After a big fatty meal, plenty of fluids and a fresh coconut we were finally ready to head onwards to the jungle. Our tuk-tuk driver was ready to roll at 07:15 and stood there waiting with a patient smile. We were almost completely ready, lacking only our SLR camera, iPhone and passports which were conveniently locked away in a stronkbox that was inaccesable until the time our bus should have left.. A little cajoling and some begging got us out of that sitiuation!
The busstop at Andoung Tuek bridge was slightly difficult to spot due to the lack of announcement, sign or an actual bridge to notice. Nevertheless we got off on the right place where some smiling Cambodians stood ready to take us the rest of the way on their motos.
Chi Phat is a small, charming and somewhat confusing society. On the one hand its down to earth, rural and filled with friendly people and kids that want to practice their entire english vocabulary that consists of ''hello!'', ''yes'' and not much else. Regardless of the nature of our inquiry.
We soon found the place we were looking for and started to rifle through our opitons of what kind of jungle adventures we should enbark upon. After some discussion we agreed that since we had brought to little money to actually have a choice we should go for option #4.
Option # 4 was 2 days of trekking and one night sleeping in US army surplus hammocks with mosquito-nets fitted on them. Our guides took us thorugh pastures, rivers, thick jungle and two waterfalls. The walking was long, hot and very rewarding. Alot of beautiful nature and some pretty dense jungle stood before us. We loved it! The older of our guides made some neat meals consisting of local produce, while the younger was probably the closest Cambodia has to MacGyver. Every time we needed something, beeing either leech-repellent sticks, hammock-mosquito-net-stabilizer-sticks or tooth-picking-sticks, he would vanish into the jungle and emerge some time later with something made out of bamboo that would suit our needs.
The villagers took us in and shared with us both their old and new customs. We would sleep in a homestay, petting dogs, drinking out of coconuts and watching some local TV-shows. Other nights we would be invited over to the neighbor to enjoy some moonshine based on a whole beehives, bees and all, tucked into a jar and left to ferment. When ready this concoction would be sifted and served in small shot glasses. Bottoms up! A ''salute'', ''cheers'', ''skaal'' and ''jul mouy'' later we admitted defeat and left the locals to their celebrations.
The jungle experience was over and we made reservations to go to the ASIAN hotel in Koh Kong. The Rector of the local school and one of his aides drove us the 40 mins back to the bus stop. From here we set the course to Koh Kong and birthday celebrations!!
Peace and l0v C&G