27.04.2010 - 29.04.2010 34 °C
Having changed guesthouses, Jamie managed to barter down a delightful room with a television for $6 a room including our own verada. We explored the town and had high hopes of doing a few chores such as getting our laundry done, sending postcards and getting a massage as Jamie had not had none yet. However we made the most of the cheap beer and all day happy hours and realised we had wasted the day. We missed the market by an hour but managed to entertain the locals by parading Donna and her porcelain white skin down the street encouraging them to stare and wave hello. Laura made an attempt to find a manicure, pointing at her nails to describe what she wanted, pointing at her nails saying 'manicure?' to describe what she wanted. As the woman approached her, she realised she she had wandered into a 'seeing hands' parlour. Only blind and deaf people work here. We had joked earlier about a blind manicure, Donna never realised Laura would actually ask for one, when she realised we moved swiftly on.
We got up early for the main tour from Kampot, a trek to Bankor, the nearest national park to Kampot. Given our last 'trek' had been a gentle stroll through the forest in Chiang Mai, we were unprepared for the horror that awaited us. We can only describe the trek as the most painful thing we've ever had to endure, Laura confessing she would rather die than do it again, it was two and a half hours of almost vertical rock climbing to the top of the mountain and Laura was less than thrilled when her burn scab was punctured. Luckily doctor Jamie was there with iodine and a bandage at hand as Donna had already pissed of up the mountain along with the rest of the group. The tour group who had stayed with them yelled monkey but Laura couldn't give much of a shit at this point and persevered on. Donna was presented with a rather large dead spider by some crazy dutch guys who debated whether or not it would be a good meal.
Unbelievably everyone reached the top alive and we actually decided it was well worth it especially since we discovered that there was a construction project in progress which in our opinion would ruin everything we'd come to see. At the top of the trek was the hill station built by the French in the 1920s to escape the heat further down, but abandoned soon after. It was so eerie with thick fog and empty dilapidated buildings, it felt like something from a horror film. We approached an old hotel with a rusty sign declaring 'Danger, No entry' but our cheery tour guide waved it aside telling us to go and explore. Luckily we're still alive and Jamie managed to steal a couple of floor tiles which he then left in the guesthouse...good effort. Due to Laura's injury we decided she couldn't trek back down fearing death and her much loved scab being ripped off. Donna and Jamie courageously powered on through despite the descending fog and ridiculous steepness of the downward path. Words cannot describe the relief we felt to finally see the end in sight and retain, fully intact, our limbs.
To complete our day we went on a boat tour supposedly to view the sunset which had passed before the boat even appeared. Donna and Laura refused to lose the money we'd paid for it and so we went on a twilight tour down the river. Dinner and cocktail followed at a place Jamie insisted was the stuff of folklore but Donna and Laura were pretty sure was a lie. We shall see.
We went to our favourite cocktail bar and the waiter came and sat with us which was lovely until he suddenly told his life story to Jamie asking for his name number and address so that he could come to London to work. Jamie offered him a job at the Walpole.
We left early the next day to return to Phnom Penh, it was pretty exciting as we had two tyre blow-outs...allowing Donna to finish her next book and Laura to not even reach the halfway point of her 3rd this holiday. Donna also got touched by an old woman who seemed thrilled once again by her freckles. Bring on Singapore.
Having arrived back in Phnom Penh we decided Jamie should get a Thai massage. We had decided that we were too injured given Laura's burn and Donna's trekking shoe injury so would go for a head, neck and shoulder massage. We could not stop giggling in the run up given Jamie and Donna's aching muscles from the trek...we assumed Jamie would be in a world of pain. We laughed and wished him luck. The joke was on us. Firstly we were required to remove our clothes...Jamie removed only his shirt. Donna was just in knickers given her poor decision to wear a dress and Laura in tiny shorts. Laura was happy about the nakedness...Donna was very uncomfortable. Jamie fell asleep during the head massage indicating to Donna and Laura that his Thai massage was not thorough. Laura and Donna endured a lot of inappropriate pain given the massages they had chosen. Laura got the bonus of a boob massage as she has only midget legs which are easily lost to the naked eye, as Donna got a full leg massage we can only assume she didn't realise Laura had any legs at all. She does.
We returned later for manicures and Laura was enchanted by the smallest dog in the world. Once again she felt the need to hold the animal in order for it to be real. We're pretty sure it didn't have rabies G. Our nails are now beautiful.
The next day we were heading to Singapore. An uneventful flight was marred by daylight robbery as we were informed that departure tax was $25 per person. Robbing bastards. Upon entry to Singapore Donna was once again subjected to the ginger doubt as the immigration staff had to double check that her passport indeed belonged to her asking the question 'Is this you?' and pointing to the photo. She of course answered no and proceeded through.
On arrival in Singapore we disgusted to realise how expensive everything is. We had to take shelter in a cafe in Little India but had awesome Naan bread and 'gravy'...amazing curry sauce whilst waiting for the torrential rain to cease. Finally went with the cheapest hostel we could find but still massively expensive at $15 per bed. Hugely over Babez on Tour budget. However massively colourful, we consoled ourselves with strong Indian lager and a Asian musician Laura is in love with and she has just embarrassed herself by walking in on an Indian man in an internet cubicle declaring 'A MAN'. We need to be up early tomorrow and it's ten to three.