the couple. I was a little worried. By 8:30pm, I became so jittery that I couldn't sit still.

The lovely pair arrived at 8:45pm. They filled me in on their own busted tire adventures. In the middle of our conversation, an older gentleman (who we later learned was the general manager of one of the posh hotels in Siem Reap) approached us:
GM: Excuse me, if I may interrupt. I'd like to buy everyone a pitcher of Margarita. I had so much fun watching this young lady fidget, worry and bite her nails while waiting for the two of you to arrive. It absolutely made my day. Cheers!
We drank our free Margaritas and laughed at all the misadventures we've had the past few days. Cheers to biking, busted tires, Angkor and free drinks!

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Cheers to you,
Sole Sister Lois & Chichi
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6 sole trails

  1. Sometimes when things go wrong, it's when things also get better. ;) Go, Sole Sisters! Busted bike tires and locks that can't be unlocked can't stop the wanderlust! :)

    P.S. Did you guys try the 'Alohomora' charm? ;D Haha!

  2. I think we're immune to the Alohamora charm Mel!;(

  3. the third and the fourth to the last photos is fantastic!

    i rarely knew of ladies who loves cycling while in travel. i would be looking forward to ride a bike with you if given the chance.

    the hitch hike shot is cool!

  4. Thanks Dom! We absolutely love cycling and think that it's the best way to see a new place (even if we might die of trying). The hitchhike was a fail though not for lack of trying. Let's plan that cycle trip soon!

  5. hi sole sisters.. 
    we were in cambodia also.. yeah ur right, on august 13, there were only clouds and only a peeking sun.. :)  its my second time that day in angkor wat so i know where i am going to place myself to capture the perfect sunrise in action.. but yeah we were disappointed by the weather there too.. :)  but yes we did snapped pictures despite there is no sunrise.. :)

  6. wow! we were in the same place at the same time becky? yeah, a lot of times it's frustrating when you're in a great place pero hindi nag cooperate ang weather. but yeah, we can't do anything but suck it up... and just enjoy!


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