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Chapter eighty four - Sihanoukville's second chance

A place in the rain

sunny 30 °C

Day 301: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 27/07/2012

So depart from the B&Q furniture bus depot and make our way to Sihanoukville, for a final chance to snatch some quality beach time. The not uncomfortable minibus takes far more than the promised four hours (and nearly run a dog over in the process) and I run into somebody else reading another of Michael Palin's fine travel books. Have just finished Around The World In 80 Days and give it to my new buddy as I finished it last night. Decline a book back in return on account of the eight we are already carrying around.

A quick stop at Victory Hill for the fat, white, middle aged man sat next to me and it is the seediest, sleaziest, scummiest place I have ever seen, built solely around the world's oldest profession. We find a hotel room and head to the beach for the afternoon sun. The town is a lot quieter and therefore nicer than it was the last time we came due mainly to it now being the low season. The clouds gather but the rain holds off for today and we enjoy a decent tea in the town. Consider a trip back to the desert island but decide against as the weather is not as reliable in low season. A film in bed is followed by a good sleep.

Day 302: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 28/07/2012

A beautiful day outside - the sun is shining and the beach beckons. We saunter down to the beach and after grabbing a sun lounger, enjoy a whole twenty minutes of uninterrupted sunshine before the biggest, blackest, most threatening clouds you ever did see appear on the horizon and the staff of all the beachside businesses run out to collect in anything that could be damaged by the rain.

And rain it did, as we spend a very uneventful afternoon in the room listening to the almighty storm gather pace outside. With the sun back up in the early evening, we head back to the beach, where we run into one of the lads we met in Koh Samui and briefly catch up with him. Happy Hour then opens its welcoming arms and we enjoy a few 50 cent beers with an Aussie-Kiwi couple and their young son, who has grown up in Cambodia. Needless to say, this ends later than Happy Hour intended and I forget where we live.

Day 303: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 29/07/2012

Wake up early to confront the hangover and duly lose this battle. Back to bed. A very uninspiring day mirrored by the miserable weather outside. Dinner is about the only highlight. Shocking.

Day 304: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 30/07/2012

Another rainy day unfortunately, and the after a spot of luncheon at the Big Easy bar we catch a bit of Olympic action all the way from good old Blighty. Lots of US Navy personnel about for some reason.

Back to the room for some movie entertainment - so much for the last bit of beach before going to Australia. Book a bus to Siem Reap for tomorrow and head out for dinner - two courses for $5. Baked scallops in white wine are very good. The rest is distinctly average. A frustrating few days here.

Posted by tevs 04:13 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beaches cambodia sihanoukville Comments (0)

Chapter forty seven - Sihanoukville (the sequel)

sunny 28 °C

Day 170: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 18/03/12

Our last day on the island, so we pack early and get ready to leave, heading to the beach for the last time after a quick breakfast of peanut butter and jelly baguettes. We actually spend most of the day on the beach, which is more than welcome, taking photos and generally enjoying it. On a personal note, I have another day of howlers, firstly stubbing my toe on a buried tree root, secondly, walking into a tree branch that stabs me in the side and, most painfully, standing on a sea urchin, who kindly deposits six or seven deadly looking spines in my foot.

Before leaving the island I help the boys that work there in from the boat with the bundles of palm leaf roof tiles. They look light but feel heavy. Lucky I have been hitting the gym (into my face). We pay the bill and take the boat back to the mainland, trying our hand at a bit of fishing again. Again, the fish are not informed of our intentions and we land nothing.

Get a room back at Mick & Craig's. Unfortunately, Sihanoukville cannot hold a candle to Koh Ta Kiev. Quick skype then bed. Happy Mother's Day.

Posted by tevs 02:12 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beaches cambodia sihanoukville Comments (0)

Chapter forty five - Sihanoukville

sunny 32 °C

Day 164: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 12/03/2012

Surprisingly, we are up at the right time for this morning's bus and after a tuk-tuk ride to the bus stand my dodgy stomach sees me dive into the attached cafe to use the facilities. Gemma gets us some breakfast and we get on the bus, before I quickly have to dive off again before we depart.

An easy enough journey despite my stomach wreaking havoc. We get an overpriced tuk-tuk from the bus stand in Sihanoukville to a hotel we have seen online, which is full, so we end up checking in next door, at the traditional Khmer residency 'Mick & Craig's'. They have a Mexican food night tonight which looks promising. We go for a walk and soon realise that Sihanoukville is not our favourite stop on the journey, having a seedy undercurrent with lots of prostitution and sleazy older western men, as well as a bit of a lager lout/stoner population.

We go for a drink. Gemma hits the vodka Red Bull again and as I sit back with a soda water she gets progressively more squiffy. We go back for dinner at ours, Gemma falls asleep at the table and thinks we are still down the road when she wakes up.

Day 165: Sihanoukville, Cambodia 13/03/2012

Wake up and I feel a lot better, not so sure Gemma does though, as she awakes with a dry mouth...We go for breakfast a few doors down and then walk down to the beach, which has a ridiculous number of sun loungers and parasols and also some Total Wipeout style inflatables in the water. We set up shop and have a few soft drinks, I walk back to the room to get some things and in the space of half an hour I return with a superb vest tan. Sit at the beach for a few hours, thinking where to go as we aren't keen on staying too long here. There are lots of children who seem to live at the beach, collecting empty cans and bottles and any other recyclables, some of them are very young, which is very sad to see.

Tea at the night market - pork noodles for a change - before we buy some stuff we need from the shops. I try to hide Gemma's flip flops, which the shopkeeper finds hilarious. Reassuring to know that comedy gold is recognised the world over. We go to the cinema place next door which has a number of private rooms and screens and we watch the Inbetweeners movie. We have an adventure lined up for tomorrow...

Posted by tevs 22:49 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beaches cambodia sihanoukville Comments (0)

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