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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 21 Nov 2006

Location: Ban Lung (Ratanakiri), Cambodia

MapWelcome to the WILD WILD WEST! After a grueling 5 1/2 hour bus journey (no not a car with 9 people), we arrived in Ban Lung at night and were whisked off to a hotel on the back of two motorcycles. We spent five days in a town with no paved roads, it had two streets with shops, one fair sized market and that's about all! The roads are a deep red that will likely stain my clothes forever. Ratanakiri is the province located in the North East corner of the country. It was an interesting experience for two reasons: 1) Cindy and I must have eaten something bad in Kratie because I had a fever (24 hrs) and achy bones, headache and joint issues and stomach issues for many days. Cindy about 15 hours after me started experiencing the same symptoms excpet her fever lasted 4 days. We decided a malaria test was required. Finding a doctor was a long and tedious goose chase but we found Dr. Sam Siphal at his pharmacy. He took us next door for blood tests and 30mins later we were told we were malaria and thyphoid free! The next day Cindy had such a high fever I figured it was off to the hospital we go. I really can't even begin to explain this experience on line and do it any sort of justice. No english speaking anyone, anywhere! Dr. S. saved us again! This hospital was NOT like any hospital I had ever seen before! You have no idea. It was all outside, the rooms had no doors or windows. All the paperwork and discussion on what tests to take were at a table outside! The blood technician on the other hand was a pro! I found Cindy a bed to sleep in until the results came back! Still no malaria!! We decided we would both take the anitbiotic cipro. It miraculously worked. We are feeling much better!
After cancelling on our motorcycle guide the day before we rescheduled for the next day! We arrived at 8:30am to find him hooked to an IV, and get this... he now had malaria! Crazy eh!!! He got us another guide and we had a fantastic dirty day!!! We rode an elephant for an hour (wow, is it high up there)! Getting on and off was like some sort of gymnastics maneuver which is another story you will have to wait to hear in person! Lots of laughs! Then we went to three amazing waterfalls. I swam in two! I can't resist the water! Tamarra "Fish" Weinstein! We spent the afternoon at a magnificient crater lake surrounded by a beautiful forest. We both loved it and the locals were happy to chat with us or just laugh or curiously stare! It was all good natured.
Thankfully we didn't have to take the gruelling 16 hour bus ride back to Phnom Pehn, as we caught an old Russian plane at a non existent airport in the middle of a field with no runway and kids crossing back and forth on their bikes! We had just enough time to drop my passport off to get a Visa for Loas and catch our 2pm bus to Sihanoukville (the beach)! We walked for hours along a perfectly white sandy beach today. Ahhhhh!!! Sorry about the lack of postings there was no email in the wild west! Pictures soon to follow. Take care, T