Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Beach

I don't have a huge list of "Things to do before I die." With that said, I do still have a few items that I would not mind ticking off, and this last week I finally got to tick off a big one. That is to say; I stayed on a gorgeous, sparsely inhabited, island in a basic bamboo shack right on the beach with a great group of friends.

Tearing myself away from Kampot was not easy. I spent a week there before I was finally able to break it's spell over me and escape. Of course, escaping is quite a lot easier when you are leaving with a diverse group of friends (some of whom spoke Spanish) with very different backgrounds, personalities, and interests. So it was, that I found myself crammed into a tuk tuk with five other people headed for Koh Tonsay near the Vietnam border.

After a few minor difficulties we arrived on Koh Tonsay, or as I refer to it, paradise. The total number of inhabitants could not have been more than 30-40 and there were only a few small bamboo shelters to sleep in. There were however HAMMOCKS. Lots, and lots of hammocks. And a beach. A nice beach.

I spent two full days swimming, lounging in my hammock/reading, hiking around the island, and enjoying the company of a great group of guys. What I enjoyed the most was definitely getting to know these guys better. For example, there is the Swiss guy who lives in Italy and seems a half a bubble off, until you learn that he is fluent in French, German, Swiss-German, Italian, Spanish, English, and Cambodian. Or there was the break dancing Swedish guy who looks like Orlando Bloom, and whose sense of humor mirrors my own so perfectly that we left each other rolling on the ground in laughter while everyone else wonders what the hell we are carrying on about. The rest of the group was as equally interesting and the island was gorgeous. What more could you ask for?

For me the answer was cheese cake. If the island had a drawback it was the food. I can't complain too much, because we were staying on a pretty basic island (i.e. no power), but Jesus! was that food ever terrible. The first night it was not so bad, but by day two none of us could even look at rice or eggs again. That was all there was. Rice, Ramen, eggs. That was it. I would have murdered for a piece of cheese cake in paradise...

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