A day out scooting

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

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Where I stayed
Kukuluku Beach Club

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, June 30, 2011

11:08 I set off out to Kep, and the day started off beautiful. Not very far down the road i saw dark clouds, heard thunder then it rained very heavily.
I hid in the shelter of a simple shop whilst the worst of the rain came. I think I sat for about half an hour then donning a second rain jacket continued to Kep without going off the side roads to find the caves as I originally planned. I turned right at the White horse as per instructions and then quite suddenly arrived at my intended stop- the Kukuluku Beach Club, where I got myself a dorm bed, in a dorm where I'm on my own, for $5. I have a mossie net and a double bed. There's a swimming pool and a private beach as well.

I dumped my small bag and then set off again for an explore.
12:35 Kep is lovely and small. The smell as I'm driving round is amazing. All the roads are lined by trees with bright red flowers on them. What's very sad is all the deserted shells of buildings, right on the beach front. They looked like they must have been lovely old colonial houses. Now squatters seem to live in them.
14:18 I rode around Kep, following the main road which has immaculate new Tarmac with three lanes, which is slightly weird as there are barely any hotels along there. There are also perfectly manicured little flat floored open huts where people can sit by the sea. I saw one huge hotel under construction along the front, and soon turned off to find Wat Samathi which was up a long dirt track. It wasn't long before I saw it perched on a hill. I followed the ever poorer road as far as I could then found a long stone staircase. I climbed them and found an immaculately beautiful Temple with an assortment of figurines at the bottom all covered in gold. Three dogs arrived at the top near the temple itself and started barking in a very unfriendly manner and I wasn't sure how serious they were as guard dogs. I decided to walk around the bottom of the temple to try and lose them, and found more figures, and 2 life-size elephant statues. I rounded to the 3rd side and could no longer hear the dogs but did see a staircase. I climbed up and saw 2 very tanned old monks sitting in dark orange robes. I put my hands together in a prayer manner and bowed, one of the monks then beckoned me to keep coming up, so I did. I said hello, as did they, but they didn't speak any English. I grinned at them and indicated that it was a great view and could I go and look. They grinned back and agreed with everything I said! The view was pretty darn great - right over the sea and Kep. They then invited me in, so off with the shoes and raincoat (because it has just rained all day) and into an incredible temple. The whole of the inside was decorated in individual paintings of Buddha in various scenarios, I suspect as a story. The ceiling was also brightly painted. It appeared as if the two monks were living there as there was 2 sleeping mats on the floor. They opened up the double doors to let in more light and I just beamed at them and this amazing site just hidden away on top of the hill away from everything. I left quite a large donation because I thought anything this pretty needs upkeep, it all look sparkly new as it was, and then said thanks and goodbye.
I returned to my bike and then went back to town. I bumbled about, passed the kings old house, some schools where I did a u turn near a very old woman who practically jumped out the way as I u turned at 1mph near her, then I think cursed me as I carried on (despite me grinning at her and indicating that I'd missed my road- she appeared to think I was deliberately trying to run her over or something!).

Now I am sitting next to the crab Market in a little hut/restaurant called sunset (which I won't see tonight as it is raining raining) awaiting a plate of grilled prawns for 3. I'm also watching the crab fisherwomen who occasionally wade into the water to pick out baskets. What's slightly odd is that they are wearing the full length rain ponchos, even though they are up to their waists in sea water!
19:08 After lunch I set off again following the coast road, again, but instead of the turn off I made to Wat Samathi, I carried on up to the main road - coming to Kep is like coming off onto a big loop. I passed some really pretty landscape, lots of grass being grown rather than rice. Lots of palm trees, and great flat expanses with a huge hill occasionally (ok my route effectively goes round the big hill on my left.

Eventually i reached a Market where I saw my intended purchase. A helmet of my own. The ones I am supplied with are crap- they are uncomfortable, flop about on your head as you drive along and would most likely come off in the event of an accident.
The helmet I have bought does look quite cool. It was only $10, and as you'd expect from something that cheap may not protect a peanut wrapped in a walnut shell wrapped in the helmet. But it is some protection should I have a low speed accident, and I only travel at quite low speeds. In any case, it IS better than the one I have and better than the nothing they offer you as a Moto passenger.

Dinner is chicken fried rice, surrounded by my favourite vegetable. Why? When does fried rice EVER come with tomato?

Best: scooting about freely

Worst: effing rain!

Beautiful: the inside of the Wat! That was a surprise.
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von_adder on

Hmm anybody else having trouble viewing the pics in large format? it doesn't seem to want to load them for me!......Hi Zoe don't panic we're all still here.

John (Smundy) on

I'm having the same problem, but the slideshow's working fine. Like the giant crab statue.

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