Sihanoukville, the Beach again

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Mushroom Point

Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Preăh Seihânŭ,
Saturday, June 25, 2011

07:23 So I'm up early again and on the move.
Already there is a child whining in my right ear asking for money. Sorry, but my resolve yesterday was to ignore this for my sanity right now. I did a very good did the other day and I just can't give money to everyone, actually guide books suggest you don't as many of them use it for glue sniffing.

For the first time I've seen, the sun is out and the sky totally clear. It's a year today now that was the first sign of my relationship ending, totally out of the blue, and it's impossible not to think of these things. Tomorrow is my God son Jacks birthday, a year ago it would be the last day and night me and my ex were together. Where has time gone? It sure takes a long time to heal, and probably more than a lifetime to forget. Im just glad I'm going to the beach and to a dorm where I hope I will find someone nice to talk to and have a laugh with. Goodbye phnom penh, can't believe I didn't get my post in time despite checking at the post office twice.
07:49 The bus left from orussey Market, it's full, ok not quite full because if it were full then all the middle seats would be occupied - that's right, there are seats that fold down into the aisle for extra people. I'm sitting next to a local man who keeps giving me a look like he's saying 'well helloooo, and what's your name' and I'm trying not to look at him. It's a 4 hour journey to Sinhoukville, just over 210km. They gave us a wet wipe, bottle of water and a box of biscuits, which is fortunate as I didn't have breakfast, although this guy next to me has 4 baguettes and 2 plastic boxes with food in. James Bond Quantum of Solace is on the tv at the front bit I can barely hear the sound.
13:42 The bus got to Sinhoukville at 12 and of course there were lot of eager taxi drivers waiting to ferry the people away. One good thing about the buses here, unlike vietnam, is that they put a label with a number on each bag that goes under the bus, so that when you get your bags at the end you have to show your number and they give it to you.
I told the driver who pounced on me that I wanted to go to Mushroom Point- I found this place on hostel world and it was highly rated at 93%. he said he knew it and it would be $2. Great! They'd told me it should be no more than $2.50. The guy then led me to another driver who wedged my big rucksack in between his knees, my smaller bag over his shoulder and resting on my knee, and I had my mini bag on my back. My mini bag normally fits in the medium bag but my medium bag has a box of orange vitamin sachets in it right now that I haven't redistributed around the others yet. Of course a couple of miles down the road it became apparent that the driver had no idea where mushroom point was. with all the bags going on around his person, steering the bike with one hand and reaching for his phone with the other I became a little concerned because o course I had no helmet on. He called someone then handed me the phone, I had no idea who i was talking to then he stopped and I gave it back while he asked where this place was. 15km later after the Tarmac ended and I was back to red dirt roads, we got to mushroom point. I attempted to hand him the agreed $2 but he started complaining it was such a long way etc. The staff were there and I told them how we'd agreed the price up front and they backed me up as that is the game here after all. He refused to take the 2 I was trying to give him so I took my bags inside and a few minutes later tried again. He kept asking for more and we all re-iterated that we'd agreed up front so no. Take it or leave it. He took it eventually and I felt an inkling of power restored to myself.

Mushroom Point is a pretty interesting place, you'll have to look at the photos to see why. The rooms and dorm have circular beds with mossie nets draped over, and simple toilet/showers, no toilet roll again, but hey, my bed looks clean! It's across the road from the beach and they were saying that as it's low season they put a film on in the evening. There is Internet here as well in fact (still astonishing that my folks don't get broadband in Cumbria!)
I know I didn't do anything in PP, but here there really isn't anything to do other than read, swim, lie on the beach. I guess it's not surprising that there is no snorkelling or diving as it's so windy the sea isn't clear, so I can't even do that. Well, for the $5 per night they're charging for my bed I can't complain. Its a nice weekend break before Siam reap.

