We had the luxury of travelling in an air-conditioned car but even that was no comfort when we turned off the main highway, abandonned the tarmac and started dodging potholes the size of moon craters on the back country dirt roads to the village -- dancing roads they call them here, but it doesn't feel much like dancing, more like a rigorous workout at a gym!
It's rice-harvesting time here so in the fields workers toiled under the melting sun to gather the last of the rice, and the roads were lined either with piles of rice straw or with thick layers of rice grains spread on blue tarpaulins to dry. We negotiated a couple of cow jams and at one point exited the car while the driver edged his way over a plank bridge, but eventually made it safely to the village, where we were treated like visiting queens! They don't see many female barangs (foreigners) out in the sticks, so the locals were out in force to check us out. And we were warmly welcomed by Marianne's other children, their mother and 80-year-old granny.
|Snoozing our way home|
Our return journey to Siem Reap was smooth and relaxing, with a couple of short shopping stops, one at some roadside stone-carving stalls. A huge stone Buddha would not be an easy souvenir to carry home, but the mouth-watering products of Senteur d'Angkor certainly are. Their range of sweet smelling candles, soaps, joss sticks, spices and teas were impossible to resist, especially after our tour of the factory where it was all being produced and charmingly packaged by teams of local women.
It was a fabulous weekend and I couldn't have wished for a better welcome back to this wonderful country! More soon ...