It was a long ride from eastern central Cambodia to the southern coastal city of Kampot. Especially as the paved roads disappeared as we left the outskirts of Phnom Penh. And after 8 hours of driving we still had more than 100 km to go, and it was now dark, and the road was rutted gravel under construction, and there were various vehicle types all trying to find the 'smooth' way; and there was not one. Our caravan of four Toyota Land Cruisers was often granted right of way, which made for a quicker journey than had we been on a scooter ! There were even overturned vehicles along the way - one, a trailer load of vegetables, strewn into & around a roadside ditch. It was a 'not-too-soon'/relief to arrive onto paved roads/into the lit urban setting of Kampot.
In the morning we drove to the coastal salt ponds area, which were bright baking in the sun by 09:00, and the birds were smart enough to find shade - i.e. not many to be seen. The locals working the salt ponds moved slowly and were clothed to leave minimal skin area exposed - again, smart.
We were able to celebrate our tour leader's birthday while here in Kampot. Ken manages to shepherd the group thru various challenges & circumstances with patience & humour - there is never a tense moment - well except if it is jockeying for a prime view of a rare-to-be-seen bird, and even then nary a feather is ruffled. Thank you Ken. And also thanks to Naran, our Cambodian tour guide for the past three weeks. His knowledge of his country and his ever present smile made our journey an absolute pleasure.
Tomorrow we journey to Phnom Penh for a day of sight-seeing.
Ciao for now