Day 88: What a Load of Crab

Woooooo hooooo, 9:15am and no hangover, double winning! Not only did I sleep through most of the sawing and banging going on in the hotel, but the alcohol I drank the previous night didn’t leave me feeling rough. The same couldn’t be said for Princess Sarah though. I had a quick shower that morning then ran down to the local shop to grab her some water and a can of Fanta. She felt slightly better after a few sips, we then packed our bags and paid for our stay. Next, we grabbed Jamie and headed across the street to grab breakfast, cutting it close as our bus would be picking us up in 25 minutes time. It was during breakfast that Sarah took a turn for the worst, feeling sick and nauseous. She put it down to the doxycycline (the drugs used as anti-malarials) she had been taking. They were most likely the cause for it, what do you expect when you continuously take antibiotics. Sarah then reevaluated their purpose and decided to stop taking them then and there, and, like me, use mosquito repellent instead. After breakfast we grabbed our bags and waited outside for our 11:30am minibus.

The yellow bus soon arrived, with the driver waving frantically and beeping to ensure we saw him (as if a giant yellow bus wasn’t eye catching enough). When we walked over his friend took our bags, and in a very gentle fashion, threw and shoved and stuffed and crammed all of our bags (and other people’s) into the boot, which was no bigger than 3 bags wide. Miraculously he managed to squeeze 6 – 7 in there. When we climbed aboard the bus it stank of fish. Nevertheless Sarah managed to locate two spacious seats and we began our 2 and a half hour journey (however, the space wouldn’t last long). It took an hour before we were actually on the road, before then we went around picking up more and more people (plus their luggage).

The two guys in charge of the bus were absolute idiots (I want to use stronger language but I am aware my nan will be reading this). They went about squeezing everyone aboard, as for the luggage, well, that went in the aisles, under seats and at one point into mine and Sarah’s legs. All the while they smiled and laughed as they crammed it in. When it came to getting more people on the bus we thought they were joking, again, with smiles on their faces, they turned four seats into five by making the passengers squeeze up together. They were complete A******* who clearly had complete disregard for the safety limits and regulations of a bus. Should we have crashed, or the bus rolled, there was no way off the vehicle because they had blocked the whole thing up with baggage. It constantly annoys me that the travel companies lie to your face whenever you ask questions about what you’ve booked.

When we asked (the day before) if there would be room for our big bags as well as us (after a 5 second pause) the two ladies looked at each other and said “yes, there will be room,” LIARS. We later discovered what the cause of the fish smell was, it was two bags of live crabs wedged underneath the seats of the bus. One girl said she saw a crab that had escaped and was wandering around on board, claiming that it crawled over her feet…. Fantastic. Another annoying trait of bus drivers in Asia, they run errands during the journeys. This became evident when we made a stop for yet another item, a large bag of rice, somehow they squeezed it aboard the 4 wheeled tin of sardines. Like I said before… A*******, apologies for the use of that word nanny.

Eventually (3 odd hours later) we arrived in Kampot. At first I thought the town seemed kind of dead and boring, but after trying three hotels, the first being too expensive, the second being fully booked, and the third being juuuuuust right, it began to grow on me. Our hotel was huge. It almost looked abandoned where it was so large. The stairways reached up to the heavens and the hallways were so long, at one point I thought we’d end up seeing the twin girls from The Shinning. The view from the balcony outside our room was lovely. The town itself was very picturesque, resembling that of an old Wild West town. Or of a time gone by in a small friendly neighbourhood, where children would play in the streets until dark. There was something quite welcoming and quaint about Kampot, and as we wandered the streets the more I grew to like it.

That afternoon we headed out for dinner. We only had to walk a few feet from the hotel before we found a friendly little restaurant. They offered day trips and other services alongside food. Sarah read of an exciting activity in Kampot, so, along with our meals we booked up an evening firefly boat trip on the Mekong River. We also booked an 11 hour bus ride to Siem Reap for 7am the following morning. The food was lovely (as it always is) and when we finished we returned to the hotel to waste the hour and a half before our trip.

The time soon rolled around to 6:30pm and we were ready for our boat ride. It turned out the boat was just around the corner (literally 150 metres away). The captain hopped on the redundant tuktuk with us. When we arrived he helped us aboard. With a few final checks of his vessel we set off. It was pitch black by this point and as we sailed along the waters, the captain (I guess that’s what you’d call him) shone his torch along the surface to reveal twinkling lights dancing around. We never found out what they were but if I had to guess I’d either say they were the fireflies or fish jumping out of the water to catch the flies, but of course this is conjecture. We were out for ages before the captain got us close to the trees. There, we saw small clusters of fireflies shinning away, resembling fairy lights on a Christmas tree. It was slightly impressive, but I would have preferred to see all the trees alive with light, at least enough to make the trip worth the money we paid ($5 each).

They must hold a place in Owl City’s heart though. The guy wrote a song about them after all, however, we only saw about 300 at most, not the 10,000,000 that he goes on about. 10,000,000 would have made the trip worth it for sure. In the end I was more amazed/ distracted by the beauty of the night’s sky. Due to us having no light pollution we were able to see more stars than usual, when it came to being at certain trees (with the stars in the background, it was difficult to differentiate the flies from the stars. It would have made for a beautiful picture, but unlike our eyes, our cameras were unable to pick up on the beauty. I felt as though the captain kept us out for too long, Sarah was the only one who was wowed by the trip, but in my opinion each stop we made was similar to the last, with each group of trees only containing 30 – 50 flies. After an hour of so we returned to town, where we stopped in a restaurant called The Rusty Keyhole (am I alone in thinking the name sounds rude?). I had a cup of PG tips, two baked potatoes with beans, and a fruit salad for dessert. All of it was lovely and the drink and main was yet another slice of home for me. We also booked a hotel for the following evening in preparation for our arrival in Siem Reap, we then settled the bill and returned to our hotel. I finished the day by punching out another day of my blog, watching HBO, and having Jamie set the alarm clock for 6am. I guess we could right off any hope of a lye in then!

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