Amie's Adventures

The world is full of amazing places, people and cultures - i plan to eventually see it all
  • Day53

    homeward bound

    November 25, 2016 in Thailand

    Dear travel journal,
    This is it - the last day - sad face.
    I woke up this morning and took my time getting up and then headed out to breakfast. Its soo cool here with the gardens and trees everywere its like a mini oasis and i was the only one at breaky so it was all for me. The hotel staff are awesome. I walked over the the breaky area and the lady said goodmorning and asked if i was in room 17 - why yes i am. Then she asked if i wanted eggs and how i would like them cooked. Then once i was seated came over and was like 'your checking out today right, would you like me to organise you a taxi? What time would you like to leave for the airport?' Um yes thankyou. Then i went to the spa (in my hotel) and had a back, shoulder and head massage. Which actually started with her giving me a foot bath and scrub and then had aan awesome massage, she was really digging at my knots which really helped. Then i showered and packed - its not pretty but i managed to make it all fit - winning. Then i was out and off to the airport. First flight, chiang mai to bangkok. Which was delayed by half an hour. Then we sat on thw run way for ages. The flight went pretty quick though and they fed us which i wasnt expecting so that was nice. Then i made it to bangkok, the bags took over half an hour to come out then i was out into the airport, check back in, through security and immigration and ran to my gate. Got there 5 mins before the boarding time on my ticket. Omg talk about rushed. The next flight was ok, singapore airlines is always nice but my flight was filled with first and business class people lol. I got sat next to a couple with a young child who head butted me and kept kicking me and was grabbing things off my food tray. It was quite annoying. Like seriously you were offered a bassonett but said no, at least sit her on the isle not next to me. And then the guy next to me on the other side (kinda hot, watching videos on dopamine receptors, so he must be smart too) got knocked by someone walkig past while drinking water which went all down his business suit front. Lovely people lovely... but it was only 4 hrs so it was ok. The sigapore stop over wasnt too bad. Just walked around a bit and had a hot coffee (decaf ofcourse) and then brushed my teeth and put my hair in a plat. Pretty much got as ready to sleep as i could. And then on the flight i finished watching the bfg and then tried to get some sleep. The flight was only 7 hours apparently but i probably managed to get about 4hrs sleep. But now im back in brisbane (stuck on the plane on the run way due to gate congestion) i dont feel too bad. Wishing i was still abroad but excited for all the changes to come.
    Till the next adventure xoxo
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  • Day52

