Tuesday morning we succeeded in getting our sleepy butts up in time for the early boat to Rabbit Island. This was made slightly more difficult by the “Havana head” we shared from the previous night. Having met Morgan, the Frenchman running the bar by the hotel we stayed in, the previous evening, he was very generous with our Cuba Libre (Havana rum, coke and lime) pours while we got to know Evan and Jessah. Even offered us a shot of tequila while the World Cup game was playing. Clearly, someone we can get along with…and we didn’t realize quite how much we had to drink until we woke up the following morning. Our game plan before leaving was to check out the island scene, lay in hammocks, listen to the waves, play cards, listen to the new Florence and the Machine album I downloaded!, read and relax. The accommodations on the island range from $5-$7 so the price point is right on target to stay as long as we like! If you need constant electricity and luxury, this is not the place for you. The island doesn’t have many people or structures on it so they use a generator for about 4 hours each evening which is plenty of time to charge your phone and and have light to eat by. We brought our headlights and batteries to read by when the power goes out about 10 each evening. Our bungalow is on the water where I enjoyed many afternoons reading and napping in the hammock on the front porch while Rob napped inside.
There are plenty of hammocks and lounge chairs on the beach that kiss high tide each day. We have had the perfect mix of sunny, hazy and black skies here. It hasn’t been very warm with the breeze rolling off the ocean as well as the howling winds that accompany the rain each day. I love gray days at the beach. The waves and sounds of the wind are louder. Hearing the constant hum of the waves for three days has been soothing and helped us both sleep better. Our travels in Asia have not been characterized by good sleep. Between the heat, sounds of chickens, roosters, calls to prayer, local music at all hours and more it’s often impossible to get a really good nights sleep. Rob informed me over our second breakfast of barbecued red snapper, rice and chili sauce (well, maybe afternoon…we didn’t wake up until after 11) that he wants to stay at least another night or 2. Why would I object?! With good food, cheap beer, and a bungalow that costs the same as a meal for us both (a big snapper that we shared was $6) there didn’t appear any reason to plan our next step too hastily.
We stayed 3 nights in the island before the leaving for Kampot. Arriving back on the mainland I immediately missed the cool breeze constantly blowing off the water on Koh Tohnsáy. Back to the land of hot and sticky. Kampot is on the river with a backdrop of mountains and palm trees. We decided to stay here 2 nights before heading to Siem Reap where we are going to transition into a different vibe. We both want to soak into a week long meditation and yoga retreat, centering ourselves and learning new skills we can integrate into our daily lives.
This morning I had a strong desire to leave Asia. I think it’s a combination of having got sick for 2 days from something I ate recently, experiencing intense neck and shoulder pain for the past 5 days that I can’t get rid of and adjusting to Cambodia. Honestly, it’s weird that my initial thought was that I want to leave Asia because more and more I am losing the desire to go “home.” Not that we really have a home anymore or place that is ours to return to. My moment of disillusionment passed after a couple of hours and my desire to stay in SE Asia remains. I miss Indonesia – the wild, crazy nature of life there that makes you shake your head in wonder, the taste of sambal, the smell of sate and even the “Hello misters.” That country feels like home now. The longer we are gone the more I want to return there. Will we ever come back to the States…?