Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New year everyone,

Before I tell you all about our Christmas, we just want to send our best wishes to Clare and Louis, on Christmas day they had a healthy baby girl called "Holly" (Brilliant name!!) We wish all of them the best of luck and I cant wait to see a few pictures of her!!

This is where we were for Christmas, Seridipity beach in Sihanouk Ville in Southern Cambodia, Its a really nice place and Cambodia's only real beach destination, Its a pretty big place and the actual town is about 2KM away from the beach:

The roads into town.

With everything being so far away we decided to get a moped, (Much to my delight!!)

Its not exactly a beauty, and I was not happy about having a basket on my bike, but it was alot beter than walking and getting ripped off by tuk tuk drivers!! It took abit of time getting used to gears again and also driving on the right, but after a few shaky starts we were flying around the town, Charlie had a go on an unused road and after a while was trying her best at breaking the land speed record.......

We found a really really nice place to stay while we were here, it was right on the beach but it was pretty expensive (compared to what we had been spending) but my sister Jackie and my folks both sent over money for Christmas so we decided to splurge and go for it!!

Im actually standing on sand while taking that shot, thats how close it was to the beach

This is our room, It was really nice and had a great seaview and the frilly curtains made charlie very happy, she even bought Christmas lights to make it even nicer!!

A big thanks to my family for the money, it was well spent and it made our Christmas!!

I decided I wanted to go for a bit of a wander around the town market on Christmas eve, I got totally lost in there and appeared out the other side after about an hour, quite shaken, It was a true assalt on the senses, My nose still hasnt gotten over it fully, Here is a few pictures:

This is one of the only areas that I could stand up fully in, all the rest I was bent over like a old man.

They pretty much had everything in there from dvd players to cooked spiders, this spice section made my eyes water like I had just been pepper sprayed.

The fruit areas were really nice and the only place I could actually stay in for more than 30 seconds.

The market is like a little village, there are places to eat and just areas to sit around, Its really cool looking around because they really dont expect tourists to go in there and when they seen me they either laughed at the huge guy trying get through tiny gaps or just gave me a huge smile.
I didnt get any shots of the meat or fish section, mainly because I was using all my energy to stop myself from getting sick and fainting, just belive me, it was nasty.

Any who.....

This is the beach on Christmas eve, During the day its all places to eat, and then at night they either turn into a bar or an all-night clubs, our room was down at the quite end thank god!

On Christmas eve, we went to very cool restaurant:

Its the room at the top of the picture, It had an amazing view of the coast and the food and service was just perfect, Its a place owned by a french guy and it was very relaxed, alot of places over here want to rush you into ordering and then rush you through the meal and get you out the door, which can be very annoying, most waitresses over here give you the menu and wait with you till your ready to order....... Not cool. but this place was deadly and we had such a nice meal together, It was a nice way to look back over where we had been and where we are going.

Before we went out we had a mess around with my camera and tripod and got some stupid shots of us:

My monkey impression never fails to impress the girls...........

Charlie just looked amazing.

Too amazing to let me "ruin" her make up............


When we got back after the meal we had a visiter in our bathroom:

Right untill I tried to deal with this sucker, I had never had a fear of spiders. I took a few shots with my camera before I decided to tackle him, I got 2 plastic bags and put some tissue inside and made a glove of sorts to catch him, he was behind the toilet so I bent right over it to get to him, but as my "glove" got about 2-3 inchs from him he jumped about 2-3 feet up the wall to right beside my face. I wont lie to you, I screamed.
I use the word jump, but it was more like he teleported from behind the toilet to beside my face because I didnt see him get there, it was so fast. I could now also see he had quite big fangs.... and was missing a couple of legs. I quickly grabbed for him and got him, I then felt a prick in one of my fingers........... Not cool...... but it turns out it was just one of those spikes you can see on his back:

After confirming with charlie I wasnt dying, we ran from the room and got very very drunk.......... Big, fast spiders are not nice.

Incase that was too much for any of you here are some nice pictures to cheer you up:

Nice sunset.

Nice Flowers. (Thank you $2 photoshop!!)

St Stevens day Sunset.

One of the evenings myself and charlie decided to stop and wait at a corner and watch people go by:

5 People on a moped is pretty standard, Car are so expensive and the roads make bits of them in a few years anyway.

Incase you cant make that out, thats loads of (live) chickens.

Thats about 300KGs of ICE.

Compared to the places we have been in Thailand, Cambodia seems much more untouched, Alot of the places in thailand have a hollow feel to them, You just know they would not be the way they are if it wasnt for tourism. So instead of seeing the real country, your seeing tourist towns that have built up to make things easy and to have all the luxury of home. Cambodia is not like that, If there were no tourists these towns would look 95% the same (5% being the fancy hotels and overpriced cafes) Im not having a go at thailand, We had an amazing time there, its just nice to see different ways of life without them being tainted by us westeners.

After recovering from our pretty substancial Christmas hangovers, we went for a spin on the moped out into the surrounding coutryside:

These seem like shacks, but people in the country over here dont really build "proper" houses.

This is like a 3 bed semi back home......

Obviously, there are a lot of farmers in the countryside, but by the state of those cows, not very good ones........ A few cows even roam the towns and eat out of rubbish cans like dogs, Needless to say they import most of the beef you eat in resturants.

We stopped off at a school and all the kids came running over to us and got pretty excited, Getting kids to go to school is a serious problem over here, they can earn more in one day begging from tourists than an adult would in a week in a proper job. Alot of parents make the kids beg, because its easier than sending them to school.

They were great little kids and were just amazed at looking back at the photos on the camera.

Santa's little helper...

This vain little bugger was all over the camera!!

Im just waiting for the call from National Geographic......

On the way back home.....

This was the other end of our beach a few miles away, not really any tourists just a few local kids swimming and some fishermen

This was a pretty cool looking bridge, although it was the strongest looking thing ever....

Charlie took over camera duties and got a cool shot of me looking silly!!!

Well, thats enough of what we did over Christmas, We will update soon with what we have done in Phnom penh. (Which has been either drinking or recovering from drinking..)

Stripy and Woolly (my new travel buddy) would like to wish everyone the best of luck with the new year and we will be in touch very soon.


Woolly (he's a blue elephant) and there is nothing wrong with a 26 year old man having a teddy bear..... (I was still holding out for the damm PS3, but to no avail...)

Lots of love
Charlie and Sean.

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