    elephants and horses

    November 24, 2016 in Thailand

    Dear travel journal,
    Today was pretty fun. I woke up in my mosquito net to the sounds of animals going crazy. 6am the elephants and dogs and what sounded like every animals in a 5km radius had just gone nuts until the sun rose st 6.30am. And our friendly bungalow cat banging and meowoming at the back door. He wanted in and had left us a masdive gecko which he had eaten one leg and the tail but it was still alive i so i put it in a corner, hopefully it will recover. He was cute and i totally would have let sleep with me. I got up after having a bit of a lay in and got sorted for the day and packed my bags and headed down for breaky. We had a bit of time after breaky before meeting apple our guide so we went back and checked out of the room. We had the enclosures that have the elephants under veterinary direction behind our bungalow, and one of the girls where getting the morning treatment which was cool to watch. She sat down with her feet pointing out behind her and the vet washed the foot with a hose, scrubbed it, im what looked like tea wash and covered it in iodine solution before covering it with spray. Then it was back to bed for the elephant. Then we went for a bit of a walk around the park and watched the different herds get out of bed and wander around and have breaky A couple of them with blankets over them and fires set by their mahouts to keep them warm overnight. The herd with the tiny baby we playing with ropes and swing tires and they all crossed the river, holding the baby up on the way, which was pretty cool. But then their mahouts had to go and get them because river crossed over into someone elses land. Then after our walk we had a bit more free time so i headed up to the domestic clinic and asked if i could have a look around. One of the girls showed me around which was cool. The clinic was tiny but super functional. Out the front were a few different cages, one housing like maybe 15 puppies about 10 weeks that they had got in yesterday. Then two banks of cages which were quite small that had dogs with parasits, one that had an open wound that had been maggot infected, an amputated tail, renal failure and a couple of hit by cars. One kid had been moved closure to the treatment rooms in a cage on wheels and had an iv in looking pretty sad and skinny but he bowl had been touched which is always good. The treatment room had a tiny puppy on the table with a worm burden that was getting a blood transfusion from one of the park dogs. They were cross matching while getting the puppy ready. The next room was a tiny theatre. They use a weird drug mixture and then maintain with iso. And the next room had cats in cages and a dog who had just been spayed recovering on the floor. For a tiny, middle of no where clinic they have xrays, new microscopes, oxygen, anaesthetic everything, autoclavs. The vets i was talking to (one from the uk and one from america) said that they are actually lucky and can do quite a bit. They were also saying that ticks can be a big issue. They dont have paralysis ticks and they rarely see lymes but with burdens they do get quite sick. So the animals all get bravecto. Which is awesome but they dont get worming routinely which is interesting - but they are trying to being that in. They were also saying that during the wet season, pneumonia is really bad and almost untreatable by the time they arrive at the clinic which sucks balls. So after my domestics chat and visit and i walked back down to the main area and went out on the sky walk and sat and read until lunch, then had lunch and then sat and read until 1pm. At 1pm dr. Jo one of the park vets came and picked me up and showed me around the park clinic - which is for all the other animals that arent domestics, elephants, horses, ponies, goats and water bufflow. It wad pretty cool. They had two big white boards with all the patients names and treatments written down which was pretty cool. Then we sat outside and watched all the elephants come and go from their afternoon baths in the river and made gauze squares from a massive roll. Then we collected a whole bunch of stuff and headed up to the horse paddocks. Dr jo took one of the horses into the stables and handed me a bucket with chlorhex in the bottom, a sponge and a hose and said wash the horse and dissapeared. Lol good thing i like horses. He wasnt too fond of the water or his face being touched but he was a good boy. I wet him down with the hose and then gave him a chlorhec scrub. He has really flacky skin with some wounds around his face and neck that looked like they where healing really well. Then i rinsed him off and got handed a pair of scissors and i had to removed the dressing from his front left hoof. Then the vet gave it a good scrub while i flushed with chlorhex, his poor foot was all cracked and open and a big almost pressure wound looking on the bottom. Then i covered it in iodine and put a nappy on as an absorbant pad, then vet wrapped the shit out of it and stuck bright pink duck tape that had been stuck together at the ends to make a big square, went over the top. Then the vet squeegied the horse dry while i cleaned all its feet with a hoof pick and then we let it go back into the paddock. I was drenched and covered in mud but i was very cool. Then they were going to take a quick break and go up and do typhone one of the elephants and said i was welcome to spend the rest of the day with them, but when we got back in my tour leader came and found me and said everyone was waiting for me to head back into chiang mai - super sad face, i wanted o stay and help with the elephants in the afternoon. But still appreciate them having me. The other girls in my group played in the river again and then made rice balls (the size of rock melons) and fed the older elephants in the pens behind our bungalow. Then we all jumped in the minivan and hrmeaded back to chiang mai where i was dropped at my fancy spa resort :p its very nice Nd quite fancy. The bed is amazing. Its Pricey for here but not super top end. After check in i emptied out my back pack and headed off into town to meet bianca. We met in the markets and had dinner and then we went through the markets and shopped. I brought way tok much stuff my back pack was bulging lol. I including two packets of temporary tattoos which i will put on later. After we shopped we got our feet eaten by fish, which was the weirdest feeling ever. The lady forgot about us so our 15mins turned into half an hour, our feet were soooo smooth and then we got a foot and leg massage. After we were all relaxed we said our goodnights and i jumped in a tuk tuk back to the hotel. Then i went crazy with the tattoos but i think they look really cool. I put a big wolf dream catcher on the outside of my left leg cause i want to see if i will like it getting my real dream catcher there. And all the little ones i put where i might get other smaller ones like a compass. I think they all look cool. I hope they do last at least a week. Then i had an awesome shower and crashed into my massive squishy, four poster, 7 pillowed, surrounded with mosquito net, queen bed and settled in for a sleep in.Read more

