The Crossborder Cycle Tour 2013 has finally begun! Check this blog daily as we update this with new stories and from our riders as they cycle through Vietnam and Cambodia, learning about social justice. Way to go Hagar riders!

Day 1

Seven countries are represented at Hagar’s first Crossborder Cycle Tour in 2013! Thanks to our partner Asia Adventues for hosting the cycle tour.

Three boat crossings, countless bridges, Vietnamese coffee and fruit on the road. Day one in the Mekong delta!

Day 2

Today, our team of riders bonded over a series of comical happenings: two wipeouts, two flat tires and one guide’s bike falling into the river! As every participant came from different countries, the group’s diversity became the main ingredient for an interesting and fun-filled ride!

Sights from Vietnam’s beautiful countryside

Our riders crossed their 172nd bridge!

Day 3 The team crossed rivers and cycled by the beach. The 80 km stretch of serene countryside view bid them farewell on their last day in Vietnam. Tomorrow they cross the border to Cambodia!

A beautiful view of the Mekong Delta

The team’s last night in Vietnam.

Day 4 Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Cambodia! Our team crossed borders and are now in the Kingdom of Wonders!

Walking/cycling across the Vietnam border and into Cambodian soil.

Our team has reached their 300 km mark and on their way up Cambodian countryside.

Day 5 It’s the fifth day of the first Ride for Hagar in 2013. As our riders cycled the Vietnam and Cambodia countryside, they also learned important issues about human trafficking and Hagar’s role in helping survivors go the whole journey to recovery.

Tackling on the hard issues. Human trafficking and abuse is happening in an increasing rate in Vietnam and Cambodia. Hagar’s Visitor Coordinator, Catherine Sherrod, discussed case studies, facts and trends surrounding the issue. She shared stories of healing and recovery from Hagar clients who were once victims but are now living independent and resilient lives.

Day 6

Today our riders spent time at the beach, enjoying the sun with good conversations about Hagar and social justice.

Day 7

Our riders cycled through villages, where there the lack of services for women and children make them vulnerable for human rights abuse and exploitation. Men and women are lured by false agencies who offer high salaries to work abroad. But this hope is crushed once they reach their destination and realise that they have been deceived. Ratha is one of these victims. Read her story of recovery.

Day 8

Today our riders went up to one of the provinces to spend time with one of Hagar’s foster families. They are Hagar’s major stakeholder in supporting clients in the walk towards the whole journey to recovery. They build good relationship with clients and help them as they live life back in the community. Read more about foster parents making lives whole.

Day 9 In Phnom Penh-Cambodia’s capital city. Our riders came to town and talked to our local staff from different programmes and learned about the kind of services Hagar provide for women and children who have experienced extreme abuses. They sat down for a conversation with a Hagar veteran, Sue Hanna, and learned more about the whole journey with Hagar. Watch this video to learn more.

Day 10 The team sets off for a 53km ride to Oudung Mountain, another beautiful site in the northern provinces of Cambodia-overlooking Buddhist temples and ricefields. Today our riders enjoyed a picnic and learned more about the Cambodian culture

Riders Filip Kachnic and and Therese Karlsson in one of the old temples in Oudong Mountain.

Old Pagodas in several provinces are symbolic of Cambodia’s Buddhist roots. These heritage sites are remnants of the Kingdom’s rich history!

Day 11 Our riders are nearing their final destination, the beautiful Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap. Today they cycle through Kampong Cham, an old province in the northern part of Cambodia- where sights of the Rubber plantations and rice fields are some of the many tourist attractions.

Asia Adventures guide Eng Lin show our riders around the rubber plantation and tour them through more rice fields and villages.

Day 12

One day closer towards the end of the 650km cycle tour! Today our riders get to see first hand the ancient Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world, with over 1,000 temples within the temple complex.

Hagar riders cycle past the south gate through the temple grounds.

Our Hagar riders have arrived in the majestic Angkor Wat!

Posing with the Bayon, famous for its serene stone faces that surround the beautiful temple complex. Scholars say they bear the features of the ancient King Jayavarman VII.

Day 13

The final leg of the Ride for Hagar 2013! Our riders cycled their last few kilometers and completed the 650km cycle tour!

 

The final stretch!

Hagar rider Therese crosses one of the challenging bike trails!

The Crossborder cycle tour ends in Angkor Wat Siem Reap! Hooray to our riders for completing the 650km Ride for Hagar!