Today we set off on our long journey to the island of Koh Rong which will be our home for the next two weeks.
A minivan picked us up from our hotel to take us to Sihanoukville, the town on the mainland coast where we then get the ferry. The ride was an experience in itself. Cambodian roads look the same as western roads but the method of driving on them is a bit more flexible. In the city traffic signals are more of a guideline than actual rules, the centreline is not respected, motorbikes will often travel the wrong way down the edge of your lane and overtaking is almost a creative process. But our driver was very skilled and we soon arrived safety in Sihanoukville. Unfortunately he was less skilled in English and I just as unskilled in Khmer, so we had an amusing exchange trying to explain that we weren’t going to a hotel, we wanted to go to Pier 52 to get a boat to Koh Rong. Passers-by and nearby tuk tuk drivers were called in to help, I phoned a friend who I hoped could translate but no luck and finally we tried to explain where we wanted to go by drawing pictures. Eventually we got there to find the ferry and our trusty helpers on the island, Dam and Som, waiting for us. Kylie (our dive instructor and general island guru) was attending to some business in town so we had a sandwich and chilled while we waited. Kylie came along to the pier before too long and so we set off to the island.
The ferry ride was nice and smooth and we arrived at our new home just before sunset. Everyone settled in and after dinner walked to the beach over the hill. The water sparkled with bioluminescent plankton. A wonderful way to round off our arrival.
Tomorrow we will start slowly, using the morning to study our diving info before getting stuck into the hard work.
P.S. Please excuse the late post – my mobile internet connection is finicky to say the least!