The Day I Pet A Baby Cow

By Stephen Ewashkiw | April 17, 2014

12,972 km so far.

Today was a not particularly noteworthy highway ride from Kampong Chhnang to Phnom Penh, which we hadn’t even decided to visit until last night. After a few days in the countryside we’ve chosen to hit the city in search of good food, coffee, and a couple of nights’ good sleep.

Cambodian For Moo?

On the way, at a brand new petrol station in the middle of farm fields, I pet a baby cow.

The family who runs the gas station were looking after it. They told me the calf is an orphan and they feed it and care for it. Usually, when we see these tiny calves, they are no more than a few feet from their mothers. It must be so difficult to be alone like that, when your whole upbringing is coded to have a mother there to teach you everything.

Baby cow at the gas station, near Phnom Penh.

Baby cow at the gas station, near Phnom Penh.

At first she peed when I got close. I guess she was a little nervous, or maybe marking her territory. Then she sauntered over to Jane, took a sniff, and decided we weren’t so bad. I got to talk to the calf for a bit, and pet it.

Communing with nature, near Phnom Penh.

Communing with nature, near Phnom Penh.

Highlight of the day!

Capital City

And now we are in Phnom Penh. We weren’t planning on being here, but three days averaging 100 km, in this heat, is exhausting. And finding vegetarian meals that are substantial has been tough the past few days. So we decided it was smart to take a day off in a city where were are guaranteed some good meals, and comfortable rooms.

Bicycle all dressed up, in Kampong Chhnang.

Bicycle all dressed up, in Kampong Chhnang.

We are staying at the cleverly named Me Mates Place, a hostel in the centre of town.

“Where ya staying?” “Me Mates Place.” See, clever.

We are in a mixed dorm room, which isn’t something we do often. In the cities where there is a hostel culture though, the hostels are as nice as the type of guest house we’d be able to afford, and the price is a bit lower.

Also, they also almost always have a bar.

Happy Hour is popular on the backpacker trail. We are absolutely fine with this. It is one of the nice things about going to the tourist destinations every once in a while.

With the night air starting to cool slightly, we sat back in the garden at the hostel, looked up at the Phnom Penh sky, and sipped gin and tonics. We’re looking forward to a chance to sleep in tomorrow and, after three days going without, finally getting a decent cup of coffee.

Soundtrack: Rheostatics, Melville | Miley Cyrus, Bangerz | Dr. Dre, The Chronic | Microphone Check podcast  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.


  1. Comment by Cassie

    Cassie April 29, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Three days without coffee makes Stephen something something (I can’t imagine!).

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen April 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Oh so not fun Cassie. At least there was a baby cow to cheer me up. And Coca-Cola.

Comments are closed.

Go top
Share via