Heading north this time, 5 hours and another $6 later we rocked up to Kratie. Impressively the town is smaller than kampong Cham. Also set on the edge of the Mekong the town is famous for the irradi mekong Dolphins, and like everyone else that's what we came to see.
We stayed in another Eco tourism spot, where all the staff came from local villages and were being given training in English and hospitality skills. As it was full we had booked their last room, a family suite, but when we arrived we asked if anything smaller was available. They showed us to a 'single' room, saying it was far too small for 2, on opening the door we saw a wooden clad room and double bed in the cutest of rooms. Not sure how much space they thought we needed!
The town was so sleepy we had walked around it in under an hour, so settled down on the balcony to watch some documentaries for the evening. Although we moved quite quickly when we realised how many red ants were climbing the wall behind my head, using the light to catch bugs to pull apart. Yum.
We decided not to be boring and do the classic boat trip to the Dolphins, kayaking would surely be more fun!! 20 minutes on the back of a truck holding onto the kayaks as we bounced along Cambodias notoriously dodgy roads we arrived at the start point. Our guide said we needed to cross the Mekong to get to our first stop, no problem, crossed plenty of rivers before. Except that stretch of the Mekong was 2km wide, full of swirling currents and random little rip tides. At least we weren't the only ones zig zagging across as we got caught in them!
On reaching the other side we stopped at one of the little Sand islands appearing as the rainy season subsides. Tash very happy as the guide pulled out a bag full of bamboo sticky rice, luckily I was already distracted as had obviously been the first to jump in the river for a swim!
After we moved on to the floating Forrest. That's where the day got a bit more interesting.... We weren't as strong as the guide and us and a lovely couple got caught behind. Heading into the Forrest they misjudged the turn and got taken into a bush, where the current tipped their kayak in impressive style! We stopped to help, as they were leaning on the kayak, making it sink, but the current pushed us into a different bush! At that point the guy took the kayak and started to float down with it, grabbing us along the way. You can imagine a kayak with 2 people in, up against a bush, with a decent current running under it, can't quite hold someone and their sinking kayak. As he went downstream he pulled us side ways, Tash bailed as she got b**** slapped by the tree and we went under, landing impressively on the tree and rocks below. I now have some rather impressive bruises, with random ones appearing for a few days after.
As we all floated down our guide finally realised we had capsized, being ever so kind he just shouted at us. Which kinda made the whole thing a bit more amusing. He was less amused at having to go find 4 ores and various flip flops. Once we were all back in we got told off for talking to each other, laughing about what happened. Oops.
We rushed through the Forrest which was a shame, with little time to appreciate it. But we did get to see the Dolphins from a little sand island just off the shore from the main boat area. I took a good 50 photos, in at least 1 you can see a faint smudge of dolphin.
Getting back to the kayak centre the owner spotted us a round to apologise for our guide being in a grump and leaving us behind, and we had a couple of hours laughing over the mess we made. I'm not sure anyone would have believed us if we said we hadn't fallen in anyway, especially as we didn't end up driving off the bridge in kampong Cham!