When we first got to our hotel, I saw a brochure to bike to the Angkor Wat to see the sunrise. I thought, since buying my bike, that this would be a great idea! So I woke up super early for this. I grabbed Eric’s flashlight so I could see, since it was pitch black out.To be honest I was a little scared.
Whenever I passed a parked motorist they just happened to restart their engines and go in my direction. Though passing me later. And I passed a lot of them. I kept wondering, why on Earth would they be hanging out in the dark but start their engines when I pass? I hope it is not my camera in my bag that is in front of me…
Not to mention there are sinkholes on the roads. And. Being on a bike, and all, would be pretty problematic. I gripped my bike handles and Eric’s flashlight with my dear life!
I was stopped at the check in booth to show them my pass. I wonder if they thought I was insane for doing this. But I pressed on.
As I kept on biking in, I passed more moped drivers hanging out, and then starting their engines after I passed them. Coincidence? I sure hoped so!
When I made the first bend to get to the Wat, there was a pack of dogs who started to bark loud and chase after me as I pedaled even harder to get by! What the heck!! They gave up chase as I got to the entrance of the temple, but while it was still dark out, I saw shadows on the grass where the tuk tuk drivers would park during the day. Something is telling me I shouldn’t be here. Was it the pitch blackness? The motorists? The dogs?? Now this? A sign of some fortune, buses of tourists were coming in so at least I would have some company.
But, the anxiety and nervousness was running through my system.
I turned right back around. I did, sorta, enjoy the bike ride, but I do have three thousand dollars worth equipment with me, let alone I would like to enjoy this adventure unscathed.
I had to bike pass the pack of dogs yet again. Either my eyes were tricking me, but there looked like there were more dogs. Oh great! Sadly this bike had only one gear, but I pedaled hard to create a huge distance between myself and the chasing dogs!
As I biked, I passed more incoming buses of tourists, but I didn’t care. I wanted to get the heck out of there!
I made it back to my hotel by 5:55 am. It was like I was stealing a precious artifact! We all know that any of the known relics have been excavated from the temples a long time ago!
A little later, I felt a little bit better over my decision to leave, aside from the chasings. There was strong overcast, so any sunset would be filtered by murky clouds.
Back to sleep!
I woke back up at 8 am, as did they wake up.
I grabbed an egg and toast breakfast. This was the second time I had eggs in twenty years, after quitting this meditation group I was once a part of. Long story of why I quit, but I was a vegetarian for that reason. I still am a vegetarian, I won’t eat beef, chicken, or seafood, but I will be slightly more relaxed in my diet with eggs. I mean, think of all the pastries that I have missed out since not having been able to eat eggs?!
Eric, Ann, and Vincent joined me a little later for their breakfast. We decided to go to the temples all at once at 11. Initially Eric suggested that Kim take me around first, but, I said that would be additional driving for him. And since it was 10 already and then leaving at 11, that hour would be mostly pointless.
So we swam for a good hour and prepared to go.
The temple with a thousand faces and trees growing all over them, respectively. Thom was awesome, just as much intricate detail as Wat, but with faces carved into the stones! We went straight to the top of the temples!
This group of Chinese tourists really didn’t care about the temples that they were visiting. There were signs everywhere that were pretty visually clear to NOT step on the stone arches and guards, but yet the tourists would step on them for a picture. Stepping on those stones were leading them to break and be destroyed. I am pretty sure the government doesn’t really care of a tourist hurts him/herself, but cares more about the stones remaining intact.
Shortly a group of monks were walking around getting a photo shoot? What? Really?
When we left the temple we entered the elephant terrace. It was some high platforms which was used to help men get onto their mounted elephants.
Eric and I went off to some other temples, while Ann and Vincent waited with Kim.
Since it was getting close to the evening, and we wanted to see the sunset, Kim brought us to a restaurant near the entrance of Angkor so we would be able get back to this one particular temple to see the sun set over the Wat.
Eric’s rice wine was really strong, it was like drinking grappa, only that it did not come in a shot glass. It was in a wine glass. Strong stuff! I had a fruit shake, which was sadly generic tasting, but it hit the spot regardless.
Soon after we hit the hiking trails to get to the top of this temple to see the sunset.
Then thunder cracked!
“Hey, that’s our queue to leave!” I said
“Eric, Vincent, we are leaving!” Ann said to them.
You don’t want to be stuck on the temple when the rain hits, regardless of how big the storm was. You just don’t! Especially with steep steps and a long muddy hike back to transportation! And if there was lightning, even worse! Even though, people heard the thundersnap some people stayed a little longer hoping it was a passing storm, while the rest of us intelligent people quickly left.
When we got to the tuk tuk stop we had to search for Kim since there were lines of the drivers stationed there. After several meters of walking, he spotted us and waved us over. He has eagle eye vision! He always sees us before we see him! Since he knew the storm was a big one, he gunned it back to our hotel! We were pretty much racing against other Tuk Tuk drivers to get the heck out of there before the bulk of the storm came!
As soon as we got to our hotel room, the torrential rain storm hit. It was coming down! It would have been extremely dangerous if we stayed 5 minutes longer!
We still had the Apsasa dance to go to that night. We went to this mess hall, that served buffet.
When we got back to the hotel, the rain stopped and we went into the pool and back to our room to sleep.