Oh how time fly’s by! Even in lock down. It is now November 2021, the world of COVID 19 has been with us for a year and a half, the world as we knew it has changed dramatically. But recalling our adventures and memories is a wonderful pass time!
2017, Chris and I took off from our everyday “normal life” and spent the year house sitting in various parts of the world. My last story got us half way through our 10 month adventure, so we carry on, flying from Pankor, Malaysia back to Cambodia, this time a small town in the south called Kampot for house sit No.4.
I say it in every story and I will say it again – it’s the people we meet who make the difference! And another awesome home owner couple we meet here in Kampot. We usually have a night with the home owners before they leave, to get the run of the place and be introduced to the pets etc. We had a fantastic night and fell instantly in love with the 2 dogs, Zena and Eric. We also have 3 cats, 2 chickens and a pond fully of fish. This is our home for 4 weeks.
Kampot is a great place, all the same kwerks of Phnom Penh but on a much smaller scale. We are able to cycle everywhere, it is as flat as a pancake and hot! Still very hot! Again we do not do much cooking at home, the food available out on the street is phenomenal and so cheap and tasty. We have a soft spot for banana in sticky rice – 75 cents (USD) and steamed buns, $1. During this stay, our dear friend Karen came for a visit from NZ. It was so great to see a friend from home. At this stage we had been away for 8 months.
I went to Phnom Penh to meet Karen and left Chris to look after the “farm”. We spent 4 nights in the city. It felt good to be back, as we had been there for a month previously, I felt really at home. We caught up with Jacqui and Randall, shopped at the markets, went to Christmas parties. We also visited the S21 genocide Museum and Killing Fields. Horrific and very sad, hard to believe that this all happened in our life time 1975 – 1979. On the bus back to Kampot for 1 night then onto Kep, on the coast. We took a small boat out to the Island of Kaoh Tonsay AKA Rabbit Island where we spent 2 nights in a shack with no power except from 6pm – 10pm. It was so lovely out there but sadly Cambodia was going through its first cold snap in 10 years! DAM!! Lucky the bungalows had fleecy blankets! We had a great time though and met some awesome people. Poor Karen didnt get her bikini on once! We made up for it trying some wonderful food and delicious cocktails.
While we were away Chris explored the town of Kampot and made friends with the local Cider maker, home of 14% home made cider, and others and was able to introduce us to Kampot when we got back. A driver took us up to Bokor Mountain. Well worth the hair raising trip up the windy road, fabulous view from the top. We cycled to a pepper farm where we learnt all about Kampot Pepper. World famous – this time truly! Karen and I took part in another cooking class which was out in the country and basically outside. We met some more wonderful people and cooked some delicious food. Now time to say good bye to Karen – This has been such an amazing trip – but too many goodbyes!! The people we are meeting and getting to know has been the absolute highlight if this adventure.
We felf really comfortable and safe in Cambodia, even though it’s a very corrupt country and has many serious problems with the government. We saw for ourselves in Phnom Penh when the government sacked the opposition (late Nov 2017) the city closed off and police barricading the whole down town with riot gear at the ready…….but the people on the ground? The regular Cambodian worker? Happy people generally, and very glad to say hello and give you a beautiful smile. This kiddies are gorgeous and fight with each other just to say hello! Love it!
We had an orphan’s Christmas, 3 kiwis and an American, Jacqui and Randy came down to visit, we had so much fun!
Time to say Goodbye Cambodia! and Hello Thailand!
House sit No, 5. After a week visiting a great friend in Chang Rai, we travel south to a small island off the west coast near Ranong, Ko Phayam. We are met off the ferry by our awesome home owner. First question, can you ride a manual motorbike? After our efforts in Pankor – YES of course we can!! Off we go. Me on the back of Cristina, Chris following with a backpack and another bike behind that with the other bags, Its amazing how much they can get onto their bikes! Nothing short of miraculous! There are no cars on this island, the roads are like footpaths, only wide enough for bikes, so cool! So off to our new home.
We find ourselves up on what seems like a mountain, even the bikes cant get up there, well not when we were riding them anyway, up we trudge and what a view! We can see almost every corner of the island. The house is open to the view on 3 sides, this is amazing! Stunning. We are met by 16 excited dogs! This is going to be fun!
We spend a week with Christina helping with the dogs and exploring the island. I don’t think we have met a more selfless person. Not only does she adopt dogs who have been neglected off the street, cares for them and nurses them back to health, she feeds and cares for other dogs in the community where the owners are not able to (or want to) look after them. She cares so deeply. Such a beautiful human being. It takes a week to get to know all the dog’s names and what they eat, then Cristina leaves us go away for a week – we are now on our own!
Each day we go to the little shop – no supermarkets here – buy kidneys and hearts, blocks of congealed blood!, a few carrots and any other veg we can get. Boil up 2 big pots, one of rice and the other a soup made from our purchases. This feeds the dogs for the day. So cool at feeding time, they all wait and know the drill, and not one complaint about my cooking! We spend the week in this routine. We are able to go on the bike to the beach, taking 3 of 16 dogs with us – yes we all fit on 1 bike. This is a great life, the dogs all have their own personalities and we quickly find our favourites! Most of our day is filled with spending time with the dogs, relaxing and drinking in this incredible view!
By now it is March 2018 and 5 house sits done, we now need to get back to NZ and back to work. We loved everything about that year, so much so that it wasn’t long before we realised we wanted to do it again. So 1 year later we were back on the road, doing it all again. From Australia to Brazil, then France, Greece and New York. COVID hit and we had to return to New Zealand.
Thank you for reading my story! We are hoping to get travelling again soon, there are many more adventured to have!