I took a walk along the beach and had lunch by the sea, shrimps! Lovely :)
14:14 Argh, mistake of the day- accidentally on purpose eating a tiny bit of tomato in my salad just to check I still really don't like it (well you never know do you), and confirming that I wasn't wrong, I still hate tomatoes. I should have realised this last night when my spaghetti carbonara plate came outlined with slivers of tomato which I immediately ejected onto the waiters tray and caught a whiff which turns my stomach. I know some people, not mentioning names, find this melodramatic. I don't think I'm melodramatic, i state facts, that's how my head works, drama is not part of that so I can't be melodramatic. Anyway, I have several compadres in the "We hate tomatoes (but like ketchup, tomato soup, don't mind small bits in bolagnaise/lasagne, but so help me if I find a large bit of tomato in my food it's being removed from the plate asap" club, who know about the horror these red (clearly made by the devil- red is a natural warning colour after all - don't eat me) fruits(!!!) can cause to unsuspecting haters. 
My pet tomato related hate, is that supermarket sandwiches always have them in, and when you relent to buying one with tomatoes in because you're left without choice, you peel back the bread and peel off the tomatoes that have created an indentation in the bread. That's fine, I don't mind the indent, but guaranteed the tomato juice and slimy seeds will have soaked in leaving a taste that believe it or not, I can actually taste. Which is slightly upsetting. ;-)
14:41 The shrimps were delicious, as was the salad (once the red things were ousted), whereupon due to there be nothing to do and a lady returning who I'd tried to fob off earlier with "maybe later", I had my very first pedicure.
Given that I was being serviced by a local woman, a few more appeared wanting to give me a massage, rip the hair from my legs using thread, manicure my hands and sell me bracelets. Well I've had my eye on my Cambodia bracelet and as she didn't have the right colour, she hacked an old one apart for the plastic inside and I got to choose my colours, I thought the red, white and blue of the Cambodian flag would be appropriate. See photo for new bracelet- I will have quite some 'watch mark' when I get home.

I then walked back to my dorm and picked out a book. I know I havent finished hitchhikers yet, but Neil gave me a book that he said was very funny, and let's face it, I need cheering up and with an ever dwindling number of comments (except from a devoted few,) I don't know how many of you are still out there reading this tosh! So a comedy book on a beach is just the ticket. And as my pot of tea has arrived, I can settle down with this book, tea and a gorgeous view. Should be a beautiful sunset too. 
Oh, I've just noticed that the beach, although beautiful and white, isn't lined with palm trees, it is in fact lined by pine trees (which sounds similar but look very different) and instead of being wary of coconuts falling on your head you have to be wary of pine needles sitting vertically in the sand, which in bare feet is like standing on a needle in my bedroom. (why a needle in my bedroom? Because at my parents house, the room that is my bedroom spends 90% of it's time as my mums wonderful sewing room for all the amazing things she makes, not least 6 bridesmaids/own outfits for my sisters wedding! She's super talented but seems to like throwing needles onto the floor whilst sewing which has potential hazards in store should any get missed when she picks them up! Love you mum!:D)

Neil amused me because as you can see this book is pink and has a girl sitting on I in a heart t-shirt. Not a very manly book to read! He told me that he practically had to read it in secret, and if ever in public, hold the cover pages flat to the table. Fortunately I won't need to do any covert reading.
17:40 The pot of tea has lasted me well, i shall partake of tea here tomorrow. The temperature is lovely and I'm starting to think that if I want to come home slimmer then I should attempt to start jogging, this time of the evening is ideal. I have already given up coke which is also a good thing. Crisps, chocolate and biscuits are generally unavailable, so that can't be a temptation. (I found half a melted toblerone in my bag yesterday from my traumatic day in Saigon, and I had no option but to throw the unappetising amalgamation of foil and one triangular shaped chocolate away.) I guess chips might be what I need to give up, but they don't do them very well here anyway and buying curries and noodles is always a bit cheaper too. So, if I look after the food side, and attempt anything resembling a brisk walk then I might succeed. I haven't been on the scales since the embarrassing eviction from the space walker in Tokyo, so no idea where I gauge I don't even have a belt with buckle and holes! Either way, I'm no stick, and the people here are, so I should eat same same.

Tomorrow I am going on a boat trip with some snorkelling and fishing included. It's quite a bit more expensive than Vietnam but doesn't break the daily budget, and if his photo album is anything to go by, I might just have some cracking pics tomorrow.
18:19 Sadly the sky was too cloudy in the distance for there to be a sunset, but amusingly it sounds like I'm sitting in an aviary due to hundreds of birds sitting in the tree above me singing.
20:26 I finish the evening having had chilli con carne in my hostel, reading and blogging. I can hear the sea from my room as it's semi open, and if the dogs don't shut up, the dogs.

I've said enough today.

Best: the beach and feeling less moody

Worst: slightly sunburnt left arm!

Beautiful: the beach at dusk
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Mummers on

This looks like a good place to chill and restore the batteries. Much better than being in northern England right now. Still cold and wet here. I could so fancy being on that beach being pampered with manicures etc!
Make the most of it and enjoy your book, it looks fun.

Duncan on

Dunno about anyone else, but I'm still reading this "tosh".

Who else is?

Glenn on

Yep - I'm still reading :) Been away for the last week, so caught up on a bumper helping of "tosh" this morning!

Caroline on

Another lovely teapot, Zoe. Not quite as wonderful as the elephant, but still looks great.

Alex Baxter on

I'm still reading!! definately not tosh!

Andrew D on

I'm still reading! :-) I'm glad your spirits are picking up again. x

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