Sunday, September 18, 2005

ankhor wat

after probably the longest, bumpiest and most uncomfortable bus ride of my life (13 hours at 20 km/h in a beat up old bus driving in a rainstorm on a dirt road with the world's worst potholes) chris and i arrived at siem reap, the norther capital in the ankhor region of cambodia. it is here that the khmer people built one of the world's most spectacular series of temples, carving rocks that were carried by elephants from far away lands into haunting, visaged towers that glare down at you from every direction. of these temples, ankhor wat is the most famous and the best preserved. climbing the steep stone stairs to gaze out at the jungle and the beautiful landscape, i was immediately lifted into a state of awe and almost a form of spirituality. pretty cool. anyway, we only spent one day here because we had to move on to pnom pehn. we went out that night and met up with some friends we met then woke up early the next morning. we had to catch a river boat to take the mekong delta to the capital. it left at 6am so we were rushing pretty hard to get there in the morning. at about 5:30am, with the rain falling pretty hard and our tuk tuk (motorcycle with carriage) doing about 50km/h, a dog ran in front of our vehicle and the motorcyle hit it while our carriage's back right wheel ran over the dogs now dead body. the cart flipped on it's left side, which i happened to be on and i was caught inside the cart being dragged along the asphalt. chris, who was sleeping, had no idea what was going on. i on the other hand, witnessed the whole thing: the sight of the dog running into the street, the sick feeling of impending disaster, the cart popping up onto its side, the driver, who's mortorcycle was being turned on it's side by the attached cart, being dragged beneath the bike and then beneath an overturned steel carriage, skidding for 10 meteters and then dark. i stood up and saw that my legs and ankles were bleeding but didn't feel any broken bones. chris it seemed was fine. all i could say to him though is 'is he alive', referring to the driver. he was but hardly. he was pulling himself to the side of the road his back twisted and broken, an arm disjointed, the skin on his face peeled off, his shirt ripped to reveal a rib protruding. he was coughing blood as well. immediately, villagers came out of their shacks to help us. one man began to pour dirty brake fluid on my wounds (for what purpose i will never know other than maybe to cause me more excruciating pain). our concern was for the driver though and we put him on the back of a motorcycle to go to the hospital but....i only gave him about a 20% chance. if he survived the internal bleeding, i doubt he will have full use of his legs. it was probably the most terrifying thing that ever happened to me. i promised chris i wouldn't let his mom know so don't tell her ok. anyway, i decided not to go to a hospital and instead jumped on another tuk tuk and made the boat just in time. i cleaned up and disinfected my wounds when we got to pnom pehn and they are finally healing. maybe i will have a scar. here are pics from ankhor

another temple in the area of ankhor. this is the setting for the tomb raider movie. Posted by Picasa

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