Today we immediately set off on our motorbikes. We had plans to go to a cave and visit a secret lake that we heard about. The journey along the way was probably the most interesting and the most beautiful part about it all.
As we drove to this mountain we entered a dirt road that ended up taking us into a village and through miles of rice fields. The saturation of the colors were incredible and the smell of the fresh air from these fields was a relief after passing through some of the more populated villages.
We eventually approached the mountain parked our bikes and were greeted by some people who were in charge of tickets to enter and tickets for tours. They will try to persuade tourists into buying everything and also charge you way more than it should be. We paid $1 each to enter the cave and $.50 each to have our bikes “watched.” They tried selling us a tour through the cave with a guide, but the boys didn’t want one.
We realized that the entry was in fact at a different entrance of the cave all together. I chose to stay back though… I definitely would have gone with them through the cave, but I wasn’t prepared enough with my flip flops and iPhone as a light (I recommend sneakers and a headlamp for anyone who decides to go spelunking).
Meanwhile, I found some pretty amazing views outside near the entrance to the cave.
I came back to the exit side of the cave waiting for the boys to make their way out. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I heard their voices and I called them over so they knew they were heading the right way.
After they made it out we got back onto the bikes to find this secret lake. We realized that we didn’t have enough gas for the journey, and we were in a little village so we thought it would be miles before we could find gas. Fortunately, people have businesses out of their homes everywhere in the villages, that’s how they make their money and feed their families. We found a home where they sold gasoline and we had a little girl pour it in for us and make our change. We set off on our way to the lake with half a tank of gas.
Every time we passed a home with families outside the children would come running over and say hi and wave until we passed. Everyone is so friendly here, it makes me wonder why people aren’t like that everywhere in the world. Based on these standards of living in Cambodia, the people still manage to have a smile on their face and the courtesy to say hi to us travelers. It really makes me appreciate everything I have even more.
We came to the entrance of the secret lake and had to pass over this bridge flooded with water. It led us directly up to a restaurant that was run by one family. We were greeted by the son who brought us menus and served us our food. The mother came out to take our order and her daughter was there saying hi and entertaining us by trying to catch food in her mouth as she threw peanuts up into the air (missing every time).
She was the happiest little girl I’ve seen in a while. Enjoying life’s simplicity and as we were entertained by her, she was also entertained by us unfamiliar travelers stopping by to enjoy her moms food.
Once we got onto this dirt path it continued straight for miles and miles. Eventually it looped back around, but it would have taken us hours to complete it. We were definitely in one of the most rural areas of Cambodia where houses were more separated and it was mostly farm lands and mountains in the distance.
At one point we decided to turn around to head back when we ended up stopping because Adam saw a puppy peep it’s head out from some bushes on the side of the road.
This little girl was so small and cute, but was terrified and shaking. We tried giving her some water and trying to get her to come out of the bushes, but it took a while for her to trust us. This family saw us stopped and were watching us the entire time trying to figure out what we were doing. One man ended up coming by and he saw that we were looking at the puppy and he sort of chuckled.
Dogs in Cambodia are all wild and are not treated the same way as they are in most countries (like pets). Instead they are left to roam around and if a human has a dog it is a relationship with no affection accept for feeding to the dog in exchange for protection of the humans land. So, when Adam was head over heels for this puppy the man and the rest of his family were more amused by our affection for it.
We almost took it back with us, but instead we weighed the benefits and decided to leave her where she was from. We arrived back at our hostel in time for a special $5 BBQ night and stayed in to watch the patriots game…
P.S. My videos haven’t been uploading as I’ve been here so make sure to check my YouTube channel for any updated videos!
~ M + H