Sunday, 4 January 2009

a constant refrain of.....

......give money, give dollars.

This computer has an imp in it, and a dodgy computer that won,t allow proper punctation'[ppl;,[[9 !

phew! {phrom phnom penh}

We had a busy sweltering time on the Mekong, tripping on and off many kinds of watercraft, walking rickety gangplanks loaded with our rucksacks and wheelie bags, paddling down narrow channels overhung with dense palms in tight canoes, passing returning canoes shed of their tourist loads emitting a constant refrain of .

We have been serenaded by traditional groups singing delta shanties, which kept breaking into Auld Lang Syne.
Seen acres of Water Hyacinth, with lovely pale mauve blossom, grown to stop erosion of the banks, but largely broken away from the edges and floating all over the place. Tasted more tropical fruits than I could imagine.
Watched how rice paper is made for your spring rolls, and seen rice pop in superheated sand, into crispies, in huge metal cauldrons heated over fires made from fruit husks.
Lurched through rambling floating markets at dawn - wholesale, so one boat will be piled high with jackfruit, another only bananas.
Marvelled at the flash of giant kingfishers, and recoiled from pythons wrapping themselves around brave tourists. We have cycled along dykes and perspired in hammocks, chewing on pomelo dipped in salt and chillie. Examined bee hives and drunk honey tea.

All in tremendous sapping heat, and torrential rain which delayed us reaching our last berth, a hotel boat twinkling seductively out in the bay.

We retired early, New Years Eve, to our mosquito infested cabins, to avoid the sozzled Swedish and German celebrations and merrymaking that a cache of cheap wine and spirits portended.

Another early rise, to a brand new year, and more boats and buses to Phnom Penh.
Lovely place, sinister history.

More of that later.