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Published: January 23rd 2018
Day 12. Kampot
45km. 100m climbing. 31 degrees.
The heavens opened at 1.25am and my washing was out. Woke up and dashed out to retrieve it but too late the water was dashing over the eaves of our hut like a waterfall. Wrong it out at 8am and back in the line. The sun is hot and hopefully a bit drier when we leave pack up at noon. The breakfast was very good with a choice of western and eastern foods. Omelettes, bacon, egg, pancakes, noodles, rice, toast etc. We decided to do a great lot of nothing this morning and take a well earned rest after battling the heat and the Cambodian roads yesterday. It is nice to sit by our cabin and look out over the garden and pool and then occasionally bob back into the air conditioned hut to cool off. In fairness calling it a hut is do do the place an injustice. It is quite a luxurious accommodation.
On the road again at 1pm and we headed south instead of north. We are we headed? After 12km and a climb up a bumpy dirt road for 2km we found out. We were visiting an organic pepper
farm mostly manned by young world travellers. We had a good talk about the different peppers by a young French girl who had spent the last 18 months teaching in NE India. Two other helpers were a young man and his girlfriend who had cycled most of the way from France over the last 9 months and were spending three weeks there volunteering for their keep. The work also involves running a cafe. Apparently pepper plants which climb up poles dug into the ground do not like too much direct sun so are covered with bamboo overhead. Outside there was a big shiny disc about 1.5 metres in diameter with a kettle on a stand in the middle. Apparently this can boil in less than ten minutes powered by the sun. If only we had the sun instead of cloud in Lancashire. Can no one invent a cloud kettle? Back on the road to Kampot we called at a salt farm, where seawater is fed into shallow fields and allowed to evaporate. This takes from 10 to 12 days to be ready to be scraped up and put in a building to drain off and be iodised before sale. The
site produces 1m tonnes per year. In Kampot we went around a few roundabouts just to take photos of the massive sculptures which are quite prevalent in Cambodia. The Boutique Kampot Hotel is very nice with big clean rooms and a wonderful modern shower and toilet. One more day of riding and then we are posing by the seaside on Sihanoukville before heading back to Phnom Penh and home. We had a meal tonight in the hotel,which was a bad choice in my case. It took 1 1/2 hrs for the meal to arrive which was full of inedible vegetation and the bill took 1/2 hr to arrive after I had finished. The worst Cambodian meal and service yet after a great run of lovely food during the past 12 days.
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