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September 14th 2009 - Battambang


As usual, we wake up with the sun to enjoy the relative coolness of the morning and the little traffic. The road takes us away somewhat from the Thai border, since we planned to cross the Cambodian-Thai border at Pailin, further South. The influence of the neighboring country is being felt and many locals speak a few words of Thai.

On the roadside, a market already bustling at 6:20 in the morning.

The first week, we had not seen the sun, but since two days it is the opposite. It's like in the dry season; no rain, rising temperatures and a sky almost always blue.

The road is lined with more varied and plentiful vegetation than yesterday. More fun: there are some twists and more people cycling. No doubt, we are now far from the Siem Reap province, which has become the most prosperous country thanks to the temples of the Khmer Empire that attract more and more tourists every year. The smiles and "hello" of the children are again more numerous, which delights us.

We take a short 10 minute break to eat a mango and share some smiles with a "large" family holding a tiny store, so typical in Asia, since selling only tiny portions of common household products . Here in Europe we call them "samples". In Cambodia, these items are finished products on the shelf.
Once again, the children charm us by their joy, liveliness and simplicity.

A few hours later, we arrive at Battambang, 2nd largest city in Cambodia. This will be our destination for this September 14th. Laurent has been suffering lately of a toothache. It is the opportunity to go test a dentist in the area. A wisdom tooth that has trouble getting out completely, and a slight infection of the gums are the reasons for this pain. We push the door of a cabinet and are greeted by a very nice doctor who speaks English. A good half-hour later, we're back on the street, feeling for Laurent weighing a few grams less ... those of the pulled tooth left in the bottom of a trash can. The price of the "operation", including extraction, local anesthesia, antibiotics for infection and dental dressings is $ 30. We are not discussing the price given the quality of service, friendliness of the doctor and the speed of response.

Tomorrow, we will cycle towards Pailin, the last stop on Cambodian land, before crossing the Thai border, then crossing the mountains and eventually going down to the seaside.

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