not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ancient Temple Tour (Watch the video)

Watch the video

And now, time for another installment of E & L's Excellent Adventure series.

After four months on the waiting list, we are now connected to ADSL. Wow, what a difference it makes. Now we are able to frolic freely around our small apartment with our wireless laptops to download and upload global information faster with the touch of a few buttons. It seems a technological paradox to have such convenience at our fingertips, in a country that is considered part of the developing (read under-developed) world.
Granted, it did take four months to get the connection. Therein lies another layer of the paradox. This country makes it seem as though WE are under-developed in the subject of PATIENCE. Things take forever and people continue to smile and take it in stride (with the exception of some of the maniacs on the road).

So, four months later and continuing our lessons in patience, we are able to communicate with you fine people at a faster rate than ever before. much for the lesson in patience. In one ear and out the other.
Back to the matter at hand, traveling in Cambodia, a hot and humid place (as shown by Erik's eco-water-cooling system known by the more civilized as perspiration). I thought Sri Lanka was hot, but add tons of rock to a blazing sun with no shade and 80-90% humidity and it equates to a solar oven amongst beautiful mind-boggling scenery. It's hard to imagine people were capable of building massive architectural wonders a thousand years ago.

Our first day in Cambodia we met up with one of Erik's colleagues from Greece, Brian (aka Batman), who informed me that Erik's nickname is Shipwreck, or Wreck for short, due to the fact that when Erik arrived at the hostel in Greece he looked like well... you get the idea. Brian had an itinerary of places he wanted to see so Wreck and I tagged along.

We took a tuk-tuk tour around the map shown above. Originally, I thought Angkor Wat was a massive temple where tourists ventured out to explore. I learned that Angkor Wat is a massive temple where tourists do venture out to explore, but there are a series of temples built at varying times by various royalties for a variety of royal occasions. Angkor Wat, the most popular temple in Siem Reap, is the most crowded of all the temples. Early in the morning there were hundreds of people at the temple but as the day goes on and the temperature rises and you venture to the other temples the crowd decreases. I have a lot of pictures of different temples and picking out a few to fit in a couple minute video is hard. I tried to label the temples in the video, I doubt they are all right. I even left out some of the smaller temples. The last temple, Beng Mealea, was the most fun because it had the most rubble and since we were the only ones there we had free reign of the whole place to ourselves.

Cambodia, as with many countries, has a depressing past that still hangs prevalently at every dark corner of the many dusty roads, but it's not hard to see the potential of the locals in the slightest smile. The country had its own things to share with the three amigos. I have no doubt that many lessons went in one ear and out the other. Some linger with me as I reminisce, so not all is lost. Some lessons are harder to remember than others. I guess sometimes lessons are about the journey, the travel companions, and the storys that we share that help us remember the lessons we forget. remembering the lessons we tend to forget. I hope you enjoy the video, a glimpse of what I learned, forgot, and remembered.

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