Steve and I woke to the sounds of chickens and roosters and what sounded like a call to prayer but could have been just karaoke.
We had a tasty breakfast cooked by David the Australian owner a laid back almost hippy style guy who can actually cook very well. Steve loves his French toast for breakfast and the little omelet I have is delicious.
Off we went on our bicycles trying to ride like locals and not worry about anything hitting us! It’s not very busy here so it wasn’t too bad. Down the lane way near our place across the bridge and into the little town of Kampot. First thing we see is a crowd of motorbikes and cycles converging on the school. Not celebrating Christmas means schools and everything else is open. We cycled gently along Riverside Dr and took in the sights. The old bridge now blocked off, locals under palm trees catching the breezes off the river, men playing cards, old boats lined up with signs displaying sunsets cruises, offical looking buildings and the one we like best. The Cambodian Olympic Aquatic centre funded in 2008 by the Cambodian Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and by Daimler Chrylser. Such sponsorship! It consisted of a unfinished building and big fence and two canoes. Not sure if the river itself is used for swimming!
We gently cycled around the town getting the idea of merging at intersections but never really stopping. To stop means no one will ever let you in and you’d sit there all day! So we became quite good. Steve bought a t shirt with elephants on it and we enjoyed our daily fruit shake. Yum.
Back to the guest house and met up with Pete and El exchanging one present before heading out to Green House. Down country lanes following the river a right turn took us closer to the river and anticipation grew. It was so bumpy. So dusty. Then round the corner and into a little oasis. Very laid back timber style house overlooking the river and mountains and instantly we started to relax.
Out with the Santa hats. A few photos a few bottles of lovely French Rose. Great food several dishes using the local pepper in various colours and even the delicious local honey. More presents. I received a little necklace from Pete with my name written on it made by a friend. El gave me a 4 hour pamper at the local women’s only spa. So tomorrow we go together as Peter gave her one as well. Pampering on the banks of the river in timber huts. Sounds delightful. Not sure about the naked swim at the end as it could be too much for my future daughter in law. But she is reassuringly encouraging telling me I look very good ( but I know next to her I would look a fright) oh well I’ll just relax and enjoy.
Lunch turned into a long affair punctuated with a swim in the river, another glass and lots of chat about the wedding. Better to get it planned whilst we are here so we know what to expect. We all agreed that they being a fairly low key couple where we were sitting would be an ideal place to have the wedding. The back drop against the forested mountains is gorgeous. We discussed logistics and even talked to Sabine the French owner of Greenhouse. So we think we have a plan.
Sitting under the trees in the balmy night air was a lovely way to spend Christmas. Hopefully some will be able to travel to this poor country and enjoy the simple charms it offers.
2 thoughts on “Cambodian Christmas”
Loving your posts. Fantastic news of Pete’s engagement. Having email and photo troubles here. Having a wonderful time together. Off skiing tomorrow . I will be taking photos and hiking. 😇😇.xx
A Christmas to remember! Wonderful plans being made.