  • Day51

    elephant nature park

    November 23, 2016 in Thailand

    Dear travel journal,
    Omg im so tired. Up at 3.30am, got my stuff sorted and headed downstairs jumping into a taxi and headed to the dmk airport. At the airport i checked in and headed through security and found my gate. 45mins from hotel to gate, thats pretty good seeing i was told it could take 2 hours - although i did doubt that would be the case at 4am. After getting sorted and knowing where i was at, i went and sat in a cafe and had breakfast before jumping on the plane. I honestly dont remember the plane taking off. I remember boarding and an announcement saying we were delayed a little because of runway congestion and then i woke up 30-60 mins later, with a sore neck from the weird arse position i was in. Then off the plane, ran and got my bag and jumped in a taxi and made it to the elephant nature park office about 5 minutes before the transfer arrived to pick me up - yay i made it. Then an hour and a half in the minivan, with a coffee/toilet break in the middle and we had made it. It was quite busy and loads of people, mostly day visitors. We have 16 overnight guests and the park currently has 70 volunteers. There are heaps of staff and the organisation has hired a lot of burma refugees and helps give aid to their families, by paying for their childrens education and giving them and their parenters an income. Its pretty cool, but the handlers work hard - 7am till 4pm, 7 days a week. First thing we did was take all of our stuff out of the van and make a pile. Then our guide jo took us for a walk around the park and introduced us to some of the elephants. The park has 70 elephants, 400 dogs and 250 cats, horses, water buffalow and more. The cats and dogs mostly just free range everywhere. In front of the main buildings the elephants all have night dens but the 18 on this side of the river have free range of the park. Each elephant has a mahout (handler) and their job is to stay with them from 7am until 4pm daily and make sure they dont get into any trouble. One heard is in medical lock down and will get let out when they have been cleared. The poor little man (3 years) was clearly bored. And there are others kept seperate for safety for people or other elephants depending on temperament etc. So we walked around the park and got introduced to some of the elephants and shown some of the dog kennels, a lot of which have been rescued from the bangkok floods a couple of years ago, which have shelter, enrichment and are quite big, which is good cause they are multihoused. Then we had lunch and headed back out and watched one of the herds, with a 7 month old, have a mud bath. Seriously a whole group of massive elephants in a tiny mud pond, it was quick amusing. At first when they all headed to the mud, some came up behind people and they didnt even notice cause they are so quiet. One guy all of a sudden hand an elephant bump into him and he jumped ten feet, it was quite amusing. Then we got changed and headed down to the river with buckets. The elephants came to join us and stopped in the water and a masdivr bucket of fruit while we threw water at it. It was quite fun. Our elephants name was zaza, big slow old girl. Then back up to the main building and we said goodbye to jo and met apple our night guide. She showed us to our rooms / mini houses, which are open rooms, beds with mossie nets, a bathroom and patio either side and dogs included if you leave the doors open lol. The back patio overlooks the elephants night pens so we are sleeping like 20 meters away from the elephants, which is kind of cool. Then we had free time until dinner. I sat and did nothing for a bit, the headed up to the domestic for a look around. But i couldnt go in unfortunatly. But the runs look good, so do the horse yards. Then i walked back and had a chat with a volley and she said they pretty much have the same cases as shelters as home. Hit by cars, worm burdens, renal failure etc. But apparently the park dont believe in humane euthansia which she said is hard sometimes. Then i watched the rest of the elephants get put to bed, so they are safe overnight and sat on the 'sky walk' - a long viewing platform overlooking the park and watched the sun go down and listened to the river and animals (mainly dogs) making loads of noise. While the kids who live at the park with their families played soccer out on one of the fields. It was cool to watch. Then it was time for dinner, which again was quite tasty. Then i bailed and headed to bed, cause im seriously struggling to stay awake. Night night xoRead more

