It's 9.48pm and we're on a sleeper bus on our way to siem reap. When I say "on our way " I can actually stand to be corrected to "motionlessly sitting on the side of a pitch black highway in the middle of no where." this is the 3rd stop in the last hour, making our grand total of actual driving time all of a raging 25 minutes, of a supposedly 12 hour bus ride. Something tells me she's going to take a bit longer. Good thing I stocked up on diet coke before getting on board.
To take my mind off extreme boredom, and impending insanity, I will give you a couple tidbits about out Christmas eve/Christmas/boxing day island extravaganza.
After a horrendous ferry ride, the only fun part of which was watching people stand up to go to the loo and then fall into other peoples laps and hastily jump up and then bum shuffle off down the boat red faced, we arrived on koh rong island.
I have to admit my first impressions were not great. True, my mental health was in bits after a harrowing journey into unairconditioned territory the night before, plus a long and distressing bus ride, in which we were in trapped in our seats and forced to listen to wailing Cambodian women having a shriek cos someone took their baby, on what I can only describe as an ad lib live soap opera playing on the tv at the front of the bus. The driver must have liked me because I got to have the speakers right next to my seat, a special treat which had me making a noose from my bikini strings by the end of the trip. But I digress.
Our Christmas accomodation was to be found at the end of a rickety, incrediblydangerousespeciallyfordrunkpeople whalf, sitting atop the stormy sea.
Upon making our presence known, the woman behind the bar cheerily informed us that the power and internet were down, they had run out of food because of the storm cutting off supplier, and there was an extreme water shortage. I really needed a shower. Lovely.
Not to be deterred, liz and I soldiered on and forced our smelly, mentally frazzled selves to make friends with some other smelly, mentally frazzled travellers. As luck would have it, a friendly Canadian boy and chatty Irish man were at large, and we pounced with the opening line "how about that wharf, eh?" (hilarious side note, my computer just autocorrected wharf to to shaft, imagine if I'd opened with that!)
Fast friends were made, drinks were handed around, and soon more friends came. We were introduced to more of the gang- Lulu, a slightly disconcerting German girl with black hair, heavy make up, many tattoos, and a stern look on her face. Turns out she nurses and teaches disabled children and is about the nicest girl I ever met! "the Midnight Tiger" also joined the pack, a man, I was informed, who spoke less than 2 words in the daytime, but at night, with a whiskey in his hand, he was footloose and fancy free.
I was introduced then to my new best friend- captain Morgan's and coke. We spent a lot of time together that night.
The next day was Christmas, and I woke up to a furiously beautiful day- a calm crystal sea, blazing sun and blue, blue sky. While waiting for brekky, a friend from Mui Ne turned up, and we had a catch up, while promising to meet up later. Liz and I then felt inspired to walk around to he other side of the island, as we had heard it was beautiful.
On our way to the track, we bumped into the Tiger, looking worse for wear (last id seen he was dancing on a table.) "takes about an hour" he tells us, and I look at liz, panic stricken- "an hour liz, and I'm hung over!"
With the grim determination of a woman who wants to tan, she forced me on, and after a fair bit of rock climbing and death moans from me, we arrived in what can only be described as paradise. I've never seen a beach so peaceful and beautiful in my life.
Now I realise this post is getting long, and you probs dont really want to hear about how many four dollar buckets we drank, or how sunburnt I got lying on another deserted beach, or how we are both now suffering from frequent bum explosions of the diorrehea variety due to too many mangos and seafood. All I can say is it's been the highlight of the trip so far, and it's a depressed two of us who leave today.
I'll wrap up now with the fact that we have been moving at a steady neck breaking speed for the last 45 minutes. Promising. We are on our way to have a gander at the world heritage site of Angkor Wat, and see what all the fuss is about.
Have a wonderful new year and keep safe my friends.