So now I'm in Sihanoukville, beach capital of Cambodia and it hasn't stopeed raining for 48 hours. If I'd started my trip a week earlier it would have been all sunshine and roses but according to the locals, it'll be like this for a couple of months! Them's the breaks. Apart from that, so far Cambodia has been a revelation. Apart from obsessive moto and taxi drivers thers' been little in the way of 'hey you, buy something'. (I'm sure you're all sick of me complaining about that by now - sorry). The food is really good here, and most places are a fairly clean which I wasn't expecting. Service is a little more lax, with meals coming out when they're cooked and you're often finishing yours when someone elses comes out! The kids here are so cool, all friendly and waving. You'll be walking down the street and you'll hear a chorus of hellos and see tiny hands waving from a window or doorway. First stop was a night in Phnom Penh after our Mekong Delta tour finished. Nicola and I shared a room with a cool US chick called Meghan. Nicola and Meghan were kindred spirits of sorts so after tea we were roaming the city for icecream and chocolates - I came with them cause I didn't want them to walk alone in the city. Our next stop was Kampot, a fishing town near the South Coast where we caught up with a couple of people from my tour. There's a few day trips to do in the region. We went to Kep, a tiny seaside town that had lots of abandoned French style building which was OK bu in my opinion it was pretty much a dump. We also visited Bat Cave (guess what lived there) and White Elephant cave which were really nothing more than scratches in the hillside, nothing on the Tassie caves at Mole Creek. We also swung by a waterfall, which turned out to be a set of rapids. Disappointing at first, but it turned into a lot of fun. You could hire rubber rings from the locals or just float down. The local kids were an absolute riot, posing for hundreds of photos and giving us impromptu Khmer language lessons. Dopey here left his camera behind, so I'll try and grab some from my travel buddies. Nect day we hit Bokor Hill station, a 40km drive which takes about 3 hours due to the nature of the road, not made any easier by doing it in the back of a ute. To make more room a couple of us stood up and were told by the tour guides to watch out for overhead branches. What they forgot to mention was the spider webs that also stretch across the road. We were trundling along and Ann yells, 'Spider Web!'. Unfortunately we both were to slow to dodge it. I only got a few strands on me, so I looked over at Ann, and it unfolded like a horror movie. I saw the strand on her side, followed the web along, it slowly got bigger and bigger till I saw the main web.... with the spider still on it! The spider then took off, crawling over Anns head (she had a raincoat hood on luckily), with both of us trying to flick it off, but the spider could move. Eventually it launched of Ann, dangled precariously as it floated in the breeze before landing on the tray of the pick up - I might add we were still moving. With one forceful stamp from me the spider was toast (I felt tough). This was an evil spider, big as the palm of you hand (if it strectched out) with spindly legs and bright yellow and red markings. Tell you what, it wasn't even on me and my heart was beating pretty hard. We headed off again, this time keeping our heads lower and being a lot more cautious, and it happened again. I don't really remember much of what happened, becuase no one was really sure where the spider was most of the time. I just remember a lot of screms and being shoved so hard I nearly came off the ute (never underestimate the power and estrogen and adrenaline combined), but the spider met the same fate! Arriving at Bokor hill station was a bit of an anti climax. It was first developed by the French as an upmarket hotel/casino in the 20s, and was taken over by the Khmer Rouge in the 60/70s (I think, don't quote me on the dates). It's all abandoned now and is was really foggy while we were up there so it was quite eerie. On a clear day there are normally good views, but not that day. The rain kicked in while we were up there and we had to make a hasty retreat, and its been wet since. We're still gonna hang here for a couple of days just to relax cause it's still pretty nice. Thats it for now, keep the messages and emails coming. Cheers, Patrick. PS I know the spelling isn't the best in these messages Mum, keyboards here suck and I'm not proof reading them. I'm impresssed you've restrained from commenting, cause I know it must be driving you insane.