  • Day50

    back to thailand

    November 22, 2016 in Thailand

    Dear travel journal,
    Talk about mammoth travel day - 11hrs!!! We got up and had breaky at the hotel before jumping into a minibus and heading to the boarder. About an hour out the aircon belt came off because something was broken apparently. So we stopped at a road side cafe and had a break. We walked around a bit, got food, used the loo and waited for a new bus. The new one we got was a coach so we all got to spread out for a bit which was nice. Then we got off at he border. There was another intrepid guide with us who was picking up a group in bangkok tomorrow and he put our bags on a trolley and took them over the border for us while we went through the cambodian exit and then walked the 1km to the thailand border entry point. The cambodian side was quick and easy, the line on the thailand side was huge and it took us just over an hour to get through. Then down the ramps out of the buildling and up the road to 2 minivans. In the vans we got and headed off to bangkok stopping for lunch and arriving about 7pm. We checked back in to astera hotel and at 7.30pm met in the lobby to head out to dinnet after saying good to roxana and yve as their flight was tonight. We went to dinner at the sane place we did the very first night of the tour, except this time we had a private room and a much bigger group. Dinner was quite nice and then we headed back to the hotel where i made everyone have photos with me and i said my goodbyes. Then headed to my room and got sorted and went to bed. Im up at 3.30am, its already 10.30pm and i cant sleep - tomorrow is going to be tough....Read more

  • Day49

    floating village

    November 21, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    Today was a good day. Got up and walked i to town and head breaky with dana at a vegan cafe that was quite tasty. A quick tuk tuk back to the hotel and we jumped on the minibus to the floating village. We minibused it past small villages and rivers and rice fields and people fishing and then jumped in the tray of a truck and 4-wheel-drove down a super muddy dirt 'road' that had a rover one side and then stretching rice fields all the way to the horizon that progressively had more and mlre water flooded over them the further we went. It was soo beautiful with the bright green rice fields and cows and cranes everywhere and people working and the sun reflecting off the water. It really was awesome. In the wet season the entire area, fields and all are under water. Once we got to a point where the river took over and became more of a lake we jumped into a boat and headed down stream. I sat on the roof of the boat for a huge chunk of the trip and just watched the boats going past witb other tourists, locals in fishing boats and trees that sre submerged to the canopy. We past a couple of building on the way before entering the village proper. All of the houses are on stilts. There were boats everywhere, people fishing and kids swimming and fisherman clearing their nets from the mornings catch. We went through the village and out the other side which opened out into a massive lake that looked like it stretched out forever. It was very cool. Then back into town and we got off at a little building and jumped into little flat row boat type things in pairs. I was wish dana and we went past houses and floating shops and had a chat with a local who was trying to sell is stuff but was nice and had good english. And then we floated through the trees which apparently in the dry season has no water and you can walk between the trees. Then back on our boat and a bit further into the village and we jumped off the boat onto a jetty (bamboo sticks with a bit of wood tied between) to the only bit of land exposed in the village that goes completely under by about 2 meters in the wet season. We walked past kids everywhere, houses, little shops, people working on nets, dogs and chickens everywhere. At the end was the school and then the temple which is still under construction. While we were waiting for the boat to come and get us dana and euan where talking and euans traidmark 'oh shiiit' in his kiwi twang was said a few times. Then one of the local boys walking past, who must have been only about 10years, repeated it. Woops - we are teaching locals some bad things lol. Then back on the boat, upriver, and jumped back on the truck to the minivan back to town. It was an awesome morning, exactly the side of these countries i wanted to see. The real cambodia. Aparently the money we paid goes straight back to the community to help rebuild the roads destroyed by the wet season, maintain boats and for the locals. The water in the area is quite brown and dirty. Everything from the village, including their toilets (if they have them), goes into the river. For drinking they get water into a container and mix in lime or lemon juice and wait for it to seperate. And then take the clear water on the top to boil and use that for cooking and drinking. Most of the community is buddist and they cremate all bodies of people who have passed away, sometimes having to preserve the bodies over the wet season until the water has gone down a bit.
    Then we stopped for lunch and headed back to the hotel and had a quiet arvo in before i headed out for dinner with the kiwi boys. Then the group minus dana, bianca and blake went to the circus. It was awesome. It was a story about bullying and descrimination and how acceptance is a good thing and leads to the good health and fortune and blessings. Apart from the story line the tricks and the muscles - omg. And the organisation helps put disadvantaged kids through art school. 1200 per year get a free education and 150 end up proffesional arts, but they all get skills to help them build lives and get jobs and support themselves. Just awesome. Then.... we all went to pub street. Woop woop. Last night we are all together. Tour ends tomorrow - sad face. We went back to the temple bar. There were soo many more people. It was so good. We just danced and laughed and danced for hours. People slowly left and dana, euan, guss, felix and i were left. After some interesting encounters with tuk tuk drivers, we started headed back. We passed tom, innisa and heika all having a drink and then ran into everyone else. So the group was all together again. Except for roxana and yve and biance who didnt come out. Poor B is soo sick - hope she gets better soon. Then slowly everyone went back to the hotel leaving me, blake and tom. Which was just a random as conversation but slighly amusing. Then we joined lisa and innis who were smoking and sat around and had a chat. Then blake and i checked on all the boys, appologised to their cranky neighbour, gave gus a bottle of water while he was half passed out on the bathroom floor and left blake too it. Dancing was so fun. Cant believe im the sober one and im the last one up. Lol oh well, im up in 5 hours so should probably crash. Night xo
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  • Day48

