Monday, 10 December 2007

Kampot - pepper & more

Kampot is well known for producing some of the world's best pepper... not that I'm able to tell the difference between fresh and old -- or for that matter good or bad pepper -- and we actually didn't visit a pepper farm, so I couldn't work on my pepper skills.

But the weekend was a treat anyway. Both Adriane from Phnom Penh and a DW colleague had recommended the guesthouse "Les Manguiers", a few kilometers upstream from Kampot.

As you'd expect with such a name, the place is surrounded by beautiful old mango trees and boasts a big Cambodian house on stilts with loads of balconies facing the river. Jean-Yves, an easy going Frenchman working for the GTZ and his Cambodian wife have recently added half a dozen traditional bungalows in the nearby rice paddies. They say, they want to be able to welcome their extended Cambodian family and all their friends. Jean-Yves grins and adds "of course also anyone who'd like to become our friend".

After a week in the rather charmless Phnom Da Guest House this was a wonderful escape - right by the river, surrounded by rice fields - and it just felt great to eat a REAL breakfast and not just a tasteless wanna be baguette with peanut butter & jelly.
So, Takeo was quickly fading into distant memory. And after a good night's sleep, we kicked off Saturday with some heavy duty kayaking. I noticed I seriously need to work on my upper body muscles... and maybe on my general fitness all together.

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