Friday, July 28, 2017

July 26 – Last Day in Cambodia

It was a dark and stormy morning and mirrored what was going on in my head. But to be honest, the hangover wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. I don’t often drink shots, but when I do, it’s usually the worst shots in the world so I’m surprised that cheap bar tequila did not make an appearance last night – maybe that is what saved me.

After another great breakfast at Dune (a nice French restaurant down the road), Ana and I went for a long, slow beach walk while the kids hung out in the room watching Family Guy (Magnus) and Reality Dance Shows (Stella). We walked south along the beach, thinking we’d go all the way to Otres 2, which is another strip of beach restaurants and guest houses, but it just seemed to go on forever so we turned around, made a short stop at the village mini-mart for water and then walked back. The rest of the day we simply hung around, moving from reading on the balcony, to sitting by the pool (for the brief glimpses of sunshine), over to the restaurant/lobby for a game of pool, back to the room, out for lunch, back to the lobby, played Uno, more reading, and then finally showers and our last dinner in Otres. We chose Mushroom Point, where Ana ate a schnitzel baguette that was so magically delicious she thought she was stuck in a happy dream, and I had a mug of draft beer that cleaned up the rest of the Jagerbomb hangover.

Our bus arrived promptly at 6 pm. We said our goodbyes to Joey, Meegan, and baby Mia, feeling like we’d known them for years which I think is the trademark of an incredibly well-run establishment. This is one of my favourite parts of travel – establishing these short, intense relationships with people you may never see again, but maybe you will. In any case, a friend for life can be made in a day – that really is all it takes sometimes.

The collector bus bounced us back to Snooky where we transferred to what’s referred to as a “sleeper bus”. Now I have never seen one of these in my life, but was awesome. Imagine a regular, long distance bus, but rip out all the seats and replace them with two levels of beds. The walking platform through the centre of the bus was extremely narrow - really only enough room for one person to pass at a time - allowing more room for the beds, which were meant for two people. Ana and I hopped in our assigned upstairs bed and the kids were across from us, also in the upstairs bed, but one row back. There was a set of two curtains that you could pull shut and completely enclose yourself in your pod, which was just large enough for two people to squeeze into, and was nearly long enough for me to fully stretch out. It felt like we were getting prepped for going into hypersleep.

As we were lying there I said to Ana, “Well this is cozy, but I wonder what happens if you are traveling on your own and just bought a single ticket?” A guy across from us in the downstairs bed, looked up and said, “I know what happens man. I bought a single ticket once and had to sleep face to face with a strange dude. It was weird.” Fortunately, team Olson comes in pairs so we were spared that sort of intimate contact with anybody outside of the team.

The bus took off and, after reading for a while, I went straight to sleep, only waking up periodically to change positions. As expected, the bus was freezing cold as they always crank the AC up to maximum on these sorts of trips, making we wish we had brought along a roll of duct tape to completely close off the vents above us. But they did provide thin blankets which helped.

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