Story of a Ride gone bad...it happens, but why this trip?

Discussion in 'Cambodia Motorcycle Trip Report Forums' started by MuddyMick, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. bard

    bard Ol'Timer

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    I decided to put in my 2 cents here as I rode the tour.

    Day 1. Our mutual agreement was to meet the guys from Phom Phen the 22nd at Pailin, in a place called Hotel 99. We arrived there with our bikes, and looked at it, the owner of the place did not call it a "hotel" just yes my house number 99. It was a horrid place, more like a flee ridden shop house with no door. We then headed further on and found a very nice place to stay for the same price as we were quoted from 99 fiasco. We managed to hear back via SMS from Mark late in the evening that they were in Siam Reap... Just looking at a road map you easily see that is not the way to Pailin. Anyway we talk to the other group on the phones (as we had international roaming) and the agreement was that they left 06:30 latest and should be able to meet us at 09:00 in the intersection where you start the dirt trail towards Osom.

    Day 2. We headed to the intersection and waited from 09:00 to 10:30 we then talked it over and had to leave to be able to hit Pramoy or Osom in daylight. We did not receive any SMS that they had a) left or b) an ETA so we headed towards Osom in the dirt trail. We then later on around 15:00 received an SMS they just arrived in Pailin... Anyway there is an easy way to Pramoy via Pursat so we SMS meet us in Osom and continued as far as daylight allowed us, then camped out in the bush.

    Day 3. We continued the ride and arrived in Pramoy this is the intersection where the roundabout is to Osom/Pursat/Thai Border and dirt trail to Pailin. We now got a new SMS telling us about the incident Mick had, and so on we then talked with the other group who had ditched Mick and agreed to meet them in Pursat, Johnny had ulcer and Justin was tired, so me, Harri and Frank rode the 135 km to Pursat to meet the others so they could go with us back to Pramoy and continue the ride. My bike locked the throttle cable and Harri's bike got the rear caliper broken, so I stopped in a motorbike repair shop, then Frank rode to meet the others, and Harri rode to Phom Phen to get a new caliper mounted. Frank meet the others who did not want to join us anyway, Frank and myself then went back to Pramoy. Harri rode to Phom Phen got his bike sorted and rode back to Pursat and stayed the night in the hotel with the other group.

    Day 4. Due to the delay of meeting the other group and Harri's delay we stayed another day in Pramoy.

    Day 5. Rode the Cardamom trail, brilliant ride, arrived in Koh Kong at 14:00 and stayed in a hotel there

    Day 6. Harri left for home and arrived home safely, the remaining 4 riders from Thailand rode to S'Ville

    Day 7. My XR was pissing fuel from the carb and leaking oil from the head, no biggie but I got the bike sorted in S'Ville

    Day 8. I left alone to home, rode S'Ville - Koh Kong - Rayong and arrived safely.

    What I fail to comprehend is this;

    The entire trail was emailed to everyone prior to the ride,
    A cheap Gecko map can (and we obviously bought as a backup in any bookstore in Cambodia for 2 US$) this road map has every road marked and every point we SMS, it is all there so even if the GPS don't work this map will easily show you where to go. Hence there would be no issue if only 1 in the other group had a map. I do not understand why the other group did not have this. There were no issue in communicating with us, as we had daily SMS between Frank and Mark. However if you ride with no map nor fully functioning GPS you better know the roads inside out or get lost.

    The group from Thailand never ever meet Mick, when the other group left him he suddenly started to send SMS to Frank, prior to this only Mark did. Communication was not an issue at all as Franks mobile will show in the SMS history.
    What was a big problem was that we all have limited time, we all wanted to do this, so it is therefore crucial to meet up where you supposed to at the supposed date. Also if you know you fail to wake up and leave at the agreed time, and understand you will be unable to meet up at next point you should definitely send an SMS so the other group can either stay another night or agree on next point. To meet up a day late is not acceptable on a tour, to not SMS when you know you can't do 2nd meet up is also unacceptable. First being a day late on point 1, then not leave at 6:30 but when you supposed to meet the others without putting in an SMS, then be ther 6 hours late expecting people to hang around in a dusty road intersection is 100% lack of respect of others waiting and utterly unacceptable.

    It was very sad to loose the guys from Phom Phen as they would love the ride. It was extremely good to ride with Harri who must be one of the true legends of bush, my hat goes off to him. The guys with rental bikes is the ones who lost the most, my hart goes to them for that. I wish they changed there mind when we finally meet up in Pursat.

    I am happy to see Si is still keen on a tour, and hopefully he will join us the next time. This goes for all of the guys who was riding the long way around.

    Prior to the ride I was under the impression that the guide knew Pailin, and knew the Cardamom route. That Osom was unknown even tho that was for the prior weeks of emails used as a reference point for the tour is surprising.

    Anyway a lesson for the tour is to ALWAYS meet up where you supposed to when you supposed to, if not the groups will automatically be split. The riders from Thailand had NO problems doing this, we meet from Korat, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Pattaya and Rayong and had no such issues. When we agreed to wake up 05:30 we did. Nobody should disrespect others by failing to do this, I do not blame the riders but the guide has to assure that this will happen. Anyway the riders from Thailand managed to do all this, and had a great time, however we missed the guys we supposed to ride with.

    Me and Johnny was nailed by the Police in S'Ville, cost 1US$ for no helmet, they gave us a blue paper which was handy as you could then ride all day without a helmet and just show the note. I found the Police in Cambodia very friendly and we had a great laugh with them as the stopped us. We had plenty of bike related breakdowns as well, but fixed it as we went. These things are a part of the tours, you solve it there and then and have a laugh doing so.

    I will write a ride report in a different thread with pictures from the tour, just need to catch up first.

    Cheers Bard
     
  2. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

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    Thanks BignTall
    Look fwd to your trip report and the gps tracks
     
  3. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

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    Bard ...your experience is the reason that 90% of the time I ride alone...also some people simply have no sense of direction or cannot read maps.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Gents
    I think most guys have had a reasonable say now.....

    SO....

    Yikes, this really was a bit of stuff up from day 1 I'm sorry to say, & I think there's been a lesson well learned all round.

    I'm glad some of you guys were able to salvage something from the trip & have a good time. You had the right attitude.

    I feel sorry for the guys who spent significant money, flew in from overseas & then got very little out of it. That aint right.

    Muddy Mick I'm sorry to say you've come up a bit short with this one & not really delivered much at all. And it's not really good enough. You used GT Rider to solicit business (I did not complain), took their money & what did they end up getting???
    A tour operator / guide who takes people's money has a responsibility to deliver. When things start to go wrong, they MUST have a bullet proof back-up plan to provide a service to those people who have flown in from overseas spending their time, money & precious holiday time, all expecting you to deliver. Otherwise their annual holidays are stuffed up & they've wasted their time & money.
     
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