We had breakfast in the dining room this morning. There was the endless buffet, there was the staff (of 17!) waiting for our every whim to be expressed, and there we were, entirely on our own. There was no way we could eat all of that food by ourselves! We felt so bad!
After breakfast we went for a walk. It was about an hour down Independence Beach. We weren’t in a hurry and it was hot. At the end of the beach there was a trail leading across the peninsula. We forged ahead with some trepidation and found ourselves in a fishing village clinging to the side of the sea. We were hot and tired and stopped to have a coke. There, in the middle of nowhere, in a tiny Cambodian fishing village we chatted to the owner in English about the weather, and the daily catch. Ours is a powerful language.
The strip ahead was Sokha Beach, like Independence Beach, totally deserted and absolutely gorgeous. We hiked the mile or so to the Sokha Beach Resort, a multi-million dollar affair in the process of building a huge addition to their already extensive property. It looks like the new building will be a casino; further evidence that with the completion of the airport, this place is expecting a boom. We stopped for some ice tea at the bar by the pool. Like our hotel, the staff at Sokha were delighted to see us, and sad to see us go. We had to promise to come back.
We hiked down the rest of the beach and over the top of the next peninsular. The path looked like it came to a dead end, but we found a path down through the Cloud Nine Resort to the beach at Ocheateal. Now this was different! Ocheateal Beach was crowded with little bars, restaurants and hiker hostels. This was clearly where all the people come in Sihanoukville. We strolled along the crowded beach, then grabbed a tuk to the centre of town to buy a few groceries.
On the way into town Pam spotted the local office of RHAC, one of the NGOs she is working with, and part of the reason why we are in this remote corner of the country. While I chilled at a local spot called the Holy Cow, Pam met with Dr. Rath and introduced herself and the work she was doing with RHAC in Phnom Penh. It was a productive meeting and the kind of connection that the Lord seems to have provided for her at every stage of this strange adventure we are on.
We bought our return bus ticket to Phnom Penh, grabbed some snacks at the Orange Grocery, and caught a tuk back to our hotel. The water had been calling to us all day, so we finally headed down to our own little beach to cool off and catch a few rays at the end of the day. It was a long day and we were grateful to head back to our little room early.