The bus system has been the way to go. We got a cheap bus for the 2 and a half hour ride from Otres to Kampot. Sadly, Kampot will be our last Cambodian destination. We’ll have 4 days to enjoy the riverside and hodgepodge that is Kampot.
We’d planned on getting a room at the Monkey Republic, a sister hostel of the Monkey Maya, but it was full. Because it is so slow we haven’t bothered booking ahead at our last two places. I’m sure we’ll need to start booking ahead at some point but it’s worked out for us so far. The Pepper Guesthouse is where we ended up. It’s in a good neighborhood that’s 4 blocks from the river, it has A/C and a nice room — $13 a night.
My only goals while we were in Kampot were to get on the river somehow, get some famous Kampot pepper and eat some fresh crab. Within a minute of our arrival, our tuk tuk driver had us interested in Climbodia, a rock climbing/cave tour on the outskirts of town. Now I know Cambodia might not seem like they keep up on rock climbing safety regulations, which is a valid concern, but truth be told the gear looked good, the guide spoke good English and I have a really tough time turning down caves.
Our first full day in Kampot was spent walking on the river, trying to find a hidden cafe and doing some Christmas shopping. We even went out to a nice sunset dinner on the river and got ourselves some seafood. McKayla got some great linguini and scallops while I knocked crab off my to-do list. Shelling crabs is a lot of work but it was pretty freaking delicious.
Unfortunately, McKayla has come down with a fairly severe ear infection. The pressure is making it difficult for her to sleep. We’ve tried rinsing her ears with vinegar water (per instructed in the book “Where there is no Doctor” which was a recommended download by our doctor) but after 3 nights we have yet to find her some relief. The next step is antibiotics to try to knock this thing out.
Despite the ear infection, McKayla wanted to do the climbodia trip. We’ll have more details on that in our next post but it was awesome.
When we got back from rock climbing and caving, we kept the good times rolling by making our way to a trivia night a ta neighboring guesthouse called the Magic Sponge. After 5 rounds, we ended in the middle of the pack. Turns out, global trivia is a lot more difficult than standard trivia. I don’t give a shit who was knighted for conservation in 1989, but as the only Americans, I’m pretty sure we were the only ones to know Susan B Anthony. They had a pretty cool round that gave pictures of 10 flags of countries starting with the letter ‘G’. Although we came up with the 10 countries, we only got 4 of the flags right. Have you ever seen the flag of Gibraltor? Didn’t think so.
Our last day in kampot we finally found the mystery cafe that McKayla had been searching for. She found a good review and was determined to get to Cafe Espresso. As it turned out, they had recently moved locations. All our bickering could have easily been avoided had they just upgraded the map on Google and Trip Advisor. Get your shit together, Cafe Espresso. The cafe had good food but it was hot and overpriced.
The original plan for our last day was Cafe Espresso, spend time on the river at the Arcadia Guesthouse outside of town (they have blob and paddleboards, supposedly) then a sunset cruise. Arcadia supposedly has a blob and paddle boarding but it was overcast and McKayla’s ears were not ready for water. So we bailed on Arcadia and had a nice relaxing day. We did make the sunset tour and enjoyed a float while taking in mountains, vegetation and after the sunset… fireflies. The boat passed by Arcadia and it seemed overrated anyway. The 2 and a half hour cruise was a great send off from Cambodia: quite, peaceful and colorful – just like most of our time here.