    ankor wat

    November 20, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    I seriously dont know how im functioning. Its 2340 and i have been up since 0400 thats nearly 24 hours and we just havent stopped. I shall sleep well tonight.
    So, up at 4am put some cloths on and stumbled onto the minibus and we were off to ankor wat. We stopped at the gate and got our daily enterance passes with our pictures on them and everything and then back on the bus through the national park to ankor wat. We walked up the path through the main gates and down to the lakes looking over the central temple and found a seat for the sunrise. There was sooooo many people there it was insane. The sky was a bit cloudy so the rise wasnt great but it was still pretty awesome to see. While sitting a macaque came out and started running towards a group of people with food. It was quite funny to watch, they are so cheeky. The we headed back out the front of ankor wat and sat in an local cafe and had breakfast and pre-ordered our lunch. Then on the minibus and we were off to explore the jungle temple. The jungle temple was falling down everywhere with massive trees holding heaps of it together. Its the temple that the tomb raider was filmed in apparently. It was quite cool. We walked around and explored a bit then jumped on the minibus to ankor wat. At ankor wat we started on the east side of the compound and headed through the middle to the west. It was huge. We could have easily spent an entire day exploring. Most of the trees have been removed from the site to help keep the foundations stable. The foundations are sand with granit and sandstone blocks for the building and the moat around the compound help keep everything moist and stable. Right in the centre of the compound is a big open area that has 4 pools. Each one representing one of the elements - earth, fire, water and air. It was said that the people would come into the temple and go to the pool that represented their element and take some water to help cleanse themselves and their spirit. Right in the centre of the room is an open area where the lines of the roof meet in a cross and there is a small circle on the floor. Limney put a compus on the circle - it read 0degrees normal. Exactly. So we all took a photo in a circle of our faces from a camera sitting in the floor lol. Once we had finished at ankr wat we walked back out the front gate, past a buddah statue and a bunch of monkies and sat back in our morning cafe for lunch. After lunch we crossed over a buddah head bridge with buddahs either side of the bridge on both sides of the buddah pass. Most of the heads had been removed at one point and taken by thailand. Most of then are back and have been reattached but loads are still missing. In the river was a couple in a boat having wedding photos taken. They looked pretty cool. And then we stopped next at the main temple in the ankor tom compound. The kiwi boys dana and i peeled off from the rest of the group and just explored the temple on our own, taking loads of pictures including a group squat picture which looks awesome lol. Its a new trend lol. The temple was cool built up high in the middle and progressivly lower untill you reach the ground level which court yards around the whole temple. There are buddah heads calved into all of the steeples that are everywhere in the temple and loads of little shrines everywhere. It was very cool. Then we drove past the 12 pillars and a smaller temple for some pictures.
    Then we headed over to the flight of the gibbon. Dana and i needed a loo when we got their but there was no toilet facilities nearby so we had to use the famous happy bush, whicb was interesting cause there wasnt really anywhere we could hide lol. Then we got bandanas and helmets and strapped into our body harnesses and a short van ride to the base of course. The guides where amazing. They were funny and good fun and came out with some of the moat funny things ever. They were also safe and super professional. I felt totally safe the entire time and they controlled our carabenas and connections so there was no room for error which was good. We did ziplines and bridges of different types and one of the ziplines was two person, named the honeymoon, which i did with felix. It was hilarious and im now telling everyone i honeymooned with felix lol. At the end because half the course is shut for renovations they literally just hooked us on a rope and lowered us over the edge. I was like you want me to what? So he just clicked me in first and was like yep step off. It actually wasnt that scary. He stopped me half way while the person on the other rope was detached. And then he just let me free fall for a few minutes - omg. It was hillarious though. Once we were all down we walked back to the minivan. On the way back there was a massive gecko (30cm ish long) on a tree that was a cool colour. One of the guides pointed it out and i was like 'naw its cute', and he said 'he looks like me', i replied 'oh totally your both cute' lol he wasnt expecting that and we both just burst out laughing and then he got a piggyback from euan lol. It was so fun. Back at the main area we got out of the harnesses and collected out stuff and we were all standing around chatting. I cant remember who said what but i was saying i dont want to go home, the guide from earlier was like 'its ok you can stay as long as you want'. Yay my in. Im staying, :p
    Then we transfered back to the hotel and showered and i got some washing sorted. Then we all headed down to one of the boys room to find ice in the bathroom sink with a bottle of gin, whisky and yagur and a load of mixers lol. Dana got wasted lol. The boys where all a bit buzzed and then we met everyone down stairs and headed to dinner.
    Dinner was interesting we went to a local cultural show. It was a massive room with long tables and a stage at the front. And a massive buffet at the back off to one side. We ate and chatted while the show was going and watched some of the show, which was interesting and had lots of bright coloured costumes. Dana and the boys were amusing.
    Then after dinner the kiwi boys, dana, bianca and i headed down to pub street. We walked through the markets and streets of siem reap until we came to the lights and loud music of pub street where we went to a pub and everyone had a few drinks and a chat and then we headed back to the hotel. At the hotel we crashed the boys room again and they had a couple more drinks and started picking on dana because of the pictures her new boy has been sending. Which was absolutely hilarious. Then we crashed. Long but fun day.
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  • Day47

