Post # 37 Temples of Angkor

Day 43 1037 days to go. Distance: today 92km total 2314 . It’s 6.40am Thursday 12/1/2012. I’m back in the company of king jayavarman V11 the ego responsible for Angkor Thom in particular the central 3 level temple you may remember known as the Bayon. Im sponging the atmosphere of this place from head torch to sunnies or time wise 5am to 8am when I’ll head back to the guesthouse for another Skype date with my partner yay. There’s quite a cloud cover so the original plan of seeing the sun rise amongst the 216 faces which adorn the lotus domed towers on the 3rd level somewhat changed. It was totally dark when I arrived eerie walk in no one around jut the light of the head torch very cool stuff. I found a possie amongst the huge heads glaring down at this early hour intruder. Instead of the morning light i wittnessed the return of the miniture bat colony which live divided amongst the 54 towers. Imagine the layered sounds of swooping gusts as thousands of bats return to nest in the rocky crevices. This chaos lasted about 5 minutes with the next 5 minutes of piercing squeaks whilst they settled in their beloved dome. Sitting now you wouldn’t know they were there. The morning light came with a cool breeze lasting minutes then still. At any one moment you can count over the dozen faces as you walk around the 3rd level of the Bayon. It such a unique sense and such a bold contrast to the delicate intricacies of Banteay Srei yesterday arv. I’m liking that and liking the uniqueness of the temples which on face value appear as just another domed temple. Even the carved impressions tell their own story unique to the purpose of the commissioned king. Yesterday at Angkor watt I followed the carved reliefs around the walls of the ground level corridors and they each told an epic story of war or creation or lifes journey albeit to heaven or hell. The stone reliefs have been polished in sections by a history of hands rubbing the stone for holy good measure. These polished parts appear like black marble adding to the depth and perspective of the carving. My favourite is called the ‘ churning of the ocean of milk’ it depicts a tug of war with a rope serpant, 88 devils or asuuras pulling from the head and 92 good gods or devas from the tail. The duel churns the ocean to extract the Alicia of immortality for the winners. At the centre of the struggle are overseeing gods: shiva of course, brahma her mate, the multi handed vishnu reincarnated as a turtle for the others to stand upon, and the monkey god hanuman to name a select few. Overhead are nymphs or goddesses called apsaras dancing encouragement for the heavenly team who win of course. Reason being the devils are hot blooded and too destracted by the lure of the nymphs. Love it. You also see carved reliefs of Aspsaras gracing the doors and entrances and holding vines to cleanse the visitor on their journey to the temple heaven on earth. They are curvaceous and topless. It cracks me up their luring curves are well polished with a history of being holy groped lol đŸ˜‰ Well the cloud covers pretty heavy so there’s not much light impact this morning in the awesome space. However I stumbled across an unplanned stuff outside that usually experienced by visitors so I leave very content and smiling. I got a date to get to talk soon x
It’s 5.00pm and I’m sitting at Pre Nup temple I really enjoyed this space yesterday and ran up the stairs as a crazy stair lady must do when presented the impressive set that grace this watt. Cambodian stairways to heaven as opposed to their roads to hell. Found a few of them this afternoon and I’m very bumped out for the day with a sore but. I’ve has an awesome day but and heaps of fun. I had a great Skype with my partner for about 3 he’s awesome. Then I headed out for a long ride this arv. I went to the western Baray which is a huge water expanse created by the ancient Khmer now used for weekend escapes by the locals. It was a bit of a non event but good for a ride. The local village folk are so resourceful and in het to see small examples of this when i cycle which i really enjoy. This young lad today was fishing with a bamboo pole and top eyelet where the line was thread through. Instead of a reel he had the line rolled round a water bottle. He somehow manage this hand line as part of the rod set up and could cast beautifully. After this i cycled the way through the main temple group for one last look and out to where I saw the clay pits and culdrens used for making the palm sugar paste. I stopped at the home where the woman had a pot of palm date juice on the early boil and she explained by actions how she boils it and once it gets to a certain point you stir it like crazy and it reduces to a yellowish paste. Pounded dates are squeezed through a cloth to gather the juice. Water is added and that’s what get boiled up. She was great and liked sharing her trade but not getting her photo taken. When the paste is boiled longer dollops are dropped in palm leaves and cooled to a fudge which of course I had to buy some to support the local industry. So the sunsets not spectacular but the setting perfect for palm sugar fudge and a coffee. I won’t forget the last few days and it’s been really special for me to share choice times with you. Tomorrow morning we head 5.30am for the 6.30am bus back to phenom phen. Thank you Siem Reap. Talk soon x

 

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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