Woo Hoo – It’s Raining!

That may not come as a big deal to any of you reading this, but it’s big news here – there’ve been a few raindrops here and there, but this evening was a downright downpour! It’s the first big rain of my trip and I love it! It’s quite early for the rainy season, which normally doesn’t start until at least late April – but to see and hear and smell the rain – it’s lovely! Can you imagine no rain for six weeks — well, Californians can imagine that, but surely not Puna  or Cape Cod people!

I understand the rainy season is a great time to be here – the rice fields which are now all dusty and dry are lush and verdantly green and the dust is all but gone. And the rain comes for a just a few hours a day and generally at night, so that’s a fine way to experience it. For this evening, it has cooled things off, brought out a few more mosquitoes, unfortunately, and freshened things up. It’s even the slightest little bit chilly – oh, what a welcome that is!

I’m hanging out here at Botanica after a full day of walking through and exploring Kep. It’s been another lovely, easy day – there’s a seaside promenade that no one was on … except for me. Because you see, no one walks here – in the States, we drive, in Europe, they walk and in Asia, they ride – everything from 4 people to a motor-bike, to tuk-tuks, to bicycles, to human-powered cyclos, to all sorts of rigged up wheeled things. So, as everyone was whizzing by me on their assorted cycles, I leisurely and most pleasurably walked all along this beautiful promenade that hugged the sea for miles. It gave me the smallest reminder of the path through the Cinque Terre which is for me, my greatest walking area ever!

Kep Seaside Promenade

The Kep Seaside

Ahhhh, Kep!

It’s very quiet here in Kep – I understand that the week-end will heat up with folks who like to come from Phnom Penh for a seaside holiday, but for now, the streets are pretty empty with the local folks lazing around in hammocks and moving pretty slowly. The beach here is pretty non-existent – I hear they’ve actually brought sand in from Sihanoukville (!) – it’s odd that it’s perched right here on the sea but the beach is not the focus at all. There’s also very little in the way of stores or souvenir shops or such – like none! In Kep, it’s about one thing and that’s it – eating, especially crab, but all sorts of seafood. The crab traps are all along the water’s edge as are the stalls where they’re being served up.

The Famous Crab Market Stalls of Kep

The Crab Traps

I walked for hours, stopped for a cool drink here and there and then it came time to indulge in the specialty of the house – Kep Crab with Kampot Pepper – wow! Incredible! Made in some kind of delicious sauce and while I had expected cracked pepper, they used whole peppercorns – clearly, they had been cooked for awhile because they were soft, but there were hundreds of them on my plate! I wasn’t quite sure about biting into all those peppercorns and I definitely didn’t eat them all (some were still all stuck together on their small stalk). But they made for great seasoning and along with the ever-present rice, that was my delicious meal for the day!

How's this for a yummy lunch?

I’ve let go of the idea of leaving Botanica – yes, it’s a ways out of town … but now that I’ve been in town, I realize there’s not much there that I’m missing by being far out of it. So I’ll stay here for my few remaining days before I head for the border on Sunday.

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3 Responses to Woo Hoo – It’s Raining!

  1. Donna Ingenito says:

    omygod does that look yummy!!! The peppercorns are soft because they’re fresh!! It’s only when they’re dried that they are hard. That’s their natural state! (and yes, I’m showing off my vast culinary knowledge!) 🙂

    • Christina says:

      It’s OMB here — we’re in the land of Buddha!

      Okay, smarty pants, so now I know why they’re soft! They were yummy for sure! Tomorrow I’ll go to the pepper plantation amongst other places on an early morning cruise of the countryside.

      Sorry for you, but all the peppercorns I sent back are dried. I don’t think I can bring the fresh ones. I did send the package off – expect it sometime before Christmas!

      Spending what’s left of the morning writing and then off to take a swim for the afternoon. Tomorrow my countryside tour, more writing and then headed to Vietnam on Sunday – sad to leave Cambodia – I’ve really loved it here!

      Love you, too!

      • Donna Ingenito says:

        Well is sounds like your stay in Cambodia has been enlightening, spiritual, and satisfying in many ways. I am so happy that you’re blogging and that I can share this adventure with you in a vicarious way. And I’m glad you’re finally taking some pictures of the food! For me the food is one of the highlights of traveling – as you can learn so much about a culture from its food (the people and the history of course also are paramount!)

        Looking forward to your continued missives…

        Miss & love you!

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