Letting Go.....

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
Trip End Mar 16, 2013

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Flag of Cambodia  , Kaôh Kŏng,
Sunday, February 17, 2013

We approach the Island of Koh Rung Samleom, a smaller,, even less discovered, a 1 1/2 hour boat ride from our last island, Koh Rung where we have been staying. I find out very quickly in many ways, Cambodia is very similar to Thailand in its lay back attitude, and how things rarely make sense in how they are done. For instance....this island is fairly close to our other one, and its becoming very popular. The only way you can get there at this point in time, is to take a ferry back to the mainland, which is 2 1/2 hours, then take a ferry back, another 2 1/2 hours to an island that is only a little over a hour away between each other .....Knowing myself, and thinking there must be another way, I ask around...." Oh Yes', someone from our bungalow states," you can hire a boat from the Dive shop to take you over". So that's exactly what we do. Many travelers do this same journey every day but taking the only known option, going back to the mainland, to turn around and come right back, why is that they don't have a regular boat service to accommodate them? Because this is Cambodia...and that is just the way it is.
The man that we hired from the boat shop was off that day. We show up, no boat captain. The girl from the kitchen at the Dive Shop ( yes they have a restaurant...every place has a restaurant! Travelers like to eat!) she states, " His day off, I go get him...wait.." We watch her run down the rickety dock to the beach and behind a nearby building....a few minutes later a groggy boat captain comes stumbling our way ....its 10:30 am by the way. He apologizes, and asks us for the $35 for the private boat over to the island, and his mates will take us...no problem! We are happy to go with anyone.
Our ride is a long tail boat that is not usually used for a taxi...it has no ladder, we climb down from the dock and they throw our large packs into the boat from above...another reason to never but anything valuable or breakable in your big pack! The boat ride was nice, it was a beautiful clear day, all the days have been so nice. There have been thunderstorms at night, and some rain, which keeps everything so green and pretty, I love sleeping to the sounds of the passing storms at night, appreciating that mother nature times them so right keeping our days sunny and warm.
We approach the island. We are going to Lazy Beach Bungalows, on Lazy Beach so rightly named. Our boat captain asks several times. My first impression is, this is a nice place, but it looks so different than the pictures...there is no dock, there usually isn't on these islands, this is a larger long tail boat than I'm used to riding in, and there is no ladder...we are going to have to jump in the water, and wade to shore. The two guys on the boat throw the anchor in, and jump in first, and then grab our backs and carry them to shore. We're next, Carla goes first, and jumps right in, she a great swimmer, and a avid water lover, she evens has her own set of snorkeling gear that she carries  with her everywhere! I'm next, my jump isn't as graceful and I slam my arm against the side of the boat..ouch, that's going to leave a mark!
We see our place down the beach...hmmm, still doesn't look like the pictures...but off we trek, the two guys who speak no English at all are nice enough to throw our packs on their backs and carry them down. We approach the bungalows, a nice Australian man greets us, "Welcome to Robinson's Bungalows....do you have a reservation?" " No" I state...knowing that is why this place looks nothing like the one I booked on the Internet...this is the wrong place. Now, booking things here isn't easy. There is no on line booking, no email, you have to call and make a reservation..and the woman answering the phone is usually in the middle of cooking someones dinner and you are so excited to get thru in the first place to be told " busy, you call back" and then when you do, getting her to understand your booking request and getting your name right is another challenge...she wrote my name down as Alzabet...I went with it. So......back to the boat, and back in the boat, so we can go to another beach and try this again....ahhhh, traveling in Southeast Asia....its always an experience.
The only way to get from beach to beach is to take a boat, and there are no boats here except the ones you came in on, so we were grateful that we didn't just get dumped off on that last beach, which is usually the case, our boat guys stayed with us... We turn the corner, and there it is,,,I recognize it from the pictures....Lazy Beach.... It is beautiful.. A long private beach, secluded its own bay, surrounded by turquoise blue water and charming bungalows with large deck and hammocks dotted along its beach side...and a dock even! Wow, this place is fancy! No new bruises as we climb up to the dock from the boat, our boat guys carrying our packs once again to the reception desk, which is always the bar of the restaurant. We are greeted by the nicest British owner and a couple of lime drinks to welcome us...I can tell right away we are going to like it here! Our bungalow is really nice, nicer than our last ramshackle one at Paradise bungalows on the other island...these ones were built with care to last. Carla and I have our own beds! covered with our own misquito net bedding, and a nice bathroom , cold shower( which feels great after a long day in the sun!) and 24 hour water this time and a standard bucket flush toilet. The electricity once again is limited, only from 7 pm to Midnight... The front veranda is huge! Has two hammocks, one for Carla,,..one for me. The restaurant is all open air and has a great menu, a note on it says if you want fresh fish, let them know the day before so they can tell the fisherman...we put in our order right away.
As we are checking in, I ask about the Internet pass code.....the nice British man, Chris, who owns the place smiles....,," No Internet, no phone service here..." I feel myself gasp a little...." really?" Yes hes smiles again.....Ahhhh, Ive been spoiled lately...I had my Internet stick in Thailand that worked everywhere, and the other places, including the last island had Internet everywhere...we are out here alone for a reason....its suppose to take you a place where you are forced to let it all go, and just be. How can you really see all the birds and watch the sand crabs scurry along the shore if you aren't really watching, and staring down at your phone and computer. Isn't that one of the reason you travel so far in the first place? Is to be totally taken away from it all and to really be present in the moment you are in. Letting go...and that's exactly what we will be doing for the next four days.
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maureen mason on

Your new name is hereby declared as "Alzabet" like alphabet in honor of all the island you have seen from a to z!!! So you are on a digital cleanse there. that is a good thing! I had no internet last week in del mar. did not even turn the tv on. It is a James Hubbell architectural jewel, check him out on the web. the fotos are amazing and any publisher would be stark raving mad to not hire you for your expertise and magnificent fotos. Soon you will be home to america's finest city!

Sarah on

I am so glad they didn't just leave you at the first stop and wave as they drove away! I am happy you found the right place the second stop! Did you bring a good book to read? I miss you!

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