Hello lovely readers!
Last time we left off, Sean and I were boarding a boat to head up the river from Tatai to our lodge in the rainforest. (Flashback: It was our three-day weekend at the end of August. We had just driven through beautiful rolling hills, and are now in the coastal Southwest of Cambodia.)
Sean snapped a quick photo of me boarding the boat. Careful balance is a must!
As the boat roared off, we were swept into another world. The wind in our hair, the cool water lapping at our fingertips, the bobbing of the shallow boat as we all swayed back and forth, it was a “Wow, Cambodia” moment. (To avoid any confusion, that is Biscuit, the Chihuahua. It is Russ and Sasha’s dog, not ours!)
I really felt like we were in a film. After coming out of the populous capital of Phnom Penh, where there are people and motos flowing through the streets, it seemed like we were on some exotic vacation far from home. It was all rainforest as far as the eye could see.
Turning off the motor, we coasted up to the jetty of The Rainbow Lodge. It is located in the South Cardamom Protected Preserve, one of the most pristine rain forests in Southeast Asia. It is said that there are tigers, elephants, and crocodiles, but I have never heard of any being seen. What did we see? Some gnarly spiders, unbelievable mushrooms, and lots, LOTS of bamboo. This jetty became my favorite place at the lodge—the gateway to the water park that is this gorgeous river. The lodge had free flippers (snorkeling fins), kayaks, and life jackets for you to borrow so that you can surf up and down as far as you please. The flippers were my favorite; I felt like a freshwater mermaid…
Once we got off the boat, we headed up the hill to the lodge….
Everything was made out of wood, which was a lovely change from the concrete and asphalt of the city. It felt like the structures themselves rose right out of the forest. This was the social area, where you could read, eat, drink, or relax.
Dinner, which was included in the price of the lodge, was just divine. (I swear they didn’t pay me to write this review.)
I snuck away from dinner to take a photo of the magic.
The next morning we awoke to the beautiful view outside of our bungalow window. If you look closely, you can see the river through the trees. It seems far away, but is really only a short walk. Like I said, no one in sight!
Each of us (three couples) had our own private bungalow. It was so quiet and peaceful, I would love to go back.
A view from our bungalow in the crisp morning air.
Breakfast. Amazing, locally grown coffee, in a french press!
One of the days we took the kayaks up river to find a waterfall we had heard about. On the other side of the river, a local woman took her boat downstream.
At the helm of the boat, on top of the world.
We found the waterfall! It was hidden up a creek through the thick of the jungle. We were able to climb around the on the rocks, take a mini-waterfall-shower, and even take a great photo using our ten-second timer. (You would never know Sean had knee surgery only three months ago, the way he was scrambling around!) Also, major shout-out to Sasha, who is a gorgeous Momma-to-be in her bikini!
After the rumpus, we got back in our boats to paddle home. They say there are tons of snakes in the jungle, so I made sure to inspect our kayak extra thoroughly. (We had a recreational kayak, not a sit on top like Chino and Sasha’s. Recreational kayaks scream snake hide-out!)
Before we got back to the lodge, we stopped at a place in the river where the rocks made for a good docking place. We took one final swim and played fetch with Kampot for a while.
Back at the lodge, we were some tired doggies! This picture is for my sister—it’s the “Wandering Buffalo”. We each picked up these rubber buffs in Wall, South Dakota this summer. I promised to photograph him in a variety of interesting places…
You may think that this marks the end of our adventure in the jungle, but an adventure is not an adventure without which of the following:
A. A mind-blowing hike
C. Car Trouble
D. Raging Waterfalls
E. All of the above
I hope you picked E. Check back soon for the scoop!