Selfie 161130


We’re in Siem Reap after the long ride yesterday across the fertile and hot flat lands to the city. 150km by the time we’d found the tucked-away hotel. The museum, temples and Pub Street ‘here we come’ over the next few days. 

Books


I’ve just finished ‘The Sorrow of War’ by Bao Ninh. It’s a beautiful written novel from the perspective of a Viet Cong soldier of the American War in Vietnam. However, it is a book I hesitate to recommend. 

The images of violence, war and psychological destruction kept me, as a reader, disturbed and often awake at night. I’ve not had this happen since reading ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy. 

The non chronological narrative layers more and more meanings onto already disturbing events in the soldier’s past. It captures what war does to the minds of people who survive it’s violence. The book is both difficult and essential and all generals and politicians should be made to read it. 

Vietnam first leg stats


The final numbers from Hanoi to the Cambodian border:

  • Distance ridden – 2,769km
  • Days riding – 26
  • Average daily distance – 106km
  • Longest day – as before, 148km Ha Tinh to Phong Nha
  • Punctures – 01 at Dong Xoai
  • Mechanicals – many, please see earlier post
  • Other touring cyclists – 09, of which 03 were Dutch and 02 were Chineese and had over landed from Beijing