Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ratanakiri roads - don't ask!

My trip to Ratanakiri was at the end of the wet season, so I expected a bit of rain, and I wasn't disappointed. For the first few days I used motodups to get to various locations, tough-going but doable but for the longer trip to Andong Meas and the 7-step waterfall, we splurged and hired a Pajero 4WD. That was our first bad decision, the second was the driver's, for trying to go through rather than around this puddle! The road itself, the main highway from Ban Lung to the Vietnam border, was the worst road I have ever travelled on in all of my time in Cambodia. It was even worse than the old road up into Preah Vihear province, and that was bad. The rain made it almost impassable in places and along the route, trucks, 4WDs and cars were regularly falling victim to the conditions. The photo above was taken just over an hour into our trip, it took ten helpers to get up dislodged and if you think I was going to get dirty and help push, think again. We never made it to Andong Meas as we got stuck again and on our return trip, along the same stretch of highway, we broke down for four hours! All in all, not the best day I've had but it all adds to the 'Cambodia experience.' More from my Ratanakiri trip soon.

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