    siem reap

    November 19, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    Today we came to siem reap. The last stop of our cambodian tour before back to bangkok :( we were up and packed and on a local bus by 8.30am and then started the slow bus ride to siem reap stopping and picking people up and dropping people off the whole way. With one 20 min stop about half way to use the toilet we arrived in siem reap about 2pm and jumped from the public bus to our minibus to the hotel stopping on the way tonget lunch. After lunch we checked into the hotel and got sorted. Then we went down to the lobby and got picked up by our afternoon tour guide who transported us to the atv head quarters. Thats right quad bikes - sooo much fun!!! We got there and signed wavers and had a safety briefing and had helmets and face masks put on us and then we all jumped on a bike with one of the guides behind us and did a quick up the road and back so that they knew that we could ride a quad bike on our own. Once we were all set and lined up we were off. Ladies at the front, gents at the back. At first it was slow going and quite boring to be honest. But then they randomly split us up and had us following different guides. Blake, felix and euan hooned off in one direction, nicola and dana in another, lisa and innisa in another, leaving me, gus, tom and bianca. And then the fun started. The boys clearly the advanced riders just came back covered in mud when we met back up. We were the second group - we did bumps and mud and fields and got up a bit of speed, i completely drifted around a corner in a wet field at one point, accidently, but worked perfectly and was fun. We had an awesome time. We stopped once as a group in the middle of a field and all lined up and took pictures and took in the scenery and the second time we stopped bumper to bumper and watched the sunset from the side of a rice pattie field. It was awesome - locals everywhere, farming and working the land, kids coming out to say hi, cows and water buffollow everywhere. Dragonflies everywhere when we stopped for the sunrise. It was so good. People living in their traditional homes off the land. Traditional cambodia is beautiful. We got back 100% muddy which was awesome and then transfered back to the hotel. After a quick clean up we headed out toa local cafe for dinner. Then i headed back to the hotel and showered and got sorted for tomorrow. 4am start - sunrise at ankor wat - it should be amazing. But means i need to crash. Night xoRead more

  • Day46

    the wheels on the bus....

