|You can rent these for ten bucks a night - no thanks.|
|The stool I had to negotite getting out of the boat and one of the many dogs on the island.|
The best was yet to come. We pulled up to the beach and it was either jump into the water or get out on this stool. Luckily a kind French couple helped me but I felt a right fool. Let us just say it was not an elegant landing. Although better than the young guy who jumped out and landed on his ass in the ocean much to the amusement of his friends.
Anyway I was in a bit of a "crabby" mood and looked around and was ready to leave. I knew it was supposed to be paradise but with roosters and stray dogs according to the Lonely Planet. But I didn't know I would be swimming in water with boats sitting there and coming in all the time. Anyway I huffed and puffed and sulked a bit then after about an hour (yes it took that long) I gave myself a mental bitch slap and went and got a massage for five dollars.
It was a Khmer massage so was much different than anything I have had with much pulling and heavy kneading - but not unpleasant. Five dollars so why not. I always tip them as well. The first time a massage has been seranaded by a rooster!!
Oh before this I decided to lay in a hammock (they were all around) and picked a low one and promptly rolled right out of it onto a pile of logs - and had an audience. That didn't help my mood - I laughed about it of course on the outside but inside I was mortified.
Suitably relaxed I decided to have something to eat as by now it was noon - I ordered a shrimp baguette but when it came it was hot and not to my fancy at all. (another mini pout) I did not eat much although the pineapple shake (their shakes are more like smoothies here but very yum) was lovely. Oh when I first arrived I had to use the loo and of course a squat - another huffy moment. Oh my, bitch city here I come. Luckily I noticed a western style at the end which had been in use. Squat are probably more sanitary but when you have bad knees not good. I must say they were very clean.
I then decided to try going into the water and it was quite nice - very sandy and it went out a long way before getting deep. I just paddled however and did not do any floating or feeble attempt at swimming. I lay on the old wooden sun loungers. Hmmph...cannot even provide pads for the loungers. I kept thinking are there sharks in the water off Cambodia? Yep it was that kind of day. I did wake up in a great mood, honest!!!
Anyway it was a LONG day. It is a lovely area I guess but just did not do it for me. Honestly I cannot pinpoint what did not appeal to me about the place. I think it was stress over getting in and out of the boat..it was really terrible for me with my knees. But I can tell you this - I am so over spending a whole day at the beach. Never ever again!! BORING!!!!!! I feel so hot and sticky and full of sand - yuck yuck yuck. I think two hours is my max.
The trip back was just as trumatic - luckily an older French gentlemen helped me in after climbing up the stool and then arriving in Kep we had to sit on the side and hump our bums up to the landing. Well if you were young and fit you just jumped....I stressed about getting on and off the boat the whole time I was on the island. Even if I lost a ton of weight I would still be humping my bum up there - the days of jumping are well and truly over.
Oh and I got a nasty bite on my arm - two little bite marks and bruising. It hurt like hell when the damn thing bit me - this was while I was having lunch under a tree so moved quickly. It does not hurt anymore but was very sensitive at the time.
I got in the same tuk tuk as another lone gal traveler so we paired up and went out for dinner and had a great visit. Sandra (from New York) was on an Asian cruise with a friend and has been traveling on her own since the cruise ended in late December. She is much more intrepid than me. I connected with her in a way that I never did with any of my fellow tour members. Sometimes you just meet someone and get along and have a laugh - you never see one another again but you can talk nonstop. That is how this was and I needed that. We had a meal (shrimp in garlic with rice for me) at a place she goes to in the town. It was kind of a preview of the conversations I will have with friends when I get home. She gave me some good hints for places to visit in Singapore as well. We had a good laugh about my homestay which I still have to tell you about. (funny in retrospect - god awful at the time)
I changed into my new frock and am sitting in the restaurant having a mojito. I am missing this place already and have not left yet. (no not into proper English but my keyboard is messed up) The staff is absolutely awesome.
I got my laundry back Oh excitement - clean jammies and underwear. These little things mean a lot when you are on the road. I have a little clothes line outside on my balcony so will be doing up a few things tomorrow, And that should do me until I get home, wash these clothes and shove them away until May or probably June. (sob!)
One more day here - double sob!!!! Then off to Phnom Penh on Thursday.
The people of Cambodia have truly stolen my heart.