Lorna and Kev's slightly extended holiday
We stayed at The Magic Sponge for 4 nights with a night at a place called Blissful, bar was nice but rooms were so small and basic, only $4 but we headed back over as soon as we could. We decided to have a day trip out and get the main sights done in one go via a mini bus tour. At 8.30 we headed out for the Salt fields and then onto the caves with a small temple inside. Many steps later after successfully avoiding the landmines and cows, we visited a tiny fishing village and onto the kampot pepper farm. I was looking forward to the seeing how they grow the pepper and hopefully buying some green pepper especially. I was a little disappointed to find they don't sell the green pepper as it doesn't last very long, although its probably a lot to do with how much they sell in for in places like France so settling for a big bag if the red pepper. After a quick hunt for mango's we headed to Kep for lunch. I was really excited for Kep, i watched a program where a chef had come to Cambodia and had eaten Kampot pepper crab it looked amazing, so me being a bit of a foody we followed Philip, a Swiss guy we had met staying at the Magic Sponge to one of the 25 seafood restaurants that lines the banks. He'd eaten here before and was keen to go back. Me and Kev ordered a huge bowl of yummy crab soaked in pepper and garlic and a bowl of rice. I can't even begin to tell you how good it was if i was able i would have been there all day! For the last part of the day we boarded a long boat for Rabbit Island and sunned ourself on the beach for a couple of hours. There isn't really anything other than the sea and some not very nice sand on the island but its was a welcome lazy afternoon after a busy morning. I have also discovered that after 3 long boat rides i am not a very sea worthy person, my balance is terrible and my legs are short so the long steps up to the dock rarely end well. Speaking of long boat rides the following day we had the chance of going on a sunset cruise organised by some ex-pats living here for a friends 30th birthday, she was staying at the Magic Sponge the night before and invited us along. Instead of going on one of the organised boat trips they had hired a small boat captain'd by Belgium Bart, or Bart the Pirate which ever you prefer. We headed up the river that runs through Kampot stopping for a swim in the clearer water further upstream. Most of the touristy boats turn around as the river narrows into the mangroves but as this was only a little boat we headed in squeezing through. It felt like quite an adventure and something i hadn't had the chance to do before. We emerged just in time for the sunset over the mountains, it was so beautiful. Afterwards we headed over to the Rusty Keyhole a bar owned by a smiley guy from Manchester. Rusty's is famous for the biggest and tastiest ribs in Cambodia. They are huge and with homemade coleslaw and a heap of mash potatoes it couldn't be any better! We sang happy birthday and drank cheap wine, finally wobbling back full to bursting point. Kampot and Kep are lovely places, with their French architecture and just the right amount of ex-pats we were sorry to leave.