2 days of peace
14.02.2012 - 15.02.2012 36 °C
Kampot...just what I needed! Hanging in the garden of Blissful Guest House hammocks await for lazy travelers to collapse in to, with an ice cold beer in hand. Simplicity at it's best, just a bed with a mossie net and outside 'scoop flush' toilets. Only $2 per night.
My tuk-tuk driver convince me to take a trip to the caves in the afternoon on the day of my arrival. Joined by a girl from Sweden, Tess, we embark on the bumpy ride through the stunning countryside. The roads are dusty and the cows are skinny. 10 minutes into our journey we reach an abandoned railway line. Another tuk-tuk is stuck half-way across the line, surrounded by several villages pondering over the situation. Two wooden planks have been placed either side of the line, placed to help vehicles drive over the line. In this case it didn't work. Unable to carry on until the other tuk-tuk has moved, we wait for at least 10 minutes until the villagers finally decide there is only one option...the old fashioned method of 'heave-ho'. Circling the vechile they push from behind, whilst rocking the tuk-tuk from side to side, shimmying it over the railway line. Inspired by the efforts of the villages our tuk-tuk driver recruits the help of some local children. He speeds up towards the line. As we hit the track the kids push their hardest, and we bounce over to the other side. Easy. Or so we think.
Two minutes further into our journey there are some strange clicking noises coming from the tuk-tuk. Our driver ignores it, and speeds on...until disaster. The chain comes off of the bike. Stranded in the middle of the countryside we wait whilst our driver repeatedly swears in English, then apologises profusely, as he haphazardly puts the chain back on the bike. This incident happens several more times. But it provides ideal opportunities to take pictures. Once we reach the fields near the caves, the driver goes to fix the bike whilst we recruit some local children to show us the caves. Speaking perfect English (and with a good knowledge of several other languages) two boys become our leaders, whilst other children tag along for the journey. We hire a flashlight from another child and head into the caves. The narrow cave channels, and large rocks make the journey more exciting. But with only one very useless torch, it is difficult to see where I'm going. We spot bats and find a clear pool of water, perfectly still hiding in the darkness. A narrow exit reveals the rest of the children ready to walk us back. We give the children money, and find our driver with the fixed tuk-tuk.
My second day in Kampot involves exploration of the town on a bicycle. However, due to the intensity of the heat I end up doing most of my 'exploration' around the cafes that line the waterfront. The The 'touristy' side of the river is easily navigated on tarmacked roads. Crossing the bridge the roads are dusty orange-coloured tracks, twisting through the local village.