Monday, December 18, 2006

Blazing Animals

Wednesday, November 29,2006

We continue our hike across the
Cambodian Countryside. The bush is so thick that at times we are
walking through neck deep grass. Uneven rocks and boulders make for
precarious walking and many drops and falls. Carrying the boulder pad
makes it difficult to navigate, yet saves my ass a few times when I

I am pouring sweat. The sun is blazing. I have this
feeling of seeing some jungle animal bursting into flames. I claw at my
legs in hope for somereprieve from the itching. We come to a mountain
top and overview our situation. Making it to the temple is not an
option. We decide to navigate through a valley and out to some houses
we see a couple miles away. This is our best option. John announces
that he is out of water. We are all running low. We still have a long
way to go.

I charge forward and we divide to find a reasonable
path into the valley. I am swatted by a pricker bush and suddenly there
is blood running down my face. The blood tastes particularly sweet. I
find a path and it works - we are making progress.

In the midst of the bush whack,
Josh's phone rings. I find it odd that he is receiving a phone call.
Time to sell some stock, Josh? It is T - our local contact who provided
the map and information. He invites us to dinner at his local village
house. Josh and I discuss and we want to relax tonight and avoid anycommitments, considering our circumstances. Josh, being Grengjai
(MORE ON THIS LATER), tells T thank you for the offer, (he does not say
no) and that we will talk soon and that we have no idea when we will be
out of the jungle...

We descend slowly through the jungle and eventually make it to a pathway that funnels us out of the mountains and toward open fields.

Duck farms, rice patties, and lots of cows along the way. And there it is - the road!

Just as we approach we see a group of children playing. Their
game is to run and jump over a string, which is held by two children.
The jumps are impressive actually and we give cheers and support as
they continue to raise the string, and watch each other jump. Ryan and
John put down a crash pad for them to land on, thinking theywould like that. But the children continue to run and jump - avoiding the crash pad landing. "That's like cheating." We surmise. Josh snaps many photos of the children jumping. I am rolling film.

the jumps they go over to a well and plunge in. It looks incredibly
refreshing, but it seems like it is not our place to jump in.

make it to the dirt road and there is a tiny snack shack a short walk
down. 7 up - with ice! Beautiful. we proceed to chug a bottle of 7 up,
and lots water. The ice is like a dream come true.

We stand and begin to walk down the road toward where we need to meet our moto
drivers. Just then a pick up truck stops and Josh exchanges with him
briefly. Next thing you know we are all in the back and tearing off
down the road. John comes very close to falling out about 10 seconds
into the ride.

We arrive at our meeting spot at 5:00 and our moto drivers are there.

We head home and soon I am taking one of the most desired cold showers of my entire life.

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