Digital cameras and holidays. There is a valid train of thought about people going on holidays with their little digital cameras and spending more time taking photos then soaking in the experience. There is plenty i agree with in that regards, and one only needs to sit in any crumbling temple watching people get frustrated with each other as they jostle to take, largely, terrible photos of wonderful things, before bustling back on to a tour bus. The logic of this argument gets stronger when you consider the photo their tiny point and shoot camera attempted to take of a distant temple, at sunset, with their tiny flash on is all but throw-away. So why did we take 3 cameras with us?
One of the less interesting things about returning recently has been the task of chasing down exactly why our trip updates haven’t been publishing correctly. Given the whole point of this site, the combination of interesting open source media and publishing tools and the simplicity of the process, you can gather we are a little perplexed. Not the least of which is that it really is quite a push to force oneself to boot up the laptop and collet ones thoughts after a day of such immersive activity. For now, it seems that our webserver host, Site5, has migrated the server this and other sites sits on. A few obvious scenarios spring to mind regarding missing posts, other sites not working at all and this front end working now, but we will focus on fixing it first. Apologies to all our friends and colleagues who have wondered what’s been going on!
This is just a quick stop-gap update to say that we have landed and have made it through our first day of riding! I have a longer post from the flight and first day to finish, but the booooming niteclub next door to the hotel we are currently in has finally turned off the music and made viable the previously ludicrous concept of, well, sleeping. After 75k’s of riding today, i’m ready for some decent sleep. The good news is this hotel has wifi so i have adjusted some of the Lightroom workflow for the photos, and will begin uploading photos in the morning. There’s a few tweaks left to do to automate as much of this as possible, which will make it easier to make posts and upload photos. I’ll have a lot of time to write at the border tomorrow no doubt. We depart early to breakfast on Pho, before attacking the first of 30k’s ride to the Cambodian border, and another 70k’s after that.
In a flurry of To Do lists and far too much time in Outlook, we have both wrapped up our last day in our respective workplaces before we go! While Jen’s workmates celebrate her last day in the office for the year with a few drinks after work, I find myself putting the final touches on enough content to cover my workload in my absence. With that, we are done! The only thing left to focus on now is the trip and the inevitable last minute rushing around. As I type this some family members of mine are finally flying back to Australia after being stuck in Thailand due to ongoing protests. Quite how protesters can shut down an international airport in a country so reliant on tourism as a cascade of questions for another time, but has proved another area to occupy our attention over the last few days. Thankfully some quick thinking and patience has yielded a ping-pong of alternate flights, so all appears (at this stage) to be well. As for us, it’s only two days until we fly out and even though we have no plans to visit Thailand, we keep abreast of any news that might carry-over into our own travel plans given the border between Thailand and Cambodia.
As a contrast to last week it is actually sunny outside with, I kid you not, butterflies flying past the window. Jen gives me a look knowing that I’m going to turn that into an attempt at referencing our excitement and nerves as butterflies in our stomach, but resigns herself to the fact that such is my want. Instead, as I arguably waste time to the sound of a clattering keyboard, she continues to draft up a checklist of things we will need to do, pack and consider with only 7 days left until we join the Oxfam Cambodia Challenge for 2008.
If you follow our Twitter feeds you would have read that Jen went on a training ride on Saturday without me, as I was off at a music festival. On the topic of Twitter feeds, you really should head to our profile and Follow us! Whilst I typically don’t like to get involved with event reviews, the editor convinced me otherwise and I ignored the little voice shouting “if you catch a cold from this you’re going to be miserable in Vietnam” and braved the masses. Fortunately most of my other work is ahead of schedule as the final week before we go looms, so it felt like a nice sunny day to be squished amongst a lot of people and attempting to make some sense out of the day. Arriving home rather late (shall we say) I sat down to the same Acer Aspire One micro-laptop that we will be taking on the trip, and punched out my part of the review on the only-slightly-small keys as yet another nice practice run for writing site updates and articles whilst overseas. In the last week we have added a few other outlets to the list of things that I’ll be writing for, which means as many abused adjectives and as much unabashed hyperbole for the sake of Oxfam Australia as I typically manage for the sake of music production.
With the rain still pouring outside, we flip the diary over and find ourselves in a traffic jam of excitement and frustration. Over the last week we have been excited to work alongside two more great sponsors at Crumpler and In2Cycles, with our frustration aimed solely at the weather. Anyone living in South East Queensland would be aware of the rather intense storms that have rolled out over the region and caused such damage in Brisbane suburbs like The Gap. Whilst the area that Jen lives in and the area that I live were largely untouched, it does put a downer on both our training and our moods as the reports of the damage continue. Thankfully the State and Federal governments have committed to providing financial assistance to those worst affected, though the usual reports of slow response times emerge whether factual or not. Whatever the case, it’s nice to see support getting out to those that need it, rather than just camera crews.
In a previous post I mentioned that I promised Jen I wouldn’t use that terrible play on words in a post, and here it runs as the post title itself. It’s a terrible instance of terrible word play to reflect the terrible weather. There is a storm warning on the Bureau Of Meteorology website and the rain continues to simply fall from the sky. There’s no point describing it as bucketing as there is no bucket large enough to hold this much rain and no time for it to sit around waiting for buckets. It’s simply falling straight on our heads. Or would, if we were riding right now. Instead, we’re in a gym typical of an apartment block. It looks something between a set from Fallout 3 and a retirement home for gym equipment rescued from the Taliban. A map of Cambodia is temporarily covering up a cheery sign instructing us at length in all the things we cannot do in the gym, with a the end of a pleasant “prohibited” poking out somewhere below Sihanoukville.
To make the remaining three weeks sound like a longer amount of time to fundraise, we can think of it in terms of 504 hours or 30240 minutes. To make it sound like a shorter amount of time until we hit the bikes in Ho Chi Min, we can think of it as 21 days. One we are counting off as slowly as possible and one we are striking off the calendar with a daily increase in excitement. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise in terms of which is which, but we are still surprised and shocked how quickly the last few weeks and months have gone by, and how quick the next few will follow suit. Three weeks left, and we still need your support!
If you have kept up with our posts about training rides you might notice the amount of times the word “rain” has washed across your screen. Living in our home city of Brisbane, Australia, ensures us the kind of weather our home state of Queensland is famous for. Or “infamous for” if you aren’t a fan of the heat. Once again rain threatened to drip through our helmets and down to our madly spinning tires as we spent another training session under a collection of clouds. So much so that I could be forgiven for saying something cheesy like “we put the raining in training”. But I won’t, because it’s more interesting to read what we did in Byron Bay, despite the weather.