This is my very first blogging experience so please bear with me! I am excited to be able to blog about today, somewhat because it’s my birthday, but mainly because of what an AMAZING day we had. We are in the distant Ratanakiri province and after having to endure the 12 hour bus ride on a bumpy dirt road to get here, our day today has made it worth every mile. We had a very adventurous day!
We began our day by eating breakfast poolside. I would describe our hotel as a resort in the middle of a tropical garden. The buildings were carved out wood and the grounds were filled with deep green leaves and bright pink and orange flowers.
Our first adventure was swimming in a waterfall. We were so excited to be able to go swimming because the climate in Cambodia is extremely hot and humid. I am originally from Florida and I thought it was hot and humid there, little did I know, it can actually be worse! The waterfall was surreal like something from a movie set. The water felt great! Since we were the only one’s there it felt like our own secret playground. We swam around and climbed on the rocks. Some students claimed they could feel fish gently nibbling on their legs and feet. Luckily, this did not happen to me!
Our next stop was another waterfall which had a store that rented traditional Cambodian dress for both men and women. Many of the students rented clothing to take pictures around the waterfall. The store also offered elephant rides! I really wanted to ride the elephant, but the animal lover in me would not allow it. When I found out we could buy some of their sugar cane to feed the two elephants I decided to that instead. The elephants had a big appetite! They were so cute and despite being so big they seemed to be very gentle. After I fed one it let me pet its’ trunk.
After eating peanut butter sandwiches on the bus we set off for our last adventure…more swimming! This time we swam in a moderate sized lake. The lake was created by a volcano and we were told it was over 160 feet deep. The water was nice but there were spots of hot water located right next to spots of cold water. After we were tired of treading water, we decided to head back to the hotel to eat dinner.
When we arrived back at the hotel, Blair, Candice and I called dibs on the first available massage appointments. The massages in Cambodia are so affordable! We had a little bit of time before dinner so I decided to get a foot massage poolside while drinking my favorite banana and mango smoothie. All in all it was a great and adventurous day!
– Rachel Franks