Sunday, December 17, 2006


We step out of the guest house and to meet our moto drivers once again. We are greeted with smiles and the common hello - 'Sua Sudie.'

A horse and carriage passes by with big piles of fruit.
A moto drives by stacked with live chickens hung from the sides.
School children are dressed in blue and back uniforms and ride in a pack on bikes toward their local school.
Miscellaneous characters walk by on the way to the market.
In front of our guest house is a display for cell phones - yesterday it was diamonds.

It is 7:00 AM.

Our objective today is to locate the spot we found yesterday, start climbing the boulders, and navigate from our drop off point to the temple. Along the way we want to see if we can gain a perspective on our main objective. We are excited about the
unknown that today will bring.

I am amazed at the houses and lifestyle once again. A culture of sharing - community - and survival seems to be overwhelming. I giggle uncontrollably as we pass the scenic rice fields and again enter into palm tree filled villages. We swerve to avoid a large pig lumbering on the side of the road. Soon enough we are off the main road and motoring down a four foot wide pathway, dodging trees, bushes and cows along the way.

Then one, two, and a whole litter of boulders come into view. We are back at our spot.

We hop off the motos, confirm that we will meet our drivers at 5:00 at the base of the temple - and we head off into the jungle.

Soon enough we approach a very small jungle hut. An elderly man - the grand father comes out waving and smiling to us in welcoming gestures. He is eager to show us the beginning of his new structure. It is likened to a soccer goal, strapped with twine. This will be part of one of the houses. The feeling of this remote village in Cambodia is very hard to describe.

We continue on toward our first bouldering objective. We cut through the jungle and finally arrive on a big granite slab with 20-30 foot boulders - with perfect lines. We are all ecstatic and begin to "send" several of the routes. Everyone is amped, and John is climbing particularly strong. I fall a few times on a route - having the boulder pads are great. Josh reminds me of a few climbing techniques and body positioning strategies. I shift my approach - and eventually put the sequence together to complete the "boulder problem." I am reminded of how every climb is a lesson. A mental and physical challenge.

We stay at these boulders for several hours. We overlook the Cambodian countryside - and are climbing routes on these boulders that have never been climbed before.

No comments: