Exploring Banteay Kdei
A heavy summers rain sets in, all too soon filling the sunken stone passages to bursting. Water spills from the foreboding entrance of this stone hewn labyrinth, oppressive dark clouds dissuading the dying light from illuminating what lurks within. 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.
A child’s laugh echos momentarily somewhere with the underground maze, sound waves bounce off cold stone walls, masking an origin. Turning, I pick a tunnel and pelt down the causeway, knee deep in water following the eerie echos from behind the gloom. I trip hard on an uneven stone now unseen through the depths and stumble hard through dense wet green vines hiding a small covered opening through the thick stone wall. Out to another world I fall, the light of a mid afternoon monsoon blinding my senses. The jungle here lays heavily over the hidden red and green stone temple, a place of worship once devoted to monks and their daily routine the entire area now lays derelict and eroded by zealous Fords and would-be Angelinas. Climbing wet hewn steps I make my way up to the tree line in an attempt to get a feel for the direction back out to civilization, I’m mildly lost, and it’s started to rain again.