Now touring Cambodia with Joan, Beth, Matthew and Beth’s friend Jo. It’s great to see the country through different eyes and we’ve done some fun things! After a rather tired Christmas Day (they arrived at 4pm after 29 hours travel!), we took a Boxing Day tour of Phnom Penh, meeting volunteer friends and colleagues en route. A very easy journey to Kampong Cham and a few relaxing beers on the river, then a tuk tuk tour of the surrounding area with Gideon, a driver whom I had made friends with when here before – we kept pretty close to the hotel, so that we could check on Joan during the day. Unfortunately Joan had gone down with an awful 24 hour sickness bug so she saw more of the inside of the wee room than she did of Kampong Cham.
En route, we saw one monk having a fag, two monks under umbrellas, three on a moto (with the driver) and four in a tuk tuk. If we see five today, we are definitely going to work up an alternative ‘twelve days of Christmas’! We picked lotus flowers and harvested the seeds from the dried flower heads, chatted to a woman and her daughter as we tasted tamarind from her trees, visited a fishing village on stilts (all faithfully recorded by Matthew in his sketchbook, much to the amusement of the local kids). In the afternoon, we visited Wat Nokor (see my Sept post for photos!!) and ‘Man and Woman Mountain’, really just small hills but with a great view of the surrounding flat countryside. We finished off our tour with a visit to the bamboo bridge, built each year by the people of a large island in the Mekong when the river goes down at the end of the rainy season, then washed away when the rains come the following year.
While Matthew was sketching, Gideon was explaining his take on Cambodian politics, and the fishermen were raising their nets to check on the morning catch.. it was a good moment.
Today we are planning to head off to Siem Reap, if Joan is up to it, and then to the temples of Angkor Wat.