You may remember, approximately ten weeks ago during my yoga retreat zen at Hariharalaya, I had a very un-zen moment during which I had a panic attack about riding a bike.
Yesterday, in Don Det, myself and three friends wandered to the pier in order to get a boat to the big waterfall on the other island. After ten minutes of discussion and negotiation, we were still being quoting 120,000 kip each. That’s just under £12. For a half an hour journey. That’s too much.
We left the pier dock and my friends decided they wanted to get bikes. I was out. I decided a day by the pool was a much less stressful way to spend my time and explained to them my reason for backing out.
As we were saying our goodbyes, I suddenly felt brave. It felt like a much less pressured situation than in Siem Reap and on an island with barely any vehicles. The cost of renting a bike was 10,000kip (under £1) so I figured if I hated it, I wasn’t losing anything and I could just stop. Cheered on by Seb, who reminded me that travelling is about challenging myself, I nervously followed the others to the bike shop.
It took about 40 minutes to get there and it was well worth the ride. The waterfall was beautiful, we had a little swim at the bottom and then a coffee shake in the restaurant overlooking the water. On the ride back, we stopped at a really nice swimming pool with jetstreams, Brunty’s cider and music playing, which would have been out of reach by foot.
I did it! I feel like a 5 year old whose just learnt how to ride a bike (even though I didn’t learn until I was 11). Okay so I nearly rode into a moped, a child, a sign and Seb and did ride into a tree root, a fence and a wall (FYI the brakes didn’t work. Talk about smashing fears in one day) but I did it, I’m still here and I’ve got the war wounds to prove it.
And to think I wasn’t going to go!
Massive thanks to Seb, Alex and Maria for being so patient and understanding with me!