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.
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.
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).
Phuket, Thailand was amazing! It wasn’t what I expected but I loved the food, hotels and the area. The wifi was pretty good and it worked for most things. The view was also awesome! I could see the beach and the lake. The beaches were big and sometimes the current was strong. The time differnce to Alberta was 13 hours (we were ahead). We rented a scooter with a side car that was apparently really hard to steer and was not powerful, but it was moving a lot of weight. It could barely go up a 10 degree hill! We had to push it up some hills and hold it on the down hills. I loved that is had fold down walls. On Tuesday we had to get up at 2:55am and get in the taxi at 3:02am which was early. We got to the airport around 4:00am. It was perfect timing because by the time we got to our terminal we had an hour or so to have a nap. I slept for the whole flight. The airport was way nicer in Cambodia that other airports. Once we finished doing customs and getting our bag we got in a tuk tuk to get to our hotel that’s more like a guest house. The people were nice and gave us a wet towel and water. We got in our room at 8:15am. We had pizza for supper that was delivered. It was delicious!
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.
The twin towers were tall and wide. I was very surprised at their massive height. At night the 88 business floors were lit up. They are the tallest twin towers in the world and have a walkway halfway up. They also have a shopping mall at the base of the towers. I can’t think how much elevators they have. The towers took a long time to build.
At 6:00 pm we went to grab some ice cream at the store next to the light show. The light show was awesome enough to start at 7:00pm and last till 8:15pm. We could hear the water go up and down according to the music that was playing. We sat on the wet grass and it was just the right temperature at night. There were a lot of people watching the show. I was wanting to go because I was getting bored.