Monday, June 22, 2009

Boats, Beach & River

Riverside.

We took a long weekend and headed out to the countryside for a few days, taking a taxi (cheaper than the bus) to Kampot, an hour and a half away. The road was mostly good but with a 200 yard stretch that looked like the moon with craters 8 feet wide.

Kampot is a sleepy little town, not much going on in low season so we stayed at Bodhi Villa a couple of km down the river. A lovely place with a terrace and raft looking out across the water. Was nice to swim in 'fresh' water for a change. Hoped to try waterskiing, but the speedboat was broke down, bah.

We took a day trip to the local sights; a cave with a small temple/shrine inside; some stalactites in the shape of an elephant and a crocodile. Nice enough. Kampot is (or at least used to be) world famous for the quality of the peppercorns grown here, so we went to a pepper plantation which was, a bit dull; no info, just a load of bushes on a hill. The landscape here is gorgeous - jungle clad hills covered in mist, flat plains of fields and paddies and the occasional rocky outcrop.

While at the plantation I bashed my toe on a rock and split the end of it off, bloody mess. Mostly healed now but it's going to look a bit funky for a while.

Then on to Kep, which makes Kampot look busy. Barely even a town, it's a collection of houses scattered along a bay and a hill, famous for it's crab (in kampot pepper of course).
Again, pretty quiet at this time of year, just a few Khmer tourists eating crabs in the shade.

Tried to arrange a trip to Bakor National Park where there's an abandoned hill station, but due to the construction of a new resort (casino, golf course? - let's hope not) the road is closed so you have to bribe the guards to get access, making the whole thing too expensive, used to be about $10 - $15 for the day, now it's about $40-$50...

Will upload the pictures at some point (some more archived in the list on the right).

Boat trip.

Back at the project we took the kids on a boat trip to a nearby island to clean up the beach in front of the fishing village.



Some might call it child labour, but I like to think of it as a lesson in eco-conservation.



Perfect weather, flat seas and sunshine, everyone had a great time, despite a few bouts of sea-sickness on the way back.



Took some of the kids to the beach yesterday...
(more pics here)



Just a couple more days here then heading to Battambang, Siem Reap and the temples at Angkor...



J C-R


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