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Published: December 10th 2018
Easy flight and drive to the hotel. Once checked in we collapsed for a while then pottered out to explore the town and look (unsuccessfully) for a swimming costume for Sue as I had left hers on the balcony drying in Siem Reap - oops!
As we walked back along the river towards our hotel we heard some music from a boat and thought why not get on. Two minutes later we were sailing down the river. Apparently it was a once a week music cruise and we had just came across it at the right time. Very pleasant 4 hours on the roof of the boat initially listening to a guitarist/singer before heading downstairs to the heavier rock band. A great time was had by all except perhaps the expats who thought they were getting on a jazz tour!
On the boat we met Linda, a Kiwi English teacher who was living out here and who gave us some great advice for when we head to New Zealand in February. She also told us a lot about what was happening in the area and as a result we arranged to meet up with her again the following evening.
Friday saw us on a half day tour up Bokor Mountain, taking in the views, more temples, a Catholic Church and a tricky walk down to a waterfall.
While there the guide talked to us about the Khmer Rouge and the fact that all round the area were killing fields and that the Khmer Rouge had taken over the mountain and used it as a base. They also threw people off the top blindfolded and with hands tied behind their backs. Apparently only 2 people survived, one of whom lives next door to our guide and who took 10 days to make it out of the forest. He is now alone as most of his family were killed by the Khmer Rouge. Again, very sobering listening.
Back down to the hotel where I stood on a huge bug after a shower and nearly jumped 6 foot. Needless to say it’s now a dead bug.. a very dead bug.
That evening we met up with Linda again and had a great evening of cheap cocktails and dinner at Bokaru before heading to a sports bar which was showing the new Bohemian Rhapsody film. It’s a great way
to watch a movie with a few beers and comfy seats. At the end of the film they then put the 20 minute Queen set from Live Aid - great fun.
We then shot off to another venue to watch the top local rock group ‘the Kampot Playboys’ - they were on good form with a big crowd of all ages watching.
Another day another tour. This time out the other side of Kampot by tuk tuk. After visiting a rubbish pepper shop, an even worse salt shop and a fishing ‘village’ that was basically a boat and a shack things started to pick up.
We drove out on the tuk tuk across increasingly bumpy and dusty roads to the secret lake and then La Plantation- a large pepper farm. We did a very informative pepper tasting, red, green, black, white, long & salty pepper.
While there we went to the secret lake, pulled along in a cart by water buffalos - an even bumpier ride than the tuk tuk, but well worth it just to get to the lake. As they took us into the water we had to lift our feet onto the seats as
the water came into the cart. The Water Buffalo clearly liked being almost totally submerged in the water. As the water receded we saw that we had been left a little present by one of the animals which had been floating in the water - definitely not what we expected.
On the way back to the Plantation the driver stopped to pick a mango from a tree. He also stopped & picked up something that we both warily thought looked like a cattle prod. To our relief it was a metal pole that sprayed water to cool the Water Buffalo down.
On then to Kep where we visited the crab market and ate a late lunch overlooking the sea.
Back to the hotel then before heading out to meet Linda again. This time we met at the ‘fish market’ bar before grabbing some dinner and then onto a private view at a local art gallery which also had a live band and free beer- a good combination.
Kampot has been well and truly done, and we had a different and fuller experience as a result of meeting Linda - thank you Linda for that.
couple of flights and another country- Laos
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