Today started off in a fairly hellish manner. When Jade and I woke up, obviously on the first alarm we had set, a message arrived asking ‘where is everyone?’ It turned out that a few people had stayed at the party the previous night at JJ’s until the early hours. Two of the girls has got a bit to inebriated, and had split up with some gentlemen that they met there. A few hours later when everyone was ready to leave for the boat, one returned, obviously upset and distressed, which only increased when the other didn’t answer the hotel room door when she returned. We all rang and looked round and tried to form a plan of action. We decided to go ahead as planned with the day, and Lek stayed behind in the hope she would return. She did, while we were all eating breakfast, just making it in time to make the boat trip. They may have had a traumatic experience, but they only lost a few dollars, and hotel keys, so all round, it could have been a lot worse.
We boarded a boat and began to make our way out to the islands that could be seen on the horizon. I have been looking forward to this since Lek said it was an option for today at the beginning. I love swimming in the sea, and the water was so clear that we could see all the coral and fish off the side of the boat. Firstly, we pulled close to one island (whose name evades me) and jumped off to snorkel. The coral was quite close and there were a lot of fish. Kev has an underwater case for his iphone so he managed to get some cool underwater pictures. It was great, and Thuy overcame her fear to see it for herself in the water as well – so proud!!
After the snorkelling, we moved to Bamboo island which was a little further off shore. The boat was grounded and we made our way onto the beach. It was an actual idyllic beach desert island. It was stunning, we have some pictures that could appear on postcards floating about between everyone’s cameras and phones. We were served BBQ-ed Barracuda, which has been the food find of the holiday so far. It’s really good. We all just chilled in the water and on the beach. At least half the group was sporting a pinkish colour by this point, some professing the want for burn lines in the hope they’d turn to a tan. I escaped any burning – result! There were more jellyfish though, which was a bummer.
We re-boarded the boat post-lunch and made our way to the third and final stop, another snorkelling location, at another island that I don’t recall a name for. The coral was much closer to the surface this time, you could stand on lots of bits of the rock it was that shallow. There was a huge jellyfish, at least 30cm in diameter, and sea-urchins everywhere. They were a little close to the surface than I would have liked, and when I was getting out, I missed standing on one by a matter of a few centimetres, and cut my foot on a rock in panic of it being so close.
They day was really good, very relaxing, and despite the beginning, and the horrific burns that some people had acquired, I think everyone was really happy at the end of the day. Cambodia has been awesome, I can’t believe we leave tomorrow. Vietnam, and a home-stay awaits, both exciting prospects. That’s if I survive the brutal 10hr bus journey and the border crossing. We’re arming with snacks and devices. Fingers crossed.