We started the 5th day of our Cycle Challenge with mixed feelings – excited to complete the last leg of our ride, but also a bit sad that this part of our trip would be coming to an end. Because although it has been hard work (this final day was particularly challenging!), it has also been incredible. We would miss saying hello each day to the kids as we cycled through their villages, and we would miss exploring this remarkable country.
But we hadn’t finished yet, so here’s what we got up to on Day 5…
Our day started with a trip to a local family’s house where they produce pottery, completely by hand. There was no pottery wheel – the lady just walked round and round, shaping the clay by hand. She makes about 60 pots a day, and she demonstrated her technique, which was speedy and impressive. Made even more impressive when Hsu-Ann from IJM had a go, and proceeded to destroy the clay in multiple ways. Pot making is definitely harder than it looks!!
It was great to be able to get these insights into local Cambodian life, and to see many traditional techniques being preserved and handed down through the generations.
Our next stop was Oudong, the old Cambodian capital (between the 17th and 19th centuries). Here our guide, Lot told us that before starting our 50km cycle ride we’d do a quick hike, up the mountain. So 620 steps later we made it to the top, where we were met with remarkable views and an exquisite temple.
A quick water break and it was time to put on our cycle gear one last time and start on our final leg to Phnom Penh.
Our journey started well. Although our legs were a bit tired from 4 days of consecutive cycling and a quick mountain climb, we powered on through! Things got a fair bit harder just before lunch when the heavens opened and the rain started falling. Then we were trying to navigate deep puddles and mud. So much mud!
But nothing could dampen our spirits!
A moment of fear and courage came just before the photo above was taken. Lot has cautioned us at the start of the day’s ride that there may be a few cows on the road and to maintain a wide berth. This became a bit challenging when a herd of about 30 cows ran out in front of our team, taking over the entire road and splitting the group. Kieran led us safely through (despite being chased down by one particularly aggressive bovine!). Just before this point we’d been saying how tired our legs were feeling – well those cows re-energised them! May have been my fastest section of the entire ride!
We kept ploughing through the kms, until we were just 2kms away from our finish line. The team all congregated on the side of the road so that we could cross the finish line altogether.
And here we are, at the end of 5 days of challenging, amazing cycling! I couldn’t be prouder of Team WK – for their cycling, their determination, good humour and their commitment to the cause and their fundraising for IJM Australia. Thank you Team WK for coming on this journey!
And thank you to our superb team from Grasshopper Tours. We could not have asked for a better guide or support crew.
Our fundraising total is now sitting at $88,310.71! Incredible! And we’re not done yet!
If you would like to support our fundraising for IJM Australia, you can make a donation here – https://give.everydayhero.com/au/team-wk
Thanks for all your support!