We had our first family vacation since joining MCC last week. It was great to get away from the city and be alone together as a family.
Kep is a southern province on the border with Vietnam. It was a popular French resort town during the colonial period. There are many gutted and abandoned villas from that era. Some have visible bullet holes from past conflicts. Kep is well known for it’s crabs and Kompot, one province over, is famous for it’s pepper farms. Fresh crab with green peppercorns is amazing.
The internet was down where we stayed and, despite repeated promises that it would be repaired, stayed down for our entire four day stay. That stopped us from sending out photos while we were there but was actually nice – it helped us detach and focus on being together.
We took a long walk down from our bungalow to the public beach. This is the first time that the girls have been to the Pacific but they are beach kids through and through. They were ecstatic.
We had an unwelcome visitor in our bungalow the first night. I often had these little scorpions invade my home in Prey Veng. My cats usually took care of them for me but once one stung my foot while I was taking a shower. It hurt tremendously for hours…but no lasting harm. Fortunately, no one got stung during our vacation but it was a unsettling. We had another surprise, the ceiling dripped onto our bed all night. This was especially surprising as it wasn’t raining. The next day we discovered that the solar hot water heater was broken and we moved to another bungalow. We did find a scorpion in that bungalow as