|Distance: 111.2 km
The best way to describe this day would be to say that most of it was wasted deliberating whether or not to continue. After a quick breakfast in front of our guesthouse, we headed out towards the road to Choam Ksant. The traffic was heavy for a town this size, as most folks were on their way to work and kids on their way to school. We had no idea how far we had to go, or if there would be any food and water to be had on the way. We stopped several times asking locals those important questions, and got a different answer each time. The dusty, dirt road was unfolding in front of us. We stopped a couple of times to weigh out our options. We knew that we could turn around and head back towards Anlong Veng, take a day to relax, and ride back to Siem Reap the following morning - or, we could continue on towards Choam Ksant which was anywhere from 100 to over 200km away, depending on who we asked. In the end we decided to continue towards Choam Ksant. After stopping for some tasty coffee in a little village, and chatting with the locals with our map in hand, we felt better about our odds of making it.
Still it turned out to be a long day. We enjoyed being chased by a group of school kids riding their bicycles as we were passing through their village. We also passed countless mine fields, and at least one active mine clearing station. We answered each call of nature by not venturing off the road too much - luckily there was little traffic. It was dark by the time we rolled into the town of Choam Ksant. The wind was howling, and there was just the odd light here and there. We grabbed the first place that remotely resembled a guesthouse. For US$2 we got a bed for the night and a bug net. We slept in our dirty clothes, as our only option for a shower involved washing ourselves with water sealed with a layer of film on top. Food possibilities were scarce, and we ended up having some sweet fruit shakes for dinner. It was going to be a cold night, but at least we had a bed beneath us.