It was an incredible adventure over 8 days seeing the wonders of Cambodia. On the first day, the Pedal for Prems 2016 team nervously set off on our bikes, joining the intimidating Siem Reap local traffic with our support team. It was a beautiful day cycling through the city and out to Ankor Thom to view some of the oldest man-made structures in the world. Our guide, Vuttha a local who had grown up in the countryside around Siem Reap and also lived for a short time in Angkor Wat took us off the main roads so we could
It was a beautiful day cycling through the city and out to Ankor Thom to view some of the oldest man-made structures in the world. Our guide, Vuttha a local who had grown up in the countryside around Siem Reap and also lived for a short time in Angkor Wat took us off the main roads so we could see local villages and learn more about the history and people of Cambodia.
Each day we woke with excitement and a little soreness ready to see new sites and beautiful scenery. Dan and Bronh, the other two members of our support team, ensured we could cross busy traffic safely, and provided plenty of water and local snacks each time we rested. The local kids were often running out to wave and yell hello as we rode past avoiding deep sand or large potholes and even buffalo.
After three days we moved on from Siem Reap to Battambang, the largest regional centre in Cambodia. Here we enjoyed an afternoon ride that provided many sensory experiences from local markets and roadside stalls. Discovering the local production of fish paste, rice paper, sugar cane syrup and tasting delicious watermelon in the heat of the afternoon.
Our adventure then concluded with a few days in Phnom Penh, a more industrial and busy centre. Here we learnt more about the violent events in Cambodia’s history and the massive loss of population the country has suffered from these. Despite this, the locals continue to welcome visitors to their country with warm smiles and a desire for you to love their country.
The history that we learnt at each new landmark and the simple living of the locals showed us the long journey of war and suppression subjected to Cambodia. It made us thankful for our lives, rich in comparison with not just material items but access to quality health care, education and protection. The continued optimism and humility of locals we met, both children and adult was humbling. Their resolve and determination similar to that we see by the tiny fighters, babies born premature or sick in Australia.
It was with mixed emotions we gave back our bikes and said farewell to our wonderful support crew having experienced an adventure not many have undertaken. Although we returned home a little saddle sore, we were proud of the distances we covered on our bikes, and the ability to say we had succeeded. Pedal for Prems 2016 really was an adventure of a lifetime, shared with some amazing people.
As we near the end of March we ask one last time that you show the team and Life’s Little Treasures Foundation your support by donating through one of the fundraising links below;
To see more of the fantastic photos the team took along the way,
please visit the Life’s Little Treasures Facebook page.