    November 18, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    Starting to feel like 4-5 hrs on a bus a day is the norm...
    We got up early this morning and headed out for breaky thinking an hour would be plenty of time. Nope. At 8.30am (when we were suppost to be getting on the bus) our breaky came out. Woops lol. Once i was done i ran back to the hotel and finished packing for dana anď got a porter to take the bags down whilw she was at the cafe having breaky and then jumped on the minibus. Todays first stop - spiders. Scoon village is known for its taranchella and insects. Limney got off the bus and came back on with a bucket full of taranchellas. He handed everyone one or two or ten, depending on the person. I eventually let him put a placid one on my hand and but some people had them crawling everywhere, in their hair, chest, shoulders... once we were done playing the spiders went back in the bucket and we got out to have a walk around in the markets and we got a chance to try fresh fried tarantulla. I tried to try some but the leg was hard and furry all at the same time and i just couldnt do it. But some people where munchin away. After buying somd dried fruits and using the bathroom it was back on the bus to krong kampong cham. Once at the hotel we checked in and headed down to the local ngo restaraunt 'smile' for lunch which was quite tasty. Then back to the hotel and bianca had a sleep and i read for a couple of hours and then it was time for the bike tour. We all jumped onto push bikes and headed down the road to the local ferry. Which was just an open barge that everyone loaded onto and squished as many people as possible. With no sides so making sure you didnt fall in. We fit sooo many people, bikes, scooters, a car and even a horse and cart on a floating wooden platform that had to be maybe 6m by 15m. Lol. Each year in the dry season they build a bamboo bridge that runs between the mainland and the island. Kohpen the island was awesome. We got off the barge and up the bamboo bridge to the dirt roads and rode around the little town. Past houses with people washing and cooking and gardening and farming and kids playing everywhere. The kids where so cute they would all run out and say hello and wave, some would hold their hands out for hi-fives as we rode past and others would run behind us for a bit. I took my time at the back of the group just enjoying it and taking it all in. Then we stopped at a temple that looked across soo many fields and rice paddies with people working and a horse drawn cart. The temple however was used as a prison during some of the time of the komarus and there is a small killing field behind it. Its such a peaceful, isolated place, the locals really where not safe anywhere. Then we continued on and stopped at a locals house. Honestly i didnt listen to anything limney was talking about. I tried some of the pink and yellow pomegranit which was tasty - pinks better. But the rest of the time i was playing soccer with a couple of the local boys. We were playing with a small ball then one of the boys ran up the road and came back with a normal he was pretty good. After a while felix joined in and felix and the older boy showed off their skills. It was awesome. Then back on the bikes and the next stop was another home where they make sticky rice cakes with sweet peas and coconut milk. They were sweet but quite nice. Then we headed back to the barge, we didnt want to miss last one back or we would be staying there the night. There was one section of the trail that was totally different from the rest. It was bumpy and overgrown and opened into peoples yards the whole way. Then all of sudden it was bush on one side, opens to the river on the other, the ground was really smooth and the massive tree in the middle of the path had the smoothest bark ever. It was very cool. Then it went back to normal. After we crossed on the last barge and got back to the hotel we cleaned up and met in the lobby for dinner. Dinner tonight is with a local family. We all climbed into tuk tuks and headed to the families home and sat on the floor in their main room. The main room is just a big open space. They put matts out along the sides of the walls to sleep on at night and other matts down the length of the middle to sit on to eat meals. And thats what we did. Sat down the middle of the room in two rows and they brought heaps of food out and spread it acrosd the middle of the table and we all just helped ourselfs to what we wanted and chatted. They passed around tarantulla wine at one point for people to try. After dinner the tuk tuk took us back to the hotel and the kiwi boys, girls and i went with limney to a 'local bar' which is just chairs on the side walk and a little food cart. Limney got some dried squid and crab salad (shelled crabs and sauce) and was munching while drinking his spiced spider wine and the boys had a couple of beers each. Then we said goodnight to limney and we all went for a walk down along the river and then went to look at a local wedding that was happening that you could hear a few streets away. The dresses where amazing. The live band singing achey breaky heart in cambodian was interesting. But we still danced to the music on the way back to the hotel. Once back everyone went to bed and i sat down stairs using the net for a bit. Having brief convos with people was they walked past - tom, limney, lisa and nicola and then i headed up to bed.Read more

  • Day45

    back to phenom penh

    November 17, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    Another bus day today. I got up early and had breaky and went to collect my washing from the laundry up the road (twice because they forget my bear shirts). And we got into a public bus (minibus with us and 1 other) and drove from 7.30 till 1.30pm with a stop half way for toilets and if anyone wanted food. Back at the same guesthouse we checked in and had a free afternoon. Nicola, tom, bianca, eve and roxana and i headed out and had some lunch and went down to the palace and silver pagoda for a look around which was kind of cool. It was like a mini temple city. Then we all headed to the pharmacy to get a few things and tom headed back with his aftersun cream because he is beetroot red, poor guy. Eve and roxana headed off to the hotel and then to have massages. Nicola, bianca and i headed to the waterfront. We ended up having 30min massages (back for me and nicola and feet for b) and then stopped at a pub where a bunch of our group where and sat down for a chat. Then most people left and i stayed and had a drink with jill, david and lisa and then headed back to the guesthouse to get sorted and meet people for dinner. At 7pm we headed down to the local friends ngo restaraunt, which is a sister facility to the one we went to in laos that helps and trains local homeless kids to give them a better quality of life. The food was awesome. And then back at the hotel the kiwi boys, girls and i crashed euan and gus' room and we all just hung out and played cards for ages which was good fun. And then i headed up and had a shower and got sorted for tomorrow. NightRead more

  • Day44

    boats and chills

    November 16, 2016 in Cambodia

    Dear travel journal,
    Last night was a bit of a rough one. I woke up about 1.30am and saw a bunch of messages on my phone. Turns out euan had come back and was vomiting and then passed out in bed. But felix had disappeared. Blake and gus went out looking for him but hadnt had any luck and came back about middnight and there had still been no word. So i headed over to blake and felixs room and had a chat with blake and we came up with the plan to wait a couple more hours (cause drunk felix sometimes does this) and then get limney to send out a search party. I stayed so blake could get some sleep and ended up asleep in felixs bed being woken up just after 4am by banging on the door. Felix was standing theree shirtless and completely sandy in one piece, phone and wallet in hand. I let him in and left them too it heading back to my own room.... oh dear, thankfully he is ok...
    This morning we were up early this morning and headed downstairs and jumped into tuk tuks which took us to a little local cafe for breakfast put on by todays local tour guide. Then we headed out onto the jetty and jumped onto a little boat and after a photo with a police officer and our boat man hot wired the motors on our boat (just lol) we were off. It was hot and sunny and a beautiful clear day and the water is so clear it was awesome. We headed out to an island and dropped the anker and everyone jumped in for a snorkel. I stayed in the boat and read and lay around relaxing and took pictures. It was nice. Then we headed off to a second island this time all getting off the boat as this is where we where spending a few hours. It was like a little tropical island holiday resort in the middle of no where lol. It was very cool. With recling beach chairs lined up under the overhanging trees looking out to the ocean and other islands, with a volley ball court, dogs and puppies running around and sleeping everywhere underneth proples seats and our esky set up with water, soft drinks and beers. It was pretty cool. We all picked a seat and jumped in for a swim. The water was so warm, almost like bath water i was very nice. Then we chillaxed in our chairs chatting and some people played volley ball. Then we had a tasty lunch and tom and i kicked a soccer ball for a bit ehile felix and gus played with a frisbee and we all just spent the time lounging and swimming, and i had a little nap. And then we jumped back on the boat and headed to a third island were we jumped in and some people snorkled and a couple of us just swam a bit and sunbacked on the boat. At this point poor limney had had a couple of drinks and was quite entertaining. Then once we were done, we all settled in for the boat ride back to the jetty. I sat on the front of the boat and just looked out at the ocean and listened to music. It was very relaxing. Back on land and we headed back to the hotel. Dana and bianca went for a arvo walk while i had a shower and got my bags sorted and read for a bit. Then i walked down to the beach for dinner with the boys. Same restaraunt on the beach front as yesterday but today we have big round loung chairs which were amazing. We just chatted and ate and enjoyed the atmosphere and then headed back to the hotel fairly early. On the way we passed a guy who recognised felix and stopped him to see if he was ok. Turns out he got supe drunk, tried to pee somewhere he was allowed and pushed a local guy (luckily a good one...) and then passed out on a seat and vomited with his head back and the guy pushed his head forward and put water over his face and cleaned out his mouth. Then he passed out on the beach and ran home... just wow - could have been a completely different story. Then the kiwi boys, dana, bianca and i crashed one of the boys rooms and we just chatted and listened to music for ages and then headed off to bed.
    Read more

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