And now, the end is near… Final blog - Cambodia by Baz
Unfortunately our requests for a rich benefactor to fund our continued travel have fallen on deaf ears.Surprising, as we have become minor global celebrities as a result of our exciting adventures and entertaining blogs and photos.Not quite as big as Madonna but certainly on a par with Jade Goody… well before her most recent career masterstroke.Reports of a follow-up book depicting our travels - "Baz and Seonaid, the untold story" are premature, but the rumors of a Hollywood film production with Angelina Jolie playing Seonaid and Ricky Jervis playing Baz are, Im afraid, true.But enough of this nonsense!
We have for the past few weeks been preoccupied with thoughts of real life, jobs and responsibilities.It got so bad, we actually applied for a couple of jobs and, perhaps optimistically we are returning home on Easter Sunday to be available for interviews.
We finished off Vietnam with a few days in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).It was reasonably enjoyable.The people didn't have the harshness we experienced in Northern Vietnam but it certainly wasn't good enough to change our overall view of Vietnam; one of extreme disappointment. We did visit the war museum which was a horrific delight.It provided a very interesting narrative of the origins of the American war and graphic pictures depicting effects of the destructive chemical weapons which the Americans used.They poisoned the countryside and the people for generations after the war.There were very disturbing stories of the atrocities carried out by the American troops.Overall an informative and enjoyable experience in a dark and disturbing way.
With only 10 days until our departure we had to quick-step it into Cambidia on our way back to Bangkok.On Wednesday 1st April we arrived in Cambodia's capital Phnom Phen in an oppressive heat.We took our first tuk tuk ride to the hotel, thrillingly zipping through traffic and round corners, then tracked down a café that served good Illy coffee and relaxed there for an hour.After a bit of shopping, I worked on a couple of job applications and Seonaid visited a Wat (temple) and got some great photos of the Royal Palace.The poor people in Cambodia are breaking Seonaid's heart.We were approached by a little boy begging for food rather than money.We gave him an apple.
Then on to Angkor Wat, home of hundreds of ancient temples.Between the 9th and 13th centuries the Cambodian devaraja built some of the most impressive temples ever constructed, including the worlds largest religious building, Angkor Wat.This city was home to one million people at a time when London had only 50,000.The houses, public buildings and palaces were constructed of wood - long since decayed - because the right to dwell in structures of stone was reserved for the gods.The temples were absolutely amazing.Beautifully sculpted and immense structures.Seonaid and I spent a day visiting some of the more popular temples from the back of a tuk tuk and got some amazing photos.Some of them have stood for over a thousand years and we were trying to imagine how they would have looked when just completed.
We left Angkor Wat, made the border crossing to Thailand and got a bus to Bangkok without incident.We have 5 nights left here in Bangkok before we fly out and we intend to spend it relaxing and shopping.This is a fine place to buy cheap tourist rubbish for the good folks back home so we intend to fill our dirty smelly rucksacks to busting point.
So, come Sunday at lunchtime it will be all over.Our hopes as we fly back to the warm bosom of our families are to find gainful employment as quickly as possible, to more fully experience adventures within our own beautiful country, for me to enjoy a game of poker with the lads, and for Seonaid to catch up with all the latest preparations for Jen and Gabs' weddings.Having read that back to myself I should point out that Jen and Gabs are not marrying each other, although there's nothing wrong with that sort of thing.
Our biggest relief is that in our 10 month absence no-one of our immediate family or friends have died, leaving us with an uncomfortable decision whether or not to return for the funeral.Unless of course someone has and you have neglected to tell us. Come to think of it there are a few people I havnt heard from for a while.I guess we'll find out soon.
Until we see you all, here are some of our best and worst experiences;
Best nights craic (Seonaid) Night out in Rio (Baz) Christmas in Melbourne
Biggest challenge(Seonaid) Villarica Volcano (Baz) Volcano
Worst nights sleep(Seonaid) Freezing in La Paz (Baz) Before Peru Trek
Weirdest exp(Seonaid) Sourcing tampons in Vietnam (Baz) Frozen night on Bolivian bus
Best food(Seonaid) Bali (Baz) Fresh Trout in Bolivia
Greatest achievement(Seonaid) Learning some Spanish (Baz) Learning some Spanish
Scariest moment(Seonaid) Sledging down volcano (Baz) Almost missing bus to Dublin
Favorite country(Seonaid) Argentina (Baz) Argentina
Best City(Seonaid) Buenos Aires (Baz) La Paz
Best people(Seonaid) Brazilians (Baz) Argentinians
Best experience(Seonaid) Witsundays cruise, Australia (Baz) Witsundays
Most beautiful place(Seonaid) Bariloche, Arhentina (Baz) Bariloche
Worst journey(Seonaid) Bolivia with crazy Israelis (Baz) 28hr bus from Rio
Best meal(Seonaid) Fish on her birthday, Argentina (Baz) buffet in New Zealand with Danny
Worst City/town(Seonaid) Rio Galegas, Argentina (Baz) Mersing, Malaysia
Worst food(Seonaid) Spicy Thai Salad (Baz) mixed grill, Argentina
Worst Country(Seonaid) Vietnam (Baz) Vietnam
Best purchase (Seonaid) Wooly jumper, Peru (Baz) Guitar, La Paz
Hottest women(Seonaid) Vietnam (Baz) no comment!