Friday, February 1, 2013

Well here I am in paradise

Yes it's true - I've found my own little corner of paradise.  As I type this in the restaurant/bar I am looking out over the pool towards the ocean anticipating a gorgeous sunset.  (I am in the SW of Cambodia - just 20 km from Viet Nam)   I am staying at Kep Lodge.  When I saw this place online a few months back I KNEW I had to stay here.  In fact I chose my tour for the reason that I was in the general area. 

I will post photos once I take some!!!  I have my own little bungalow surrounded by dense foilage - with a hammock.  I turfed a frog out of my hammock.  I noticed he was the "bad" kind - light brown which if you touch them they squirt a noxious substance at you.  Anyway he went flying into the trees.

The hammock is nice but dangerously close to a banister - if I slipped the other way I would end up in some very sharp foilage and about a six foot fall..ouch!!!  So I think I will content myself with the sofa for now.  This is when I need some strong man to help me in and out.  This place OOZES romance...ah well...can't have it all.  I am here with my best

Today I lived dangerously enough.  I waved goodbye to the rest of the group who were heading back to Phnom Penh and a couple of hours later the mini van to take me to Kep showed up.   Half an hoiur late but Thyda had warned me about this.   It was a wild ride.  Traffic overtaking constantly.  I travelled with 8 men...all quite good looking (if only I was 35 years younger!) but I digress....even they were gasping and swearing in their own language (like me!) and while I didn't speak to them in the van we all rolled our eyes at each other.  At one point an SUV was coming down our side of the road with it's lights flashing at us while overtaking a semi.  I took the flashing to mean "I am an idiot who doesn't know how to drive and I am shitting myself trying to get around this truck..sorry".  We avoided that one narrowly but our driver liked to live on the wild side himself and we overtook our fair shair of semis with other vehicles approaching and once on a blind curve.  I've had some pretty wild rides in my time but this one took the cake for sure.  The absolute worse.  I played the Beatles on my MP3 player because I figured if I was going to die I wanted their voices to be the last I heard!!!  Need I add he drove really fast as well and tooting the horn nonstop.  Oh quite the experience.  I kept thinking "shit, I can't find my safety deposit box key and no one will be able to get into my stuff" (take note of that big sister) 

And oh no it didn't end there...we pulled into downtown Kampot and the fellow at the bus station was astounded I was headed for Kep.  So I had to get off and sit at a table - a couple of the guys in the van wished me well and one gave me a pkg of cookies which I forgot on the table unfortunately.  A motorbike was suggested (a flat NO from me - not for 20 km on a dusty bumpy road) and then a tuk tuk - okay.  Well turns out I got the thrill of having the driver once again (he mimed to me that he had to take a crap so went home to do that I presume and was back 30 minutes later)  I sat talking to a couple of Canadian fellows - the one knew I was a Canuck by my Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack.  We were just getting into interesting conversation when the driver came back and off we went.  I was the only passenger besides a Cambodian girl who got in along the side of the road.

He had to go slower this time due to construction on the road but it didn't stop him overtaking any semis or tankers in his way!! As before...following really closely and then overtaking just before it looked like he was going to rear end them.  Finally we got to the bus station in Kep.

And then I did the unbelievable...but checked something else off on the bucket list.  The fellow working there asked if I wanted a moto taxi...that is riding on the back of a motorbike.  No tuk tuks in sight so I went for it.  By then I was so fed up and just wanted to get here.  He put my suitcase in the front and I had my backpack on my back and off we went.  At first I was terrified but then relaxed and enjoyed it.  I felt so Julia Roberts!!!   Of course no helmets...foolish, yes but oh well.  It was a quiet road - I would never do it on a highway and everyone and his dog (literally) goes on them here.  He was slow but I am sure he's still got the marks on his side from me hanging on for dear life.  My only regret - damn should have had a picture of me on it.  Instead I took one of him standing by it. I will be a good girl though and won't do it again as I don't think my health insurance covers that...oh I was so naughty.   

Cat, a gal from Birmingham, England checked me in and gave me a nice ice tea and then I was shown to my bungalow which I totally love.  I have air conditioning and all the mod cons but it is still rustic.  Love it!!!  I immediately changed into my swimsuit and went to the pool which was lovely. 

I tried out the hammock and then lay on my sofa and read - a puppy tried to steal my sandals but he was thwarted by me.  Then the cheeky little fellow tried dragging off the mat by my door!!!  Lots of dogs here and they are all vaccinated and healthy.  The owner is Swiss and is married to a Cambodian gal. 

Just met a gentleman from England who said I should have breakfast exactly where I am sitting as it's wonderful.  I can't wait!!! 

Tomorrow I shall hang out here and chill and perhaps visit the adjoining lodge for dinner and then who knows.  There are three outings I want to do which include walking in the national park which is behind here.  I have been advised to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  It is apparently well marked but think I will try the early morning!!!   I want to have at least one meal at the Crab market as well as walk along the promenade in Kep. 


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