Travelling – day 370

We had a 6.30am pick up from the guesthouse to take us to the bus station. Fortunately, it had stopped raining for long enough for us to make it from reception to the minibus without getting soaking wet! A rather uneventful almost 6 hour bus journey to get us from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh took us past flooded roads. We even drive past a TukTuk that was almost submerged in a ditch at the side of the road. I reckon the road was so flooded that he just drove straight off the road…

Ate a packet of crackers for breakfast, the only food items we could find in the shop last night, before stopping for ‘breakfast’. A rather disappointing stop as the food looked a. disgusting; b. like it was cooked a week ago; and c. totally overpriced. Giving it a miss, the only thing Jayne really wanted was the super cute fluffy puppy with an amputated front paw. Arriving at the bus station in Phnom Penh, we had the usual performance from the TukTuk drivers who didn’t quite seem to understand that we were staying at the bus station to transfer to another bus – although they could all regurgitate a string of Cockney rhyming slang! We even had the same driver approach us three times using exactly the same speech each time. 

Popped into the nearby supermarket to stretch our legs and buy some snacks for the next bus journey. Tried to find this elusive blueberry Fanta that we saw advertised back in Siem Reap to no avail. We tried to find somewhere to eat on the way back to the bus station but with every restaurant looking worryingly empty (eat where the locals eat after all), we decided to buy a pork sandwich from the kiosk at the station instead – it was delicious!
Back on another bus for our 7 hour journey to Battambang. Chatted to the man in front of us who lives and works in Siem Reap as a professor of agricultural. It was really interesting listening to him talk about how he trains Cambodians to double their earnings through their crops. It was slightly difficult to hear him at times over the Cambodian karaoke music blaring out. He left the bus halfway and we watched some ‘Dexter’ to pass the time. The bus did the typical ‘India’ thing of driving around the outside of the town and then dropping us a couple of kms away from everything. When we got off the bus, there were only motorbike taxis that wanted to charge us $2 each to go 3km… Neither of us wanted to get on a motorbike again after the Preah Vihear experience so we started walking. At which point, a TukTuk turned up. Since it was late and it was dark, we asked him ‘how much?’ At this point, he started with ‘free today but you take me tomorrow’. Knowing that we didn’t want to hire a TukTuk tomorrow we asked him again. Despite explaining that we didn’t want a TukTuk tomorrow but we were happy to pay a good (the right!) price tonight, he didn’t seem to notice. Decided to cut our losses and walk anyway, we then got the speech about Battambang being full of gangsters and murderers so it wasn’t safe to walk. If only he could have seen us roll our eyes in the dark…

The walk, where we weren’t raped or murdered, was easy enough and we were soon enough at our guesthouse only to find out that we had no room despite pre paying through Agoda. A slight disagreement where they wanted to put us in a male dorm room and we refused resulted in us being sent to another hotel for the night. At this point, we were more than slightly pissed off, so when the guy who showed us to our room started asking if we wanted a TukTuk tomorrow, we closed the door in his face and then blocked it with a chair. Climbing into twin beds, we fell into an uneasy sleep from the adrenaline rush. 
Tuesday 11th October 2016

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