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Archive for February 11th, 2013

Recovery Time and A Hair of the Dog, or Two

Posted by TravellingStrom on February 11, 2013

I missed a bit of info for yesterdays post, so I’ll put it here. When I arrived back from the cache hunting it turns out the ignition key has fallen out, the ignition switch or the key is incorrectly matched as they should never fall out when riding. They never supplied me with a lanyard to hook over the mirror, like I have had before in other towns, but I never thought about it, I mean it is their bike, they should know what happens. We got the bike back to their shop after they sent somebody down to guide me and then said they had no more bikes. We had a few words because they blamed me for their poor equipment and I also had just filled the tank and wanted some money back. I got a small refund in the end, but I won’t be using them again.

Sunday was a rest day, I did get up for the free breakfast buffet, but went back to bed 🙂 A real lazy day, catching up on the blog or sorting some other things out online.

During the weekend I had found a note on my bike out front from a chap called Joe who was also staying at this hotel. He is also from Oz and is just over here for a holiday and had been down south near the coast at Kampot. He is also a biker and had a Vstrom in the past and like me has ducks disease and struggles with the top heavy thing so he changed steeds.

Monday I went looking for a bike rental company, Joe had given me a name of a company called Cambodia Bike Rentals, so I was looking for them. I also went looking for a couple of caches that were in the general area. My first goal was one called the Ticket Office. I had done my homework and knew it was a heavily muggled place, but I figured if I could locate it visually from a distance, then maybe I could think up a way of grabbing it without being seen. As I walked past the Lone Brothers Club towards the Kings Palace, the whole gang were just getting off their bikes and heading to the Walkabout Pub for a beer. Crash said there was going to be a party at their bar tonight to welcome some riders from Oz and I was invited, cool 🙂

You see some strange sights if you get up early enough. Ladies in Pyjamas selling things and people in hammocks slung in strange places 🙂

I reached the Kings Palace after a short walk and across the road is the Museum of Fine Arts, this was the location of the cache. I sat a little way a way on a kerb to see what I could see and yes, I spotted it as I knew what to look for, I had found a few of these in the past. There were quite a few TukTuk drivers here parked up so it would tricky not to let them see what I was doing. Funnily enough I don’t have a picture of the gate where it is attached, but it is a NANO cache, very small and it has a magnet base. I pretended to take a photo of the museum entrance, and actually took one with my camera through the gaps in the gate, while I crouched down and grabbed the cache. I then went further down the street into a shady spot and filled out the log, being so tiny, that does not take long. It takes longer to unroll the log and roll it back up again.

That container is about the size of your fingernail on your little finger. The original black one mentioned in the link above has since been muggled, this is a replacement brand new and not painted, which could be a mistake. Across the road is the Kings Palace, quite an impressive place and I think where the old king was buried after cremation the other week.

I then went up the road a short way looking for the The Womping Willow cache, it was only a few blocks away. I had ridden past both of these caches the other day, just to get my bearings. This one is in a hole in the tree, this looked like an easy find except for one thing, across the road is a bloody guard box and it was occupied and the cache hide was right in his view!!!

Well, it seemed like a waste of time being here as I was being watched. In fact, I returned here no less than 4 times during different parts of the day and early evening over the next few days and I never saw an opportunity to do a proper search 😦 I was in fact becoming obvious to the guards and I stopped going, because they might call the cops to investigate this chap who may be sussing the area out! So, I wrote a note to that effect on the log, I cannot claim a find and I never got a chance to search so I won’t log a DNF either 😉 Some of these caches need extra people, like Geokids, to distract the muggles, I stand out like a sore thumb! I see from the logs on that cache that people are still finding that cache and pretty much ignoring the guards, so I won’t be surprised to see that cache missing in the near future. No worries, the best thing was I had spotted a KFC on my way here and was interested to see how it is cooked in this country.

Just a part of my eating research, I might have to contact the colonel for some freebies as “I Rate That Chook” 🙂 And the result is a very good one, the original chook here tastes like it should, it was not too greasy, so it is better than the two outlets in Rocky back home, but it certainly had all the secret herbs and spices. So, out of about 20 countries, only 3 have tasted OK so far 🙂 And these are supposed to be franchises where everything is cooked and prepared the same, FAIL!!

After lunch I wandered around asking for an address for the scooter rental. A chap talked to me about my beard(that happens a lot in SEA) and then when I mentioned scooter rental he said his aunt rented them out. I hopped on the back of his scoot(no helmet mind) and we headed off, we seemed to be going a long way and when I queried this, he said the shop itself is closed for New Year holiday so we are going to his Aunts place. This ended up being half way across town, and his aunt was not in, so I asked him to drop me back where he found me, which he did. We actually rode past a bike shop and it turns out that was the one I wanted 🙂 It seems the address I had been given gave the street name it was on, most people here use the street number, as Phnom Penh is a grid system like the US, they know numbers better than names. It may have something to do with literacy as well.

Cambodian Motorcycling GPS – N11.56017 E104.93321

So that was all good, I rented a newish looking scoot, and made sure the key was safe, he assured me these do not fall out, so I said if it does, it is your fault 🙂 I went back to the hotel for some online work and when I posted in a thread on the Horizons Unlimited forum, I got a private message from Hemuli asking if I wanted to meet up as we were both in Phnom Penh. I said sure, come on down for a beer at the bikers club this evening and in the evening, when I returned from looking at the Womping Willow cache(guards watching) Marcos was waiting in the foyer, but we were soon down at the bar having a beer. He said we had met last year at the HU meeting in Germany, but I cannot recall, but there were a lot of people there and the odd beer or two as well 😉

He had ridden from Germany to here on a beemer 1200, he is from Finland himself. He had ridden down through Kyrgyzstan via the KKH or Karakurum Highway and into India before flying the bike to Thailand. So, we had a few beers and we then found out that Ossy, one of the bikers is also from Finland, so those two had a totally incomprehensible conversation for the next little while, well to me anyway 🙂 Here are a couple of bike photos from the evening, the first one is TinTin sitting on Ossy’s bike, with Ossy looking on. We discovered the whole handlebar was bolted on wrong and the bar risers were sitting on rubber O rings, very dangerous, but that is how he bought the bike just recently.

The evening was great, there were a number of bikers from Oz, mainly from the Vetarens MC club. The Lone Brothers Club put on some great tucker, the pork was excellent, pickled pork which I love 🙂 But they also had some of these, Bundaburg Rum, it only costs $13 a bottle, how crazy is that!

It was not a real late night, Marcos had to visit an embassy to get a visa and I wanted to do a days caching on another loop ride which I had planned on Sunday. It was still near midnight though before I crashed out 🙂

Cheers from Phnom Penh

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