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running away Traveling south east asia, china, australia, new zealand and america. wherever the mood takes me!

ban lung

CAMBODIA | Monday, 17 November 2008 | Views [829]

Next morning I woke quite early and went down for breakfast. It was all quiet and I was trying to decide what to do with myself. Monique came down and asked me did I fancy doing something with her as it would probably be cheaper with two people. I said that sounded good and way to save money. She went to speak with the other French couple who were sitting at a different table. And I finished my breakfast and The guide from the hotel came over to me to tell me what tours they offered and gave me a map. I went over to monique then to tell her about them. We decided we would take a guided motorcycle around the area to see 3 different waterfalls, a Buddha and the crater lake. The other couple were just going to head off on their own on a bike, but they wanted to go on a two day one night trek into the jungle and I decided to go with them. So that was to be the next day.

Monique and I headed off on our little tour. On the way, the tour guide stopped at his home to pick up something and he also showed us the rubber trees around there. He told us from the old rubber trees they only get 1000 riel per litre but the new rubber trees as the rubber is better they get 2000 riel per litre. Which is only 50 American cent. There was some cute kids there and I took some photos. Or guide pointed to a wedding being set up for that evening and the next day. He said it was for his sister, she was getting married. I know that he was suppose to bring us for the trek tomorrow, so I said to him your going to miss your sisters wedding? And he said yes. I was really surprised. But then maybe working was more important for him. So we went to the first two waterfalls as they were right beside each other. They were nice. Its funny I never thought I would so many waterfalls in my life.

Afterwards, our guide wanted us to stopped by his family place to have lunch there, before we continued onto the next waterfall. So we stopped for lunch. The family were lovely. There was a particular little girl that kept showing me a trick of hers with these little cards, where she had them on the table and she would slam her hand down beside them and they would flip over. It was really cute and I would laugh and clap when she did it. While we were there started to rain, so we were going to get wet. We waited for the worst of the rain to stop and then we headed off. But no sooner than we left and it started again. Monique ended up buying us all these cheap ponchos to wear, which was really sweet. We never ended up going to the 3rd waterfall because our guide said that with the rain it was too dangerous to drive up that way, so we saw the Buddha statue and then went to boeng yeak laom, which was the crater lake. By the time we got to the lake, we were quite soaked as it rained quite hard on the way there. I didn't end up going for a swim, as it was quite late by then. But I did put my feet in, and the water was warm, and watch the local kids playing with the tubes there. It was nice a relaxing, and monique and I had a chat sitting there by the lake.

It was nice to get back to the hotel and have a shower and change out of the wet clothes. I had dinner with monique and the French couple. They would have a conversation in French and then try to explain to me in English what they were talking about. It just made me realise what a waste learning French in school was. I have heard from so many people that the only way to learn a language is to live in that country for awhile or you'll never learn in properly.

Anyway I ended up going to bed quite early as we were suppose to have an early start the next day. When I went down stairs monique was already up and she had found another French couple to go on a different tour with her. Which was great for her, but we were all waiting for our guide to come back so we could go on our respective tours. We were suppose to start at 8 but it was going on 9. he finally showed up with drivers for monique and the French couple she met that morning. And left on the back of the motorcycles. Our guide then told us, the first French couple and me, that he had his sisters wedding to go, so he went around trying to find another guide for us this morning. He had found one and he was on his way over. We just looked at each other and laughed, what could we do. It seemed abit unprofessional considering he knew his sister was getting married before all this. But he said that his family were mad at him when they found out that he wasn't going to go. And I wasn't surprised to hear this, I was more surprised the day before when he said that he was going to miss his sisters wedding.

Our new guide arrived in a hurry and said he was really sorry but his friends father had just died and he needed to help him for a half an hour before we left. So he dashed off and again. It was just getting more unbelievable. It would have been real cold hearted to say, well we paid for a trek and we are losing precious time here! So we waited and talked while we waited. Found out their names were Geraldine and David. Not very French names. But they were quite a nice couple. Hanging out with French people made me realise something. We as in non French people end up calling French people ignorant, and I think they in a way, in that they were speaking in French mostly when I was around. But I also came to realise that they are embarrassed of their English. I think because they were telling me that they learn English all their lives in school, like for 12 years and think that their English should be better so they don't speak it. But if you don't speak it how can you improve. So they were apologizing for their English and I was apologizing for my French, cause I told them I studied it for 5 years and don't understand anything that they were saying. But they just wave the apology away and said no no it was OK. I guess they think their English has to be prefect before they speak to English speaking people but instead we just think they are ignorant because they don't speak to us. Its a funny old world. Now I don't know if this applies to all French but its something I have observed.

But David was funny he said that if he yells out in the middle of the jungle. ATTENTION spiderss. That it means watch out there is a spider, or ATTENTION snakezzz. Watch out for a snake. And the big one ATTENTION tiggerrrr. Watch out for a tiger. Finally our guide came back and we were driving by motorcycles to a village by the jungle. Where they finished their preparations for our trek and we picked up our actual guide from the village that was going to show us our way around.

While we were waiting, David picked up some cigarettes and was laughing when he came back. Because it had lapin written on it, which means rabbit in French He offered one to me but I said no thanks, I don't smoke rabbits.

