Today...not my day.
Trip Start Nov 14, 2011
23Trip End Dec 23, 2011
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I woke up to a waterfall in my room. A small one, mind you, but water pouring from the ceiling in your hotel room is just not what you want (for my Aardmore crew who remember it, think waterfall in the xray room on a slightly smaller scale - still one of my favorite Aardmore moments btw). Alright, so I let the front desk know and head out on my excursion for the day. David’s brother Nak and I were headed out of Siem Reap to explore some of the more remote temples and planned to be gone for most of the day. Plenty of time to fix the waterfall. About an hour into the drive, we get a flat tire. I suspect it was likely from one of the oh-my-god-that-is-the-biggest-pothole-I-have-ever-seen potholes. So we pull of to the side so Nak could put a new tire on. You have to realize that we are in the middle of nowhere. Dirt road. Jungle. Small shacks (I mean, houses) every few miles. Middle. Of. Nowhere. We get out of the car and Nak says “go sit over there in the shade while I fix”. He gestures to nothing. “Just somewhere in the trees?” I ask. He nods. Okay…I’ll just go…wait….in the…Cambodian jungle. Luckily the boy worked fast and soon we were on our way again. We get to the first temple complex Koh Ker and it is just beautiful. And the battery on my camera dies. Damn you cheap ass Lao batteries. But it’s fine. Not a big deal. I’m here to see the temples, and I can just buy a postcard, I reasoned.
We trudge through the 20 or so temples of Koh Ker and, as we are about to leave, I look down to see a GIANT spider on my leg (okay, so maybe not GIANT but it was easily the size of a half dollar and, did I mention that it was on my leg). Before I could even react, the sucker sinks his fangs (at least they felt like fangs) into my leg. I give it a good smack and start saying my prayers that it wasn’t poisonous, as blood begins to run down my leg. I feel a bit better when Nak tells me "not poisonous", but I still have a huge bleeding welt on me. I repair myself as best as possible (wet wipe, hand sanitizer, Star Wars band-aid) and move on. So far, in case you are keeping track - waterfall, flat tire, dead battery, spider bite.
We head off to Beng Melea for the rest of the afternoon (camera starts working sporadically - I think just when it feels like it). Beng Melea was the day’s saving grace. It is a lovely, quiet, un-restored temple in the middle of the jungle where you get to climb over the rocks and explore like Indiana Jones. It was awesome. Second favorite temple. Unfortunately, I have very few photos to prove it, but trust me on this one, it was like nothing I have ever seen before. Part of me hopes very much that they never find the money to begin restoration. I think it would lose something. Good ending to an otherwise not so stellar beginning of the day.
Back to the hotel in the late afternoon. I stop by the front desk and they tell me that the waterfall correction will take a week and they will move me to a different room. Not a big deal except for the fact that I have to pack up all of my stuff to get it to said room. And I’m tired. And sweaty. And gross.
But I am settled in my new room, which has the same fountain as the last but it blissfully waterfall free. I’ve taken a shower, put animax on my leg, bought some new batteries (let’s see if Cambodian batteries work better than Lao ones), gotten ice cream, and am going to veg for awhile and try to catch up on Homeland online. I'm done for today. Stupid spiders.