Everyone we’ve talked to here, and people who’ve visited here before us, agree: We have to go to the islands of the coast. Today we did.
There are several islands just off the coast here from Sihanoukville. A mere forty minutes of speed ferry will take us there.
The islands are supposed to have beautiful beaches, but for our kind of traveling not much more. A day trip seems to fit us fine then.
No country in Sout East Asia have impressed us with their organization skills. Cambodia is no different. On the plus side they have not oversold tickets, but they’re is no structure in the boarding process.
Well inside the boat we start talking with a Brazilian named Paulo. He’s traveling for half a year around Asia and has just starting his travels. He’s a very nice guy and we have pleasant company on the tour.
It turns out there is a problem with one of the company’s boats and we’ll make four stops instead of one today. We’re getting off on the fourth stop. Yippy!
So instead of being at the island after the estimated forty minutes we spend almost two hours inside the warm and stuffy boat. It’s very liberating to be let out into the fresh air when finally getting ashore.
Just on the beach we meet a Norwegian who works for the ferry company as he hear us speaking Norwegian. He tells us he’ll do a little information briefing inside a bar in a few minutes. Why not? We get something to drink and listen to Andreas.
– There is no medical facilities on the island. Ok, better not get hurt then.
– There is not power 24 hours a day. The power is out around 8 hours a day. Charge your equipment whew it’s on.
– There are sand flies here. Only thing that helps its oil. You’ll get it anywhere on the island. Hearing this information got Katja squirming. Anything that bites seem to love her.
– They’re are lots of beaches on the island, some still pretty untouched. Less people means more sands flies, though.
After hearing this we walked out and got some coconut oil and rub it in. Walking the length of the first beach we looked like glistening and sparkling wannabes. We sat down for lunch at a guesthouse where they had a wood fired stone oven dirt making pizza. We spent some time there before moving back out on the beach.
The beach is beautiful and the water green and clear. We’ve not seen a beach like this since our stay at Boracay in the Philippines. We swim, take some pictures and Katja works on her handstands. She is improving slowly, but steadily. I can’t do it by any measure, but I help her by holding, looking at angles and thinking about the physics of it. Tilting this way will counter the weight of this protruding that way. She’s almost there now.
Luckily we found some beach chairs and spent time reading and relaxing there. Not wanting to lay in the sand fly sand it was great comfort to find these chairs. There are few sunbeds on the island and most people lay on the beach. Taking into account that 99 percent of people here are in their teens or early twenties backpacking Asia it’s all bare boned. At a toilet I visited it was a combined shower and toilet so small I guess I would stand with one foot in the toilet if I would shower there. A note on the wall said:”Your shower, the locals drinking water. 1 minute limit!” I’m not twenty, I’m only semi-backpacking and a day trip was absolutely the best choice for us.
Back at the pier we meet Paulo again. He’s been exploring the island and walked across it. He almost got lost as no-one told him to follow the sandal. Yup, it’s marked with flip flops to show the way from one side to the other. Luckily he made it back to the last boat out.
Standing in line I look at all the young people. Some are rolling a joint right there, some drink beer and they are all totally eaten up by sand flies. You also find the diluted old guy (my age) with no understanding of how pathetic he looks trying to pose as a teenager. Luckily I have intelligence in my life, in the form of Katja, to keep me from making such an ass of myself. Guess who’s the first to fall asleep on the boat after departure? Yup, the old pathetic guy, whilst he’s younger counter parts kept trying to pickup women.
Back ashore we said goodbye and safe travels to Paulo. A quick change of plans and we grabbed dinner on the beach before heading to the hotel. A beautiful sunset saw us off the beach for the last time here in Sihanoukville.
At the hotel we closed most of the upcoming travel puzzle and ordered tickets from Laos to Bali. We get in to Bali a week before the Peaceful Warrior camp 2015 starts. We try to get some Silat training done before the camp.
I’m all exhausted of walking on the beach with my belly sucked in in front of the young people, so I just collapses into sleep while Katja have a Skype conversation with her brother. (Pathetic? I? Nah.) Tomorrow takes us back to Phnom Penh and on a plane to Vientiane in Laos.
The serenity of the lulling ocean is a wondrous thing to behold..more precious than the gems coveted and covered in platinum or gold…
― Oksana Rus