Another fairly early start driving through capital city traffic saw the start of our journey to Sihanoukville – the first beach town of our itinerary. Once we got onto the highway, it was a pretty smooth journey, it wasn’t even a little bit bumpy at the back of the bus! We arrived just in time for lunch at a cute little beachside bar/eatery and I ordered the most delightful seafood fried rice served in a pineapple. I resisted ordering a piña colada and went for a coffee shake to perk myself up a bit. Everyone was feeling a little warm and I’m a tiny bit paranoid about sunstroke when I go to a beach. Don’t ask me why… just am.
I managed to buy a cute little hat from a beachside stall which I haggled down from $7 to $4! We also bought a volleyball, again, bartered down to $4! Turns out I am pants at volleyball. Picture the scene, a group of people on a beach passing the ball to each other perfecting different volleys. The ball comes in my direction, I flail madly, manage to hit it. Vertically. It falls with the help of gravity and bounced off my own head. I stayed far from the volleyball court after that embarrassing fail.
We chucked our stuff at the hotel, got into our swimmers and headed back to the beach. And then yes, I did indeed order myself a cocktail. And it was great. It was literally an afternoon lying on the beach, watching the waves and sipping piña coladas til the sun went down. Paradise. The water was good too. Not crazy salty, perfectly clear and just the right temperature. It did wonders for my hair! There’s a hairdresser in our group and he was like “Your hair is amazing, it’s just flowing down your back in perfect curls, no frizz. You’re a hairdresser’s dream!”. Bless him, I know I’m so lucky!
We met the most amazing kids on the beach. One 10-year-old in a bright yellow football kit was selling gypsy bracelets and hair braids. We managed to say no for such a long period of time, then she changed tack. She cornered one of the guys and challenged him to a game of rock paper scissors. He stakes were a $1 bracelet. First to 3 wins. If she won, you had a buy a bracelet, if she lost, she’d give you one for free. The game went on and this poor little girl lost. True to her word, she proceeded to ask which bracelet he wanted. Bless him, he didn’t even want one. I was sat right next to this, so he turns to me and asks if I want one. Naturally I said yes so he picked me out my first travel bracelet and being the good British tourist handed the kid a dollar bill. I still have it on my wrist, and it started my “bracelet per country” policy. Knowing that I was going to be travelling for a fairly long period of time, I didn’t want to buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff, so a small collection of gypsy bracelets worked for me.
We stayed out late and partied hard. It was great because the beachside shack that we’d adopted as our base had a bar, an awesome BBQ, lots of lights, they had an entire stretch of the beach to themselves and a heap of amplifiers for their sound system. The amusing thing was that they didn’t have enough power to keep all these things running at the same time, so the music and dance lights went out at least 3 times! Didn’t stop it from being a really cool night, with the occasional dip in the sea when it got a little too warm on the dancefloor. Drinks were flowing, and we stayed out until the early hours.