Six days of isolation

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
Trip End Nov 23, 2011

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What I did
Sunbathe, Read, Eat, Sleep

Flag of Cambodia  , Kaôh Kŏng,
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hello again everybody!

Firstly, we'd like to say sorry for having 'gone dark’ for the past week or so as far as the blog is concerned. Our explanation – Lazybeach!

After the flooding in Siem Reap we had an opportunity to change our original plans and decided to spend a week on one of Cambodia’s islands.

After reading great reviews we decided on Lazybeach which consisted of thirteen wooden huts spread out along the beach and a restaurant. That was it!

It was a right old trek to get there which had us schlepping from Battambang to Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, all capped off by a 2 hour boat journey to the island itself. However, when we got there we knew it had been worth the effort.

This island was amazing! If you were to picture an idyllic tropical island this is what you’d think of. The water was crystal clear, the sand fine and white and the jungle backdrop gave you a feeling of remote isolation – in a good way.

There was no electricity during the day (and only ever for a few hours in the evening) so options for what to do were limited to sunbathing, swimming, reading, sleeping and eating. After experiencing nothing but cities for 6 weeks this was fine by us! It’s amazing how quickly you can slip into a routine that doesn’t consist of very much at all.

On the second day we took a walk to "the other beach". This beach was located on a different part of the island and required a 20 minute walk through the jungle to get there. This would prove to be an opportunity for Boyzee (one of the island dogs) to go for a walk and cement himself in our affections! No sooner had we received directions to the beach and Boyzee was up, raring to go, howling, barking and jumping and generally making it very clear that he knew the way and that we should follow him. So we did! He trotted off in front of us and every so often would look back and give us a little growl to make sure we were keeping up. We wished we had captured it on film as it was hilarious but we didn’t have a camera with us. Anyway, sure enough 20 mins later, feeling very hot as the little guy set quite a pace, we emerged onto another absolutely stunning beach. The sea here was so calm it was a little eerie. No waves, just a gentle lapping at the shore. As beautiful as it was we did prefer the beach our hut was on as it had a bit more atmosphere with the sound of waves, wind etc. This other beach was completely silent! (Until a fecking tour boat from the mainland turned up , replete with whooping and hollering tourists. When we heard a cry of “Hey look, a dog!”we grabbed our things and made good our escape.)

Our accommodation was basic. Very basic (Anna was reminded of her time in South Africa and warmed to it straight away – I took a bit longer and to be honest never really warmed to it that much!).

There were 2 beds, a mozzie net, a shower and a loo. No fan, no air con, no internet, no phone signal, no tv and no radio and no lights until the generator kicked in for a few hours at night. There were however some more natural points of interest. Notably the biggest gecko we’ve ever seen and a bush rat that seemed to be making himself quite at home with a nest made from tissues under the bed. We don’t know where the little guy found these tissues but given that all used tissues go in a bin here rather than down the toilet we didn’t linger on the thought!

Since we’ve been here we’ve seen quite a bit of wildlife that we’re not used to in good old Blighty and most of it we’ve made our peace with. However, I was a tad wary of the gecko, mainly due to its black and red markings! Anna and I had rather a long discussion about whether they had teeth (such lengthy discussions became common place due to the significant amount of time we had on our hands) and after Anna assured me that they didn’t we decided to embrace the old chap and name him Robson! The bush rat we named Marshall. The four of us coexisted happily until the time came for us to leave.We’re so glad that we’ve had the opportunity to visit this Island now as all of Cambodia’s islands have been sold for “development” so I do think that the peaceful, basic and conscientiously run business will not survive for too much longer. It was a fantastic reprieve from city life for us and left us good and ready to tackle Phnom Penh (where we are now) and Ho Chi Minh City after that.

One other thing worth a mention is the delicious seafood I had whilst on the island. It had to be ordered a day in advance and you were given a choice of how you wanted it served. The guys on the island would then go out and catch your dinner and you'd have it that night.
I had the jumbo prawns stir fried in garlic one night (these prawns were HUGE!), this was delicious and steamed crab another night. This was also very yummy but rather labour intensive and I think Anna was left feeling a little queasy due to the aroma (or stench haha) and the ever growing mound of crab shell piling up next to her. I thoroughly enjoyed it though!
We’ve settled in nicely to our hotel here in Phnom Penh and will write a blog soon when we’ve seen some of the sights/places of interest – given its history it may well be a slightly gloomier read!

We’ve uploaded some videos and some pictures of our time on the island in this blog but we will make another entry with some more pics that we wanted to share with you all. (I spent quite a bit of time becoming “arty farty”, as Anna puts it, with the camera. Maybe I’ve found a new hobby! Although a monkey could have taken good pictures of the island it was that pretty!)

We really hope that you’re all well and that these pictures don’t make you too despondent about the weather at home. You did get your heat wave after all haha!

Miss you all very much

All our love as always

Anna and Sam


P.S After forty minutes of uploading the computer decided to break and so none of the videos have uploaded – will try again tomorrow!!!
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