Well I finally made it back to Battambang. The minibus was late picking me up from the hotel so the main bus didn't leave Phnom Penh until 9.15am......and the journey dragged and dragged and dragged! Finally 6.5 hours later we made it to Battambang, having stopped 3 times on the way, twice for food & toilet stops and the third time (which was really frustrating because we were only 30 mins from Battambang and I had Theara & Chamnap waiting for me) because we came across a broken down bus from the same bus company. After the drivers had messed around for about an hour they finally moved all the people from the broken down bus onto ours. We made it into town only to be dropped off at the wrong bus station. I got into a bit of a strop (getting into practice for being back in the West) with some of the tuk-tuk drivers as they were wanting to take me to other hotels and I just wanted them to take me to the hotel Sak had booked. I even had a moto-driver who suggested he take me to the hotel and my bags follow on later - yeah right! I finally managed (after speaking very firmly in pigeon Khmer - it worked!) to get one to take me to the right place and I rang Sak en route, who left work to come and meet me.
I'm staying at The Rattanak Hotel for 2 nights. It's basic, but clean, walking distance to Sak's house, and has in-room internet, which is very useful, much better than having to sit in reception.
Spent the remainder of the afternoon with Theara and the children, before having a quick shower back at the hotel, and then going back to Sak's house for dinner.
PS. I took the above photo when we stopped at Pursat. After each 100km the driver has to hose the engine down, probably to stop the bus from exploding from the heat! I also had lunch here (I'm getting so brave) by pointing at the most edible looking dish (pork with morning glory) and asking for it with bai (rice). Fantastic value at only 3000 Riel (35p!).