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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Angkor Wat

Angkor What? Angkor Wat. For those of you unfamiliar with the incredible temples in Cambodia, just think "Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider" and you'll get an idea. :)

We spent the last two days visiting the immense area of incredible temples in northern Cambodia. They are an interesting combination of being restored and preserved while the jungle silently continues to reclaim them. I wish I had my camera here to post a few pictures of these massive temples with huge trees grasping at the walls and slowly crumbling some of the structures as they grow around them. There are so many temples, and they are spread over quite a large area. The first day we got up at 5am and headed out with a tuk-tuk driver to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, probably the most famous of the temples. Then we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon driving between some of the more famous temples and then getting out and climbing in and around them.

The following day, Rahima coaxed me back onto a bicycle. Thank God, Cambodia is NO Easter Island. Cambodia is FLAT. :) Happy biking for Annette. We did about 35km, but seeing as how it was literally all flat, it made for a great biking day (for me). We got off of the beaten track much more than the previous day and got caught in a few torrential rainstorms. It was really, really fun. I played tic-tac-toe with a few Cambodian kids peddling things outside of some of the temples, and of course, I lost. Tic-tac-toe has never been my strong point.

I am slowly getting used to seeing the fried or roasted insects and larva in huge piles being sold as snacks on the sides of the street. I only wish I could have caught my cockroach and sold it. That sucker could have been a proper meal for someone!

Today we took a bus to Battambang, a little town and supposedly there is some great countryside around this area that we will explore in the next few days. It is a little eerie to keep reading in the tourbooks not to "stray off the beaten path" in certain places due to the high density of land mines still in the area, and to see so many land mine victims as well. Incredible, once again, the things we take for granted back at home. Like walking a few feet off of a major road.

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