Sunday, 9 December 2012

...Cambodia Calling 10 - Landmines, Waterfalls and Another Farewell.

So it's been an eventful weekend fellow cyber trekkers. After a long week it was really nice to relax and go hang out at a waterfall. Again! Getting up at 6 in the morning after 4 hours sleep wasn't very nice but it was worth it.

After getting on the road we then had the option of stopping at the landmine museum which I was very happy about seeing as I had planned to go once I finished work, so that was a big bonus. It is such an inspirational place, the man who founded it and still runs it is called Aki Ra (totally thought of Japanese anime the first time I heard his name) and he is a former child soldier for the KR. He was trained to fight and to lay land mines around the Cambodia - Thai border. He defected from the KR when he was a teenager and joined the Vietnam army to fight back and after that he dedicated his life to removing all land mines in Cambodia and training other people to do it his way (which is the total crazy way, he uses a sharp stick, his hands and sometimes a wrench...). It is predicted he has removed over 50,000 land mines himself and the number is even more when you factor in all the ones he has removed with his team of over 1,000 dedicated land mine removal staff (which are mostly army guys whom he trains). Within the museum there is also a school for children who have been affected by land mines.

This is a case showing some of the land mines and the missiles that Aki Ra and his team have deactivated. There were so many different ones within that case and even more in the museum. Not everything they deactivate are land mines, if you look really closely you can see a few missiles as well.

After mooching around the museum we climb back into our mini van and continue our journey up to the waterfall. It was relatively pleasant, only the usual bumps and jiggles you get with a Cambodian road but then came the mountain. I was so scared, it was so steep I seriously thought we were going to roll backwards and off the mountain and never be seen again. The poor mini van kept groaning and at one point we all thought that it may be a good idea to just get out and walk! But the treacherous climb was worth it, the waterfall was absolutely beautiful.

 It's so purdy!! I couldn't hold back my excitement and decided to run into the water and then realised my mistake. The water was absolutely freezing. However this still didn't stop me from attempting to go behind the water and peek out like a little rabbit in a hole. That was even colder. I felt like I was hyperventilating, the water was cold, fast flowing and pounded on my head and my chest like nothing I've felt before, I only stayed behind there long enough to take a few pictures then I bailed. I'm such a smart girl! I don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon, I've learnt my lesson....

After lunch we went trekking in the forest up to the temple - trekking in sandals may I add, which is not a smart move especially when you are told not to step off the path because there may be poisonous snakes/spiders/plants lurking in the bushes waiting to cause you some serious damage - cheers jungle. But it's pretty hard to trek in the jungle/bush area with only sandals - I don't recommend it. If you know you're going trekking always, ALWAYS wear hiking boots. You don't want to accidentally slip, stumble off the path and into the eager, waiting clutches of a deadly poisonous snake. Hmmmm.

So all in all it was a good but exhausting day. I had a very good time chilling in freezing cold water (I decided to go in once more at the bottom, cos you know I obviously thought my body was impenetrable and the cold wouldn't affect me. It had absolutely nothing to do with the 5 beers I had previously drunk...) but I was ready to go home, get warm again and have some dinner. 

That night was the last night in Cambodia for Emily (DS), Emily (Spuddy) and Katie (KLS), they were heading to Thailand to spend Christmas on the beach! It was sad but I wasn't totally distraught this time, mainly because 1. we all live in England so it will be pretty easy to see each other again and 2. I'm seeing Emily (DS) at the end of Jan in Thailand for one last crazy night out before we both have to head home. I'm looking forward to it so much, she is such a crazy girl (in fact they all are) and I do really miss having my Brits around me but we will meet again. Like I always say it is never goodbye, it's an I'll see you later. Steph and Nina leave tomorrow *sigh* and then come Monday it will be Thirza, Kai and myself packing up but I won't be moving on (only to a hostel) and Thirza and Kai will go to join the Emily's and Katie in Thailand, Nina goes to spend Christmas with her family and Steph goes to join her boyfriend in Australia. I'm going to miss them, Siem Reap won't be the same without them. I'll try my best not to cry but I can't promise anything. We have planned a massive get together next year, so I am very much looking forward to that.

But for now I'm going to go and have some lunch before I head back to work - oh did I mention I only have 3 AND A HALF MORE DAYS TO GO???!!! I cannot bloody wait. I'm going to SLEEP without the constant barking of those bloody dogs, the cats humping and the building work starting at 5 in the morning! Wooooooo!

Big Ocean crossing love ya'll.

P.S I forgot to mention I finally got me some of this:

It tasted AMAZING.

1 comment:

  1. Aww I love reading your blog, Rachel, especially this one because it had the landmine museum AND the waterfall, two of my fave memories. Keep them coming xx love Alice xx