Two days later we escape Siem Reap, aiming for Kbal Speang - the ancient Shiva and Vishnu carvings in a riverbed 35 miles away in the Kulen mountains. Due to our excessive lunch break we arrive just before the entry to the jungle trail is closed at 3 PM. Completely unaware that we have to spent a day of our Angkor passes for this, we decide to wait until the Officials have gonna and a police man took over. An English-speaking Tuktuk driver handles the bribing deal and we finally get in. Incredibly nice jungle trek over roots, sandstone rocks and wild shaped climbing trees uphill to the carvings in the riverbed. We have the entire area for ourselves, just a few visitors are already on their way back. A local Guide girl shows us some more or less hidden carvings and brings us to the waterfall that we would have certainly missed without her help. The combination of the carvings, the huge rocks and the waterfall in the middle of the primary forest are breathtaking. Shower time underneath the waterfall.
We reach the entry point just after sunset. Unsure where to sleep, we ask the last remaining restaurant lady. She wouldn't know, yet tells us about a German who's living nearby, points at a gate. A Wildlife Rescue Center it is. An English-speak local comes out of it, tells us the German isn't here and advices us to stay in the neighboring Police station, with is just a tiny thatched roof wood house. He manages all the communication with the police man, and after endless phone calls the deal is settled, we can stay overnight. A restaurant owner is called to cook us food. I can already feel where this leads us too – funny prices. 5 Dollars per meal – that's even more than in Siem Reaps real restaurants, and 3 Dollars for a bottle of beer which Sarah and I definitely need now. While having Diner, a dozen policeman roll in with cars and pickup trucks. Some wearing machine guns, and everyone is drinking. The guys remain outside of the light, curiously muster Sarah and me. That doesn't feel well at all. After a while, the boss starts to tell us we were to be carried to the main police station, since we were not allowed to stay here. We seem to be in the wrong movie now, try to discuss the matter. Finally, we are allowed to start another attempt to reach the people in the Wildlife Center to ask permission to stay there. Big German Shepard dogs bark in the dark. Luckily, someone comes out, hears our story and allows us to stay. The people in the center have had a few incidents with these police men already. Lucky lucky - happy end to something that has never happened to me before, and that could have turned out really odd.
On the following day, we thank our hosts and head back towards Siem Reap, visit the well reconstructed and nearby temple site of Bantay Srei with its beautiful carvings and sculptures on the way, plus a few less frequented sites in the main Angkor Area. Sarah plays Ukulele in the ruins for sunset. "Image All The People Living Live in Peace" - Happy End!