After months of training and fundraising, today Team W+K started our 5-day Cycle Challenge across Cambodia. We started early (4.45am!) so we could make our way to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. It was incredible. An inspiring start to the day!
As the crowds of tourists returned to their hotels for breakfast, we took the opportunity to explore Angkor Wat in relative peace. Then it was time to carb load, and get ourselves lycra-clad, ready for the start of the day’s cycling.
We traversed 40kms today, through countryside and forest, all around the Angkor temple complex. It was far more challenging that I was expecting! The dirt tracks were narrow and full of obstacles – low lying branches, rocks, and deep sand all determined to make us lose our balance. The heat and humidity added to the challenge with us needing to be really mindful of not overheating or dehydrating. Thankfully we have an amazing support crew from Grasshopper Tours – a tour leader, 2 bike mechanics (which came in very handy when my chain came off and then subsequently got a flat tire!), and 3 further support staff. These guys are going to make sure we all complete this challenge!!
During today’s cycling we were able to stop off at 2 other temples in the Angkor complex – Bayon (the temple of faces) and Ta Prohm (of Tomb-raider fame!). Both magnificent and a real contrast from each other and from Angkor Wat.
We finished the day cycling back into Siem Reap, and navigating the insane traffic of tuk-tuks, motorbikes, cars and buses coming at you from all angles! Our Grasshopper guides were great – stopping traffic and making sure we were all able to finish the day in one piece!
Reflections on day one? Tough day, but amazing. I’m glad its a challenge for all of us as it means you’ll know that we are working hard for all your generous donations!!
I finish the day with some trepidation of what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow we double our distance so I suspect there’ll be some sore bodies and exhausted team members tomorrow night (and if I’m honest, my body is already feeling pretty sore!!). It will be worth it though, because by doing this we are raising awareness about IJM Australia and the issue of modern day slavery. And so far we have raised $87,122.33 to support IJM’s work.
To learn more about our Cycle Challenge, and to donate to IJM Australia, please visit our fundraising page – https://give.everydayhero.com/au/team-wk