Friday, January 1, 2010

On the Road to Angkor Wat

After an early morning practice at our lovely hotel, we left the big smoke of Phnom Pehn yesterday for Siem Riep, joining the big Cambodian convoy - our friends from Melbourne and their local family members. All in all we were one mini bus and one car and we darted along the highway on the long journey to Siem Riep. Ra our driver was quite skilled - I was sitting behind him and nearly had a few heart attacks, the driving being similar to India but at higher speeds. We only made 2 stops along the way - one to see freaky food, the other for food that resembled something I might eat. Ra our driver also was one of the Amazing Race drivers when they were in Cambodia (one of my favorite TV shows). I was talking about freaky food and how it was suggested to me that I should eat something weird on my travels (BTW it was never going to happen). Anyway we stopped for fruit and a pee break and low and behold there were these people selling fried spiders (big mothers I tell you), crickets, and an assortment of other big bugs. Suffice to say many photos followed, none more so as when Ra ate a big old spider - USD $1. I was screaming - it was vile, but I guess maybe when food was tight in the Khmer Rouge and post regime period, people started eating what they could. Hey maybe it's tasty, who knows.

Anyway that plus dodging quite a few wayward cows along the way were the major highlights, arriving in Siem Riep at about 3.30pm - our hotel beconning with a pool and some beers.

An early morning planned for 31 December (today) so an early night followed a Khmer dinner with the new extended family. We woke at 4am and headed out to Angkor Wat for dawn. No food in our bellys but excitment to see the ruins - and they didn't disappoint. We spent 6 hours climbing and ascending some amazing old temples - all picture postcard stuff, except for the other 1000+ people in the immediate vicinity. It was very hot and humid in the jungle - thank heavens it's winter! The knee was tested and held up just fine - sometimes I forget I can't jump down a long way - ouch!

A free arvo was spent by the pool and napping, having some much needed R&R given I will be back at my desk come Monday (boo hoo). Dinner and shopping in town - some last minute gifts and goodies, and another early night - I will not see the New Year in but will rise early and practice, so as to see it in the New Year like a good little travelling yoga girl. Om shanti - see you in 2010 - Happy New Year from Cambodia.

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