Te river fun and frolics

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July 16th 2016
Published: July 16th 2016
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Absolutely the best 18 bucks I've spent in ages. The coffee and pumpkin bread (think ginger bread) that the good people at Sorya kayaking served up at 7.00 in the morning was almost worth the price of admission alone. Once the kayaks were loaded onto the truck we clambered on with them, 2 French girls, 3 French guys, myself and Lucky our guide, for the 40km drive to the drop off point on the Te (pronounced Tay) river. A bit of a slither down a steep, muddy bank and we were paired off (double yaks) for the 15km paddle, which was fortunately all downstream. About half way along we stopped at a village and clambered up through more mud, but nothing like what was waiting in store for us. The village is a small family concern of 5 or 6 houses and 30 or so people some of whom were busy planting rice. One of the women gestured to us to help so in we went, up to our knees in mud, planting rice. The rows we planted certainly weren't as neat as the others so I hope we didn't make more work than we saved, but everyone had a good laugh together. We were then invited into one of the houses to see how the villagers lived. Our hostess, Bayon, was a lovely woman, 40 years old with 3 children, youngest 10 years old. The house had a cooking area/living area and a separate sleeping area. A mattress was the only furniture. They did however have power, run from a battery through a step up transformer that powered lights and a laptop. Bayon offered us stir fried pork and bamboo shoots and bbq fish washed down with a potent rice wine. The food tasted very good. I was less convinced about the rice wine. It makes you stop and think about how much unnecessary stuff we have in our lives. At this point it was so hot that we all threw ourselves in the river to cool off. Another hour's paddling and the truck was waiting on the riverbank to cart 7 very mud spattered people back to Kratie. A shower and general degunge was the order of the day before packing for the trip tomorrow. Met a couple of German girls at the guesthouse, one with severe tonsillitis so spent a couple of hours trying to find a doctor but gave up in the end. They will take the bus to Phnom Penh tomorrow to get medical treatment.

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