4 hours on a moto in the mud and rain
Phumi Samraong (3) Travel Blog› entry 31 of 54 › view all entries
We got to the Buriram bus station in Thailand at 4am on July 17th, having left Chiang Mai at around 2:30pm. We waited at the Buriram bus station for 3 hours until 7am when we took another bus to Prakon Chai, Thailand. I slept some and Steve watched our stuff. Our bus to Prakon Chai only took about an hour and we arrived there around 8am. Now we had to wait another 2 hours until the meeting time of 10am when someone from the service project was suppose to meet us at Prakon Chai to take us the rest of the way to Cambodia. At around 9:30am, someone tapped us on the shoulder and asked where we were going. Yes, it was the staff worker from Greenway, which is the non-profit organizing the trip. He spoke some english but it was difficult to understand him because of the pronunciation.
The border crossing was called O'smach, and we could get visas to cross into Cambodia. After getting our visas which cost US$25, we met our motobike drivers who would take us to Chup Crocky, the village where our service project was. We stopped to have lunch first across the border, and ate at a little shop with the greenway worker and the 2 drivers. We had left our bags at one of the bus stations in Thailand, because they were too heavy to go on the motorbikes. The greenway worker, whose name is Antoine, would bring them later by bus. So we went with the motorbike drivers towards Chup Crocky and Antoine left to go retrieve our bags back in Thailand.
The rides on the motos was quite an adventure! Steve rode on the back of one moto, and I rode on the back of another. Because of the limited english, we had no idea how long this trip on the moto would take. We started off, it took awhile to get use to being on the bike, no helmets and nothing to hold on to. The road was not really a road. It started off ok, but quickly turned into a series of dirt roads with some muddy spots and holes and hills. Little did we know that this would be the easiest part of the trip... We made a couple stops to rest and stretch our legs. Around 3 hours later on the moto riding on dirt paths, conditions got much worse. First it started to rain, but we continued on getting soaked on the bikes, while the dirt paths turned into big mud piles. Next, to reach the small mountain village of Chup Crocky, we had to go uphill. This time I could hardly call it a dirt path, more like a bunch of rocks and mud next to a forest. I kept thinking..."Why do all these people live in the middle of nowhere???!!" For miles and miles there was nothing but trees and weeds around us as we struggled uphill in the rain on piles of mud and rocks. Occasionally the bikes would lose traction because of the mud and rain, and we would slip to the side. Luckily we are not going very fast because of the bad conditions. We just fall a little and get all muddy and continue on. I told Steve if he ever wanted to go dirt biking, this was it.
Around 4 hours total on the moto, the last hour in rain and mud, we finally arrived to the tiny tiny village of Chup Crocky. Its more like a small group of huts spaced out on a mountain. We showed up muddy and soaking wet, I was a little in shock from the whole experience and wanted to take a shower very much. But of course there are no showers in Chup Crocky, no showers, no toilets, no running water, no electricity. We were in for an adventure, but glad to be there.
We waited around for awhile, met a french guy who was also there for the service project, this was his 3rd week there. After awhile Antoine showed up with our bags and we had some dinner of rice, eggs, and fish. Then we walked about 10 minutes with Antoine through the tall grass and plants to get to a watering pump where we thought we could "shower" but instead just rinsed off a bit. I was tired from the day, and in shock from our new living conditions. But I had to remember the reason I wanted to be here, to experience the way of life of the people here, to help out in whatever way I can, and to learn more about the world.
Around 7:30pm, it was totally dark out and since there is no electricity, there was nothing to do but go to sleep after a long day.