Our bus/minivan rolls over a hill, what’s that up ahead… that big bright blue thing behind those shacks? The Ocean! Glorious Ocean after a busy week in 36 degrees Celsius weather, it was a sight for sore eyes.
We grab the last room at a lively bar/bungalow hostel, a few blocks away from the beach. After getting lunch at one of the dozens of various restaurants (indian, pizza, khmer, italian ect) that occupy the near seaside streets, we navigated down to the beach and had our salty swim. Cooling yet warm we floated and swam, and goofed around with my new camera and housing!
Our bungalow was enchanting, but in a musky sort of way. Being on the coast, there are higher mosquito populations (that seem to have a liking to me, uninterested in Alistair though) so sleeping was not great due to itching and my malaria paranoia. My new found solution is that the bugs don’t like Tiger Balm, which I happen to have and love, so my sanity levels were able to stabilize.
In the heat and ocean breeze we attempted our hostel bar’s signature drink, the colossal Beer Tower (and received a free tank top!), which consisted of 10+ beers and was presented in a towering mini-keg complete with tap. The ice stick in the middle had melted before we finished, but we succesfully finished the Beer Tower and the tanktop is really nice.
Our last night before heading to Kampot we ventured a little further than the beach side streets, into a nearby street of local restaurant stands, most with plastic chairs and friendly staff. Here Alistair had “the best fried rice ever” and we chatted to a few seasonals, locals, and played with a puppy while waiting for dinner. As we fininshed with our meal we observed a group of backpackers approach the table of fried goods and snacks that stood at the front of the tented restaurant. They made a few selections and sat next to us. We couldn’t help but crane our necks at the strange delectables, which they noticed and offered us a try. The first was a fried grub (like a larvae) and the second item was an intact and full deep fried frog. I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t try either, and proud/grossed out to admit that Alistair tried both. He describes the grub as spicy mashed potato with a pungent aftertaste, and the frog he choked down was crunchy and chewy.
Being on the ocean again is wonderful, but we continued our travels further to the small cozy town of Kampot (on a river by the coast). It’s time to relax!