We finally got under way. And the walk getting to the jungle was actually nicer than the one in the jungle. As we were walking by farms and streams, where I got my boots wet, and though tunnels of bamboo, and watching butterflies air bouncing by us.

When it got close to lunch, we stopped by a stream, where we lazed by it, while our two guides made lunch for us. And afterwards started off again but we came upon our campsite earlier than we were expecting to. So we dumped our bags and the English speaking guide said that he would stay there and make a fire and prepare dinner while the other guide would go walking with us for abit longer.

The jungle was abit eerie as there wasn't really any noise. No birds singing, no sign of other animals. All we saw were ants and termite hills. Not what I was expecting. We did end up coming across quite a big spider and we ohhed and ahhed over it as there wasn't anything else to ohh and aahh over. Thankfully it just hung there on its web but when we continued walking, I was first and kept walking into web strings. At one stage I got caught by a whole web with a spider stuck to it. I let out a little scream but David and Ger. just laughed at me and said oh its just a baby one. Well it was a baby one compared to what we just saw but it was big compared to home.

Anyway we got it out of my hair and continued on. We circled back to our camp where we had a fresh stream going through with a pool. The water seemed to be freezing but I wanted to go in a wash some of the sweat off me. David went in first and said the water was refreshing. And that it was quite deep. I went and got changed into my suit and climbed in after him. Refreshing was the right word but it was really nice. There was a tree vine hanging down beside the pool and I really wanted to swing off into the pool but there were rocks under the water near the so I was trying to see if I would make it. I figured out that if I swung a certain way I would be find. So I got out of the water and gathered my courage and swung into the pool. It worked out perfect. Although I got water up my nose. It was fun and I ended up doing it a couple more times. Geraldine joined us in the pool also but neither of them swung from the vine they said they weren't courageous enough.

For the evening we sat and played cards while we waited for our dinner. Geraldine and I both put our boots by the fire to try and dry them out for trekking tomorrow. And after dinner our guide brought out the rice wine, and we started taking turns in having shots while our guide told us some stories.

He said that there was loads of different rice wines and a lot of Cambodians ask what kind of wine they are drinking. He said there is wine that when you drink it, you start fighting with each other. Which is called gangster wine. Then there is wine, when your drinking it is makes you cry, that one is called lonely wine. I asked what wine did we have and he said its laughing wine. Which worked because we all started laughing.

He then told us a story about a rich man came out to the village to find himself a wife and he brought her back into the big city. And he wanted to show her around the city. But as they were walking they met a friend of his on the street and the man was talking to him and didn't notice his wife disappearing. When he looked around, he saw he on a swing, swing back and forth and he called to her and told to come down at people would be able to see her underwear. So he saw her get off and her turned around to talk to his friend again. But his wife didn't come back over to him. He turned around and saw her again on the swing, and told her to come down. But she just waved to him and told him it was OK, she had taken off her underwear so no one could see them. Ha ha

but he wasn't finished. They went to a restaurant next and his new wife had never been to one before, so she didn't know what to do. They were shown to their seats aand she sat down and she didn't want to embarress her new husband so she thought she would do what he did. Her husband put his hand up and asked the waiter “can I have the menu” and she put up her hand and said “I'll eat the menu too”

at this stage I noticed that the fire was going down abit so I went to push the wood at the edges into the fire but I dropped the back down straight away as I had gotten bitten. And man did it hurt. I got the light and shined it down on the fire and there was millions of ants crawling all around it. Oh no my boots. I could see them crawling all over them. I went to hit my boots to see if the ants would go away, but instead they just started moving faster. Our guide said don't do that because the ants will just think attack attack. He said he would get them when I needed. So we we went back to the rice wine. But I couldn't relax after that. With all these ants crawling just out of the light and on my boot. Especially when I had already felt a bite from them and it was still stinging. Our guide said it would sting for a while. I lasted about an half an hour until I said I needed my boots to the toilet. And then after that we just got ready to go to bed. Our guide smoked the ants out of my boots but I still didn't put them on till I made sure there wasn't any in there. And after going to the bathroom I got into my hammock and zipped myself in away from all the ants and mosquitoes. I even had to go to the toilet during the night but I couldn't bring myself to go. I waited till it was light out again and I could where the ants were. But when light came, they weren't anywhere to be found. I guess they were just night ants. And I had never heard of that before.

The next morning we found out that our guide had malaria, as it had flared up over the night. He said it wasn't that bad as he could still walk, when it was really bad he couldn't do anything. But you could see that he wasn't well. So we broke up camp a little later as he was waiting for he's shakes to subside. He said that his shakes came and went but as soon as he got his medicine he would be better.

So we walked back a different route out of the jungle. We knew we were getting closer to the village when we could here a chain saw and then we started to come across some lone houses. At one of the houses there was a cute little puppy, that wanted to play with us. David said there are no tigers in the forest just small dogs.

We got back to the same village we came from, where we met our guide from the hotel again. He was sitting with other village men and they were all eating embryo eggs and delicacy in Cambodia. He asked us did we want to try it, but we all declined nicely. We had lunch there in the village where we had the local ducks begging for food at the table.

And then we were brought back to our hotel and just in time too as it started to pour rain as soon as we arrived back. The rest of the evening was quiet. I made sure I got my ticket to go back to Phnom Penh for the next morning and then it was an early night for another early bus the next morning.

Tags: ants, ban lung, jungle, trekking, waterfalls


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