The Real Tomb Raider

Exploring Banteay Kdei

A heavy summers rain sets in, and all too soon fills the sunken shallow stone passages to bursting. Water spills from the entrance to this stone labyrinth as oppressive dark clouds dissuade the remaining light from illuminating what few exits remain. Dancing shadows draw a maze of black twisting tunnels blocked and barricaded by cave-ins and mutant trees. At the centre of this Tomb Raider puzzle stands a small stone carving surrounded by four passageways leading off every 90 degrees. None has a visible ending, each twisting off to oblivion and I suddenly forget which one I arrived in, they all look the same.

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A child’s laugh echos momentarily down the end of a tunnel, turning I run towards the melody, pelting down the causeway like a run-away train. I trip hard on an uneven stone and stumble through heavy wet green vines adorning a small covered opening and out to another world I fall, cameras and all. The jungle here lays heavily over the exposed red and green stone temple, a place of worship once devoted to Monks and their daily routine the entire area now lays derelict and beaten by zealous Fords and would-be Angelinas. Climbing the hewn steps I make my way up to the tree line trying to get a feel for the direction back out to civilization, I’m mildly lost, and it’s started to rain again.

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