Today I went for an awesome elephant ride with my family. I liked the ride because it was scary and awesome! The elephants were rocky, unstable and jerking you forwards and backwards. I loved the ride and the picture of us on elephants. Our driver was a local that sat on the top of the smooth elephant head. The elephant just walked on the path around their property and went back to where we hopped on. When we were done we went back to the condo to hang out and maybe sleep.
Today we went to a cave near Neiafu, Tonga. We left the mooring ball just before noon and started our way towards the cave. Just after we left I put a fishing line out in hopes of catching a small yellowfin tuna. As soon as I put out the line the wind started to pick up so I made sure that it would not get stuck on the tender.
Swallows Cave was about half way between Neiafu and the cove where we moored last night. It was covered in graffiti and spray paint but it was still amazing formations. It had sharp edges along the sides, was very dark and eerie, and had limestone dripping down.
Dad and I went to another cave-like thing beside Swallows Cave but it was too shallow. We decided to go back to the main harbour and get our reserved mooring ball. We tied up to an empty cleat at the Aquarium and went to the market to grab some fruit and vegetables. Then we went to the Digicel Office to see how much wifi we had and we still had 60 GB left on our plan! More youtube videos for me!
At the end of the day we left the market and tied up to a mooring ball closer to our house. This way we can access the boat easier and keep a close eye on it.
West Edmonton Mall Water Park
We started for the Edmonton Mall at around 7:30am Alberta Time. We made it there at around 1:15 pm. First we tried to get to the top level of the parking lot and we got there. Then we went to the hotel lobby to see if our room was ready, but it was not ready yet. So we went to the water park to go on some slides and swim in the wave pool. I went down one of the hardest slides first by accident. Later on we went on the 3rd easiest slide. We even found one that had a thick surfboard that kept score. I had to press the right colour of light on my thick surfboard or I would get an X on the scoreboard for that section. Over all my favorite slide was the surfboard slide.
When we were done we went up to our space themed room. The space room was my favorite room because it is dark at night, had bunk beds, a tiny jacuzzi, an awesome shower, crazy sink and star projector. Over all it was my favorite hotel ever!
On Tuesday we went to La Plantation to take a tour of the pepper plantation. The scooter ride there was crazy! We went through kilometers of mud and water. The end of the muddy road had 2 ways, one way led to the highway and the other road went to the plantation. The Plantation was beautiful! It had a restaurant, tiny bathrooms and a souvenir/pepper shop. We got a tour to go around a tiny part of the plantation. It took us around 15 minutes and at the end of the tour we got to try some different types of pepper. Our guide said the main types of pepper they sell are from the green or red pepper seed. The green and red pepper grow on the same plant. The day was interesting and exciting.
The train station in Phnom Penh was good enough that I could see the ticket counter and the trains. Our train had one engine, two passenger cars, one generator car and a scooter compartment. Most of the people sat in the 1st class car and maybe 1 person was in the 2nd class. There were 22 people that I counted in the 1st class car including us. It was the 1st class car that was from the 1960’s and took them 16 years to fix all of it.
The ride was bumpy and rocky. It would rock from back and forth. I felt excited when I got on the train and there was “Wipe Out” on the TV for the first quarter. When I looked out the window I could see wide open rice fields and farms. There were little kids swimming in the ponds that were dug to collect rainwater that would be used during the dry season. We played Crazy Eights and Go-Fish for most of the ride and had a bread and cheese snack.
We got to the Kampot station when it was dark. We called a tuk tuk to take us to the Blue Buddha Guesthouse that was around ten minutes away. The lobby had lots of stuff to buy, like dried mango, dried pineapple and more. The room that we had was nice, clean and had a fridge. I went to sleep after we got back from supper.
We left the hotel at 8:15 to catch the bus to Siem Reap werch was only $15 US per person. It had the Canadian and the 2 circle outlets. It had wifi that was strong enough to play minecraft together but not enough to check your email. The bus ride was around 4 hours, I think. We stopped twice, the first time was to have lunch and the second time was to stretch your legs or maybe to grab a drink of sugar cane juice. The view was amazing! I could see there houses and shacks. We got there and got a tuk tuk to our hotel. The tuk tuks had mesh around the back and sides to prevent people to scooter next to you and steal your bag.
The temples were AMAZING! They were big and had lots of hallways. The first temple was called ‘Angkor Wat’ and it was bigger than the other five temples. It had lots of hallways and stairs. It was built out of stone and held together by a vegetable-based formula. It is surrounded by a moat that is spanned by two bridges; one that was temporary and the main one that was getting fixed.
I liked at the end of Angkor Wat where there were three ladies selling carved pineapples and mangos. We bought one pineapple and one mango to start with, then we got another two from a different lady. We also bought three t-shirts and almost got a violin with a drum attached to it. We didn’t buy it because we couldn’t pack it and he wouldn’t negotiate low enough.
After Angkor Wat we got in the Tuk Tuk to drive to the next set of temples. At the third temple they all started to look like the same. The temples seemed to get bigger and taller as I walked. The second last one called ‘Baphuon’ had a lot of stairs up to the top that’s sort of like a viewpoint. From there I could see lots of trees and could hear the rain pounding down on my pink tiny umbrella. It took us seven hours and thirty minutes to look at the temples without out a guide (a guide takes longer).
The War Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia was awesome! I could go up to the tank, walk on it, or do anything. Our guide was in the war and died 12 times. He got shot a lot of times, stepped on a lot of landmines, has one full leg, one eye is blind and he has metal in his body from the landmines. It was sad that at the age of 9 his mother, father, brothers and sister were killed when he was out in the field collecting food. He survived by himself eating bugs and other types of easy to grab food for a couple of years. He told us of a story where a kid at the age of 12 was a commander. He was brain-washed and shot hundreds of people by the time he was 13. There’s a book about our guide and his life’s journey called “Sinarth” by Karl Levy. Over all the day was AWESOME¡!¡!