Last day in Battambang

Aside from spending time with the kids, today has been my favorite day of the trip. After breakfast we rented 3 motos for the day. To be honest, even though I'm used to riding a scooter, I was a bit nervous to ride in the kind of traffic they have here. While its not as crazy as the big city of phnom penh, (i would never drive a moto there) there are still no rules, no signs at intersections and no apparent rhyme or reason.

We headed out to the Youth conference and it went pretty well. Although I did almost drop it on the street right on front of the guy who was renting it to us. There is a lot of gravel on the road. After visiting with our kids and playing with some of the younger kids who live on the BB campus, we headed out for a smoothy at the bamboo Railroad cafe. I love that fresh fruit smoothies are only $1 and they area the best I've had anywhere. Imagine our surprise to find two photos of the mccollum family hanging on the wall. Small world.

We decided to go out hunting for the Bamboo Train station that we had heard so much about. It was definitely off the beaten path and we found ourselves exploring rural communities in search. We stopped every once in a while to ask for directions but the people outside of the city spoke very little english. We just kept going until we started hitting intersections where men who worked in roadside shops just pointed the way without us even asking when we approached intersections. Apparently, 5 white people on motos could only be tourists looking for one thing. Thanks to their help, we eventually found it.

The bamboo train station was an old barn with a small concession stand width several men loading and unloading "rail cars". The railroad tracks in this area get very little use so the people have devised a way to use the track to move their goods and belongings. They lay down to railway car axels and set a bamboo platform on top of it. The rear axel has a belt drive the they ten connect to a small gasoline generator engine which moves the bamboo car forward on the tracks. W all jumped on and the driver sped off. The platform sits so close the the ground that you feel like you are really moving fast (30kph). It is a 28 km round trip to a second rail station and back. They give you 15 minutes to make a pit stop and send you right back. At the second station the was also a brick making plant. It would take me way too long to explain all that we saw the but we took a walking tour of the kilns, and it was very cool to see. Becky and the kids would love it.

After our ride, we headed back to Battambang and it really started raining. We got pretty soaked. At the hotel we all hit the steam room and sauna for a bout an hour and a half then got dressed for dinner. We hoped on the motos, headed into town and had an excellent meal at a Khmer restaurant. It was a beautiful, cool breezy night and we had a great time together.

Tomorrow morning we hop an early bus ride to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. I've been looking reward to this for a long time.