Soph finally realised that she hates kayaking on this particular trip so i’ll tell you all about it. haha.
To be fair to her she always gets stuck at the front of the kayak and with a penchant for a bad back anyway, that’s tough. We did far more kayaking in two days here than we wanted. We kind of got guilt tripped into doing the second day because another pair of people had booked the tour and they wouldn’t be able to go if we decided not to. Nevertheless we had a cool day. Winding in and out of the mangrove swamp which i’ll tell you about in the next post.
The first day was a trek through the jungle to the Ta Tai waterfall, the jungle was so thick, not at all what we were expecting and involved some almost hands and knees crawling to get under bamboo trees that had interlocked over the path.
It was really thick.
This would be the first of many times that i’d come to the realisation that actually i’m a closer to a city boy than mowgli, and also the realisation that the people at Neptune have forgotten how tough city folk find these things. i.e. tourists usually don’t want to be pushed too hard all the time.
We also had the misfortune to be trekking in leech season the morning after a big rainstorm; prime time.
Ta Tai waterfall is the main attraction in the Koh Kong area and a welcome cooling swim for us. A chance to wash off the leech cuts.
It is really powerful in the rainy season.
Our tour guide/machete wielding jungle trekker/captain brought round the kayaks to the bottom of the waterfall and we hopped on.
There he is, even he needs a rest at the front of the kayak. You can see that either side of the river is pure jungle clad mountain. Pretty cool to be travelling down the middle of that.
It’s quite a wide river but it doesn’t move fast at all.
We took a smaller creek off of the main river to go to a waterfall. It was extremely slippy but in hindsight, once the danger of falling of a big rock had passed, it was cool.
Day two started out with the two kayaks tied to a motor boat and towed out to the mangrove swamp area.
We saw this cool sign on the way, makes you want to move out here without a plan.
We kayaked up and down some small rivers with amazing reflections in the water, the sun light beat down very strongly.
Part of the tour was climbing over small rocks to get to waterfalls for a swim.
It was nice but again, city boy.
There was this green algae in the water which our guide said wasn’t there in previous years. We’ve heard a lot of these types of stories about climate change in Asia this year.
Let me tell you about the mangrove swamp, it was so pretty, the water reflected like a mirror.
Endless turn and after turn kayaking through narrow and shallow rivers with trees drooping over the water and banks of mud about two foot high, it was quite a challenge to navigate through it but it made me realise how much i’ve learnt to be able to control a kayak this year.
The thing about this area is there’s no wildlife. It is eery. Only the sound of your paddles and the swish of branches as you skim past them, the only wildlife we saw were a few spiders and maybe one bird. It’s because after the war this area was one of the poorest in the country and until very recently they ate all of the wildlife in the local area to stop from starving.
The wildlife inevitably moved deeper into the jungle and has only just started to come back from there.
Some cool patterns in the water.
To finish up with we ended up at another waterfall.
Some more scrabbling over wet rocks later.
The sun was starting to turn golden in the sky and we caught a summer rain shower.
Really pretty, reminded me of the Turin Brakes song, Pain Killer.