TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Fast and Furious on Bokor Mountain

Posted by TravellingStrom on February 14, 2013

Today was a tourist style day, I met up with Christine and Clive (C&C) at the Rusty Keyhole at 9am. This is the first time we had seen each others bikes. Theirs looked real clean and tidy compared to mine, it will be real interesting to compare this photo with another when they get to Bristol 🙂

Our goal this morning is to go and ride Bokor Mountain It cost nearly one thousand lives to build the resort back in 1921. The new road has only been complete for a year or so. Take particular note of the photo top right on that Wiki link above, it will make sense later. Funny thing, I had my helmet cam going but for the life of me I cannot find the footage, a bit of a shame really. Anyway we headed off to the west after crossing the old bridge. The bridge is strange, the pillars are too big for it, I reckon the pillars are the remains of the bridge that was blown up during one of the wars, then this lighter structure built onto the leftover supports. The entrance to the Bokor National Park is guarded by an 8 armed statue and it looked like the mountain may be in cloud today. After the statue was a one kilometre long dragway, I mean road, to the check point where they tax you a massive fee of 2,000R, which is 50c 😉 Actually the straight is a good spot to warm the tyres and get the juices flowing 🙂 If you look at the guard hut you can see that you are not allowed to take guns or hand grenades into the park, now that would beat the stick of dynamite I blew up in Bolivia 😉

From this point on, we parted ways, for the next 35kms or so it was just fast and furious up the mountain. This is the first time my engine has been flogged since the rebuild about 4,000km ago, and with my new tyre I was in heaven 🙂 Honest, I had the biggest grin on my dial, I was having a ball. The road was super smooth, nearly every corner had the right camber, the line marking was a single unbroken line for the most part but corners were double lined. I soon learnt to ignore the 20kmh sign and when I saw double lines, throw out the anchors and drop down a few cogs before relaunching out the other side 😉 You can see by the following map that the road was super twisty. I’m glad C&C were not knee scraping today, they would have left blood on the racing line as they were not really dressed for it while I was armoured to the max, just in case I got overconfident!

After about 30kms you get to another checkpoint, here they tear the ticket stub off, I guess they count them at the end of the day. After this checkpoint is a roundabout where we turned left to head towards the new resort and then past that to the old resort, which looks totally different to the one in the picture I mentioned above. You did look didn’t you, if not, best you do so now 😉 FYI, the right hand road goes to a waterfall, but in the dry season it has no water 🙂

We were not allowed to park in front of the building for the photo, but we went and checked it out. As you can see, the difference is massive, they were still working on it today, chipping off the old rendering both inside and out and refacing everything. There were only a few old bits that had not been touched yet, like the old toilet block outside. Inside was a maze, trying to find a way to the top meant looking in weird places for the stairs and it was not just one set, it takes 3 sets, not linked, to get up there 🙂 The view on a good day would be magnificent, today it was a white out, in some photos you can see the clouds billowing up over the edge of the escarpment 😦

Over the road behind where the bikes were parked was what looked like an old garden area, with a concrete umbrella and old walls going around this small peak with some interesting rock formations, to the left of the water tower.

It was now that I had to head off back to the guest house, I needed to be there for check out time of 11.30am so I could change rooms, so I arranged to meet up for beers later with C&C and went back. Going downhill was just as much fun as going up, although there are a few more opportunities for mistakes compared to uphill as it is harder to pull up with gravity helping you along 🙂

Once back into town I found that the aircon rooms were still occupied, so as I had limited sleep in the heat last night I had the yucky job in full gear of walking around looking for a room with an aircon. The whole street was full of guest houses, so it was not that hard and I found one at the Kampot Guest House II, it was right next door 🙂 I then had to pack the bike, move the bike 30m and then unpack it all again! I was finally installed, I had a cool shower and by this time the aircon was taking effect, the ceiling fan helped things along nicely. I walked down to the Rusty Keyhole and had some lunch, no beer, this was stir fried noodles with chook and vegies, very nice 🙂

Late afternoon I grabbed a TukTuk to take me back into town for beers, but on the way I needed to find a repair shop. I have a small cable that connects my iPod to the Blue Tooth transmitter, it had failed on me coming down from Phnom Penh, so it needed cutting and rejoining. I found a shop near the main market and arranged for him to fix it over the next day or so at his leisure and I would pick it up in a few days. I had seen a tour from here to rabbit Island and it also took in a salt farm, a fishing village, some caves and a pepper farm. I intended going on that tomorrow as it was only $17 including the boat fee. I ended up watching a very nice sunset at the bar before C&C rocked in, they had had a great day up the mountain, it would be hard not to!

It was an early night for me as I needed to go back and sort out the tour. C&C were going to have a rest day tomorrow and were not interested in it. I paid up for my ticket and needed to be ready for pick up at 08.30, so I had a relaxing evening before hitting the sack.

Cheers from Krabpot Kampot
TravellingStrom

4 Responses to “Fast and Furious on Bokor Mountain”

  1. Bob said

    In case you come across it, Fast and Furious was the code name for an infamous USA program that allowed illegal gun running into Mexico, supposedly to trace where they went (but they forgot to track them). A fiasco that accounted for many lost lives.

  2. Bob said

    Any idea how the 1000 lives were lost in building the lodge? Wikipedia wasn’t any help

    • I have no idea, but it was a steep mountain with a crap road until recently, plus in the wet they used to have many landslides I don’t believe it was slave labour style deaths, but I could be wrong, just bad work practice in an extreme enviroment

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