Saturday, January 5, 2013

Siem Reap day 2

Siem Reap. Day 2

Side note- due to "mobile blogger" from my IPhone I cannot label or place photos only attach.

Tired we are.... Slower start to the day after a fitful night rest. The bonus is that the hotel serves Bon Cafe- strong and delicious coffee. Our usual omelette with bread and fruit- breakfast of choice every day in Cambodia. We had a family meeting and decided we were templed out and TukTuk'd out so we called D, our "driver" for more adventure.

We headed east and had a sobering visit to the Cambodia Land Museum. US ordered 60,000 bombing missions to the Ho Chi Min Trail ... Killing close to 600,000 civilians- Again JD and Riley no recall of learning this in school. We (the US) do a good job of teaching what makes the US look good. Staggering numbers and horrific outcomes. The museum is also an orphanage for victims of landlines - still a concerted effort to rid the country of the dangerous mines left by the US, Khmer Rouge, Vietnamese and others ..Check out be prosthetics they use- far from the carbon running prosthetics CAF offers.

We were saddened and reflective as we left and soon sound the Butterfly Sanctuary, an uplifting and beautiful spot. $3 entry fee goes to maintaining the beautiful facility and to local farmers. We were the only visitors and it was stunning. From there we went to Butterfly Restaurant back in town but still encased in net with beautiful foliage, water lillys and butterflies about. Growing tired of Khmer cuisine I opted for delightful fresh spring rolls and kir over ice. Weary travelers and we needed a rest...

Short nap to to construction and R and I headed out - she wanted to get a manicure $2 and I opted for $3/30 min invigorating foot/calf and back massage. Pure heaven.

Dinner was a treat. Our driver who lives in Banlung (8 hrs away) has family here in SR and his parents and other sibling came in from PP. We had Khmer BBQ again but this time with the local. It was great fun, limitless food (1/2 of which I was not sure what it really was). BBQ placed on bricks on table with hot dome covered in pork fat for cooking meats and fish. A moat of broth and oil for cooking bountiful amounts of leafy greens, cabbage, noodles, mushrooms. 20 raw meats and fish to select from (open buffet style ), tofu, spam and more... Take all you want and start cooking . We had 14 ppl with 4 bbq's and everyone was cooking, talking, reaching and eating. Out intent was to buy dinner ( very expensive $4 person) but they insisted to be our hosts. Some spoke good English and others limited and we all communicated. I politely tried whatever someone cooked or offered and only had to discretely cough out a few unknown items. Truly local fun...

We have been with D for 6 days now and he is like family. We pay $50/when he drives +'gas and expenses on off days (averaging $7) really the only way to cover as much of the country as we have with limited time. No airports in he northeast and the minibus option (22 -26 people in a 12 person bus, 100 coconuts, 100 lbs of rice, 15 bags of whatever) is off the table. Traditional bus tool 12 hours to our 9. Hats off to John for finding D and working this out. We could fly from SR to PP but we love D and a deal is a deal.

So today we make the 4 hr drive to PP and fly out tomorrow night... 27 hours we are in LA. Loving Cambodia but ready to come home.