After my time down in Sihanoukville i wanted to return to Kampot, the sleepy little town by the river. This is the place some people go to but never leave. It was good to be back and bumping into some now familiar faces.
I had my daily routine of a breakfast and a couple of cups of tea at Captain Chims restaurant, a riverside walk mid morning, back to the hotel for some internet use/tv, lunch at a locals place of choice, which was normally the Rusty Keyhole, followed by a couple of beers, mid afteroon riverside stroll, back to the hotel then aimlessly wonder around town early evening catching up with some of the local expats who seemed to have a similar routine to myself.
One new friend that i meet was a guy called Ritchie who had taken over a bar and restaurant attached to a local guest house. He was a nice guy who had only been there about 4-5 months and still finding his feet, when i got to know him he told me how he had been homeless for ten years in the UK i believe because of some family issues when he was younger. He was a good guy and i wish him all the best in his new venture, amazing how someone picks themselves up when things must look so bleak.
I had spent another week or so in Kampot but it was time to head back to the capital Phnom Penh as i had to head nearer to Siem Reap my final destination in Cambodia.
Bye bye Kampot, you charming friendly little town you !!
Riverside walk with old bridge in view –
Bokor mountain range in background –
You never have to go far in Asia to find more temples –
After Kampot i moved down to the well known area of Sihanoukville by the coast. The place was created by bull dozing through the jungle to make a new town by the sea by the French. The town grew as a resort for the wealthy French and Cambodian until the Khmyer Rouge shot it to pieces during their reign. It was rebuilt with the birth of backpacking and became full of bars and hostels.
Its a very touristy place but as its the beginning of the rainy season it isn’t packed with people. The beach front is full of timber shack bars which are apparantly are on short term leases as some shady deal has just been struck with the government and property developers to develop the whole beach front.
After a few days in Sihanoukville mixing with the ex pats and watching the last few games of the world cup i thought it was time to move on again.
Being the start of the rainy season the weather was a bit hit and miss, it could absolutely tip it down at a moments notice but might only last half an hour or it could rain all night. There are some nearby islands off the coast but what with the unpredictable weather i hadn’t given it much thought about trying to see them. Just before i was about to leave i checked the weather forecast and it showed a break in the weather, i found a dive place that had a few bungalows on Koh Rong Saloem island. It was about an hour offshore by fast boat there were only a few places to rent accomodation and the dive operator had its own private beach. The bungalows were simple affairs but a lot better than others i had seen, double bed, hammock on the verandah, ocean view, all for 15 dollars a night.
After a stroll along the beach i spent a bit of time swimming before exploring some nearby rockpools. After lunch i had another swim and i hadn’t been in the water long before i felt a sharp pain in my chest, i looked down to see a jellyfish !! It had stung me right on the chest and boy did it hurt, out of the water i went to the reception to see if they knew anything about jellyfish stings. They all looked at me blankly and then the girl gave me the first aid box and said ‘see if theres anything in there you can use’. Unfortunately most if it was french and so were all of the instructions. The pain was really bad and then the area started to swell and go red. Having talked to some other people i got some vinegar from the kitchen and just kept dabbing it on. The pain came and went but lasted for many hours into the night.