Ride day 51: Banlung to Stung Treng
28 August 2016
We head down to our last breakfast at the beautiful hotel restaurant overlooking the lake, before taking the bikes up to a local bike wash to clean off the mud from the previous day’s foray up the death road.
With both bikes looking spangly clean, we get ready to ride back to the hotel. Unfortunately Traceys bike won’t start. We use the compressed air at the bike wash to dry out the spark plug assembly, but still no start. So we swap bikes and I push Traceys bike and attempt a few bump starts on the road back to the hotel (thankfully downhill). As the road steepens I manage to bump start her in 2nd gear, then give her a run around to warm her up before heading back to the hotel.
We then packed up our bags, and whilst loading bike, I tweaked both bikes carburettor’s, before heading to the legendary Cafe Alee for a delicious lunch, and a take away of two home made banana and chocolate muffins for the ride.
We eventually hit the road at 2.00 p.m. which was feeling decidedly warm despite still being in the high lands. Heading out of Banlung towards Stung Treng on the 78 highway, we pass the turn to Mondulkiri on highway 76, and then it’s on to new roads for the first time in the day.
The road itself is wide and mainly empty except for locals on scooters. About 30 km down the road I notice Tracey drop back but front light hasn’t gone on (our signal for needing to stop). I pull over and a few minutes later she rolls up. There had been a “glove incident“; a bungee cord on the luggage rack had come undone, and whilst reaching back to fix it, the hook had become caught in Traceys left hand glove, and ultimately ripped it off, leaving the glove lying in the road. An incident that thankfully ended up with funny consequences but could easily have gone bad.
With the sun permanently in our faces as we head west, we start to look for some shade to take a break. Patches of road out of the sun are few and far between, but we eventually find a small lay by to pull in to and enjoy our muffin and some water. Whilst we’re stopped we are passed by a man on a motorbike towing his friends motorbike behind on a very old looking rope.
After setting off again, it’s not long til we join the road from Kratie to Stung Treng (which we had ridden in the opposite direction a week earlier). As we ride in to town we decide to head to the same cafe as our previous visit for a well earned ice cold beer, before heading to our guest house.
The guest house turns out to be more akin to a motel, meaning we can park our bikes right outside our room… Ideal!
After showering up, we search for a local restaurant, to no avail. So decide to hop back on the bikes and revisit the same cafe again, before returning home in the dark to watch cable tv and chill out.
Full days route here: