The Gokor tour in Kampot

Trip Start Sep 21, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, April 6, 2006

Day 149 Thur 6th April 2006
The Gokor tour in Kampot

We were up early this morning ready for the tour. We were joined by seven Brits, and a Canadian lady. Our guide for the day was Zaa and the driver was one of the guys who was drinking with us a couple of nights ago, apparently the driver was still drunk yesterday morning when he took the other group on the tour and had to stop the jeep to throw-up! Nice one!

Derek was feeling a bit wrecked from yesterday, so he opted to sit in the cabin with two of the Brits and the Canadian lady, while I jumped in the back with the rest. We had been warned about the drive, it was everything yesterdays group had said and then some! The road leading up to the national park was being resurfaced so there was dust flying around everywhere, and when we eventually started our accent up the mountainside the road was in pretty dilapidated state. The road surface itself hadn't been replaced or repaired for a good couple of decades and there were braches hanging out into the road, all this made for a rough and thoroughly unpleasant journey. But then it's Cambodia, you kind of expect it to be that way. I was pretty cool with it really, it was way better than our first trip into Cambodia, at least I had a seat to sit on!!! The other Brits were not as light-hearted as me, all they did for the two-hour trip to the top of the mountain was complain. They were mostly complaining about other trips they had been on and other places they had been too, but it put me in a depressive state by the time we got to the top.

Anyway, the first stop was at the old Summer palace of one of the former kings of Cambodia, there wasn't really much to see, but then after listening to my companions whinge on for two hours I wasn't in the mood to see anything! We stopped there for a while, took some pictures and then made a move. After about 20 minutes we stopped the jeep and all got off to make a trek through the forest. We walked for about half-an-hour and stopped for a while to admire the view. Zaa was trying his best to entertain everyone but it wasn't going down to well, when we stopped for a break he told us all a joke, it wasn't that funny, and no I can't remember what it was, still he was trying! He did show us this weird looking flower, I'll leave you to figure out what it looks like! Yesterday the group had said they'd seen a huge spider during their trek, it evaded us today and I was a bit gutted about that because I was really looking forward to seeing it. We did get to see a couple of scary looking spiders, so that was ok.

After the trek we jumped into the jeep again and made our way up to the top of the mountain where there was an old French colony, just like the Summer Palace it was old and in need of serious restoration. We got off here and had a look around the old Casino/Hotel, it was quite interesting to see what had become of the place. We stopped here for lunch before making our way back down the mountain. We stopped along the way to swing off the branch of a tree (see pic), Derek and I were the only ones to try it, I guess the rest were just too stiff!

We drove out to a river where we stopped and went in for a dip. It was nice to get into the cool water after being out in the sun all day. Zaa did and back flip off a rock in to the river, he asked me if I could do one, and I told him I had never done it before. He said he could teach me, and he did! It took a lot of courage to jump backwards off the rock and when I eventually did, it took 3 or 4 tries to get it right, but I got there in the end (see pic). That was the best part of the day for me. We drove further along the river before jumping into a boat for our boat-trip along the Kampong River back to Kampot, by this time we were all pretty shattered and glad for the rest. It was a calm and relaxing way to end the day. We just cruised along the river for an hour or so and found ourselves at Kampot for 6pm. We walked back to the GH and everyone disappeared into their rooms.

In the evening Derek and I took Tee and Delly to a nearby restaurant to thank them for their hospitality. It's a restaurant popular with locals and we had the most delicious food there. When we came back I sorted out a DVD disc with pictures of the gathering at Tee's house and of the tour today for Tee to keep. While I was busy doing that they had made arrangements for another session, it was just 5 of us this time, Derek, Delly, Tee, the driver from this morning and me. We invited the other guests to join us and they declined the offer apart from two girls Sam and Julia. Just as well really the others would have depressed the daylights out of us! We were up till midnight trying to get through this bottle of liquor Tee had got from somewhere, it was not the most pleasant drink in the world, but then it wasn't about the drink, it was about the company. All I all a great end to a great day!
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