Day 6 of the Intrepid Cambodia tour took us to Chamboke, a little village south of the capital city Phnom Penh. The journey took around 7 hours with a stop in Phnom Penh and another stop at the off-sales - well a hut just outside the village that sold much needed alcohol. The journey wasn't the best, much of the road is undeveloped and to say it's bumpy is a major understatement. By the time we reached the offies I was salivating at the thought of drink, preferably a strong one. The selection was limited no Jack Daniels or French Martinis so instead I decided to sample SPY, a wine fruit drink. At a $1 for a bottle, it really would have been rude not to support the local economy and buy them all!
By the time we stocked up on supplies and got to the village it was approaching 4pm. We were all hot and tired from the journey and although I knew that we would be staying in the community with local families I don't think I was prepared for just how basic it was. There was no electricity or running water and the toilet was a hole in the floor. There was also oxs, dogs, chickens and pigs roaming around the yard. After being introduced to the family we made our way to the community hall where the woman from the village were preparing our dinner. The community hall was about a mile away and to get to it you had to cross a mini bridge which was a bit of wood over water. Of course that would have been too easy for me so instead of just waiting my turn I thought that I could jump over it. How wrong I was! I ended up knee deep in the water covered in brown sludge which could only be described as s***. Well at this point I decided to hell with it, how often will I have the opportunity to wonder in a rural Cambodian village covered in s***? So I did what I do best, cracked open a bottle of SPY and got stuck-in while the rest of the group went to play volley-ball with the locals.
By the time dinner was ready I was well on my merry way to forgetting the early incident. The locals had prepared a feast for us, it was really delicious and they were so friendly. After dinner we went back to the house and sat in the yard under the stars and carried on drinking. The sky was beautiful I had never seen so many stars in my life. We played a couple of drinking games with the locals and stayed up passed our bedtime. I shared a room with the Danish girls, and Michelle and Liz (Scotland and England). It was like we were having a sleepover - complete with special guest Connie the Cockroach!
The whole experience was fantastic, very surreal but brilliant! Although I would be lying if I said I wasn't glad to leave the next day!