We spent our last day in Siem Reap cycling around the remaining temples that we hadn't seen. At the last one, the furthest of the whole area, I (s) had a puncture on my hire bike... Again getting late and closer to sunset (no lighting in the park and of course no lights on our bicycles) we cycled as fast as we could. Finally we found a guy with a pump who helped us out and we nearly reached the guesthouse before having to walk (we're used to walking).
Early start next day as we were supposed to be picked up at 6.30 am, one hour later we got on a bus, a few minutes later changed onto another one, got driven to the main bus station, changed bus again and finally two hours and three buses later we left Siem Reap.
Having stopped at nearly every bush on the way, we had a lunch stop somewhere rural. John got off to have a look at the local snacks (the usual crispy insects and fried stillborn chicken). While I (s) tried to get some more sleep, a cockerel 'raised its voice' right behind me. The family on the seats behind us had brought their 'pet'... We had thought the bad smell was coming from its owner... Tiger balm had to come out, with which we then smothered ourselves.
Around noon we arrived in Battambang, Cambodia's fourth largest city. It's more like a town in fact. A tuk tuk driver from our guesthouse picked us up, which rescued us from the fangs of the customer hungry crowd that surrounded us.
Arriving at hostel Chhaya, we were shown to our room, through a labyrinth of white tiled walls, having the atmosphere of an asylum. But our 'cell' is nice, clean and airy( we can hear the guys clearing their throats five rooms away) and we have a large window with views over Battambang and the sky.
There are some old colonial buildings here, pretty run down, but in a romantic way. It seems the old colonialists are trying to get parts of their territory back, as there are loads of french around. But it's not a real touristy place, though expats are here, enjoying the good cheap food and easy living.
We will leave tomorrow to head further south, stopping wherever we find interesting.
We are really enjoying our time here, experiencing at a local and very basic level the daily life here and realizing more and more how lucky we are.