Continuing on from part 2. This trip was totally exhausting but also a lot of fun, thanks to the great team of people (well OK, bouncing around in that truck for 7 hours wasn’t fun… in either direction). Despite having to drag huge amounts of food and equipment around, including a car battery and solar panel to charge my camera batteries, we all enjoyed the trip.
Lars and Ida from the University of Copenhagen are hard core botanists and Lars’s tree climbing certainly kept the locals entertained. He also gave the local tree ants something to attack and that’s something these little buggers are all to ready to do. Believe me you do not want to walk into a tree ants nest, the outcome is always painful. On the way back in the truck we hit one nest that was dangling over the trail, they went everywhere and caused chaos for a couple of minutes.
My assistant Mao did amazingly well, he’s built like a tank and is as strong as an ox, but even he said he would not be keen to do such a trip again. Even though we were walking between 5 and 18kms every day, I think it was the walk back to Spong that did it. On the way in we had an ox cart to carry the equipment and food, but on the way back we had to carry everything the 12kms back to the resin camp where the ox cart met us. I used to be quite fit but as I spend so much time behind a computer these days it took me several days to recover properly. To the left is Soren taking a bath in our high class facilities.
Unfortunately the expedition proved a little costly in the end as my camera packed up when I returned to Phnom Penh and ended up costing me around $1,000 to repair. Unfortunately Cambodia doesn’t have any repair services so even the smallest problem entails a trip to Bangkok.