Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stories from Kampot

So..... here are some photos from a cool weekend with one of my favourite people in the entire world.

The thing is, I very rarely book accommodation on weekend's away.  A cursory glance at my aptitudes will tell you that anything that looks, smells or in any other way vaguely resembles admin causes all manner of frightening symptoms to break out immediately.  The only relief is for me to run, wailing, in the opposite direction.  I have a great number of structured, organised friends who take care of these jobs while I contribute to a weekend away in other ways.. making sure there is a camera on hand, asking if breakfast in included in the accommodation price and over-packing, because who knows what I wil feel like wearing tomorrow?!

My dear friend Claire came to visit for a few weeks and in a fit of excitement I wrote down some ideas of places we could visit on weekends. After some discussion we settled on Kampot.  Some keywords popped into my head as I pondered where we should stay.  River... bungalow... live music... great people.  A river bungalow with live music and great people. Surely a win!  I quickly looked at the guesthouse in question's website and as it was 2 days before we were due to leave (see admin aversion above), hurriedly booked us a riverside bungalow.

After a grotto bus ride during which the grossest curtain imaginable gently brushed against my skin, and I periodically informed Claire, "Oh I definitely recognise this area, we're nearly there" (we were never nearly there) we arrived and squeezed, bags and all onto one moto.

Oh boy, this story is going nowhere slowly but bare with me, I'm nearly done.

As we descended the gangplank to our bungalow my heart soared while my stomach sank (don't over think it).  We had this view (see first picture) but I hadn't realised there was only a communal bathroom, which is pretty much the worst thing ever.  However, we had this view and could jump right out of room into the water, which is pretty cool.

Later on in the night we realised the live music was also very loud, late night music and our bed sat at a roughly 85 degree angle.  Also, in an attempt at conversation with a young British boy, I misheard him say friends as parents and proceeded to ask him where his parents were in a conciliatory tone.  He was mortified at such a thought and we came to the tacit agreement that it was altogether more pleasant to just listen to the music. Oh and one last thing... while jumping out your room into the water is fun,  if you're under 5'5 and/or have no upper body strength, make sure to have a tall friend around.  I hear that you may find it impossible to get out the water, leaving you with option A) bob down to the main deck and step, dripping, over the backpackers sprawled out or B) shriek and dissolve in unhelpful giggles while your tall friend tries to pull you out.

Those bikes, are really that tiny. Also, Claire's well earned drink of water was rudely interrupted by a dog marking it's territory.. although it's photo bombing gift is pretty impressive.

Kampot is the main pepper growing region in Cambodia.  Kampot pepper is one of the best peppers in the world and if the official website is to be believed "it develops an enthralling aroma, strong, delicate and aromatic."  So here it is, drying in the sun. Uh, this man appears to be checking on it.. Moving right along.

The pork ribs at Rusty Keyhole, a restaurant along the river, are legen(pause)dary. For a few dollars we got a massive plate of ribs, which the guys at the next table informed us we'd never finish.  Right, well now the challenge was on.  Their most stunning feature, besides the taste and tenderness is that there were hardly any bones, just chunks of delicious meat!  While we ate the manager's daughter came to sit with us and commandeered my camera while chatting happily about her dress and the photos she was taking.  Oh and we almost finished the ribs before conceding defeat.

We lay on the deck of our guesthouse and played that old favourite, "Cloud Pictures".  See the squirrel?

Kampot is a lovely little town and I'm so glad I got to experience it for the first time with such a good friend.  Besides eating meat and drinking beer, we enjoyed leisurely cycles, some really great live music, card games with friends we made at the guesthouse, a sampling of some of the other eateries in Kampot, a bit of reading and journalling, great conversations and lots of swimming. And we had views like this from our room:

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