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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Staying in a shack in Sihanoukvile

After a 7 1/2 hour bus ride through the country-side (which is very picturesque by the way, but after that length of time, and mostly in the dark it gets a little tiring) we disembarked in Sihanoukville. The town was larger than we originally thought and since it was by now 9.30pm we knew we weren't getting to the island of Koh Rong that night so we set about finding suitable accommodation. We teamed up with two Swiss guys and got a tuk-tuk down towards the sea, finding a hostel/guesthouse on the corner. We checked out the log cabins and it seemed clean so we booked in for the princely sum of USD12 each.
Our cabin in Sihanoukvile

After a quick bite we decided to explore the little coastal town, first coming across two cows wandering down the main street. I wished I had a camera as it was absolutely hilarious to watch. They walked up to a little bar and a man sitting down nearly jumped out of his seat. We saw many tourists/backpackers like ourselves in the bars dotting the seafront. It was like a really run-down version of the seafronts you see in Majorca or Ibiza. There were little shacks everywhere on the beach with various genres of music blasting out and people in various stages of undress, many holding joints, dancing to the rhythms being pumped out.


We found a place where we could book the boat to Koh Rong and also accomodation in some treetop huts at Coco's. As the boat departed at 8 we decided we should head back and get some sleep for our early rise. Unfortunately sleep was not to be that night....as soon as the lights went off I heard some scratching in my bed. Terrified of bed bugs, I decided I would sleep on the covers, but that didn't work either so I moved over to April's bed. She seemed to be sleeping soundly. Unfortunately her bed was near the window so I could hear our neighbours outside their room partying. I took a panadol night....then half an hour later another......then a Xanax, then another. Eventually I gave up and just read my book. Not a nice feeling. We struggled out of the room around 7am, without showers and made our way by tuk-tuk to the meeting place for the boat....where we were told that the bus had left. He'd mistakenly given us the wrong time (although he maintained that he hadn't). We asked if the tuk tuk driver would take us to the port.... It was a battle against time, we didn't know if the tuk-tuk would make it...we tore along the streets, maneuvering in and out of traffic, animals and people... we pulled up at the port and dashed to our boat just as they were pulling up the anchor. Relieved, we sat quietly in the sun, getting our breath back and watching the boats go by.

Bye Bye Sihanoukvile! We made it!

It was the first time I really realised how far away we were. It was a great feeling but also quite emotional. April and I had been rushing around since we'd met up but the stresses of the previous month (after the break-up) were getting to me and I had a little cry on the boat. It passed quickly - I think I just needed a little release. April was great, she put her arms around me and told me, as great friends do - that it would all be fine. Watching the pretty clouds pass by and the open blue sea ahead, I thought maybe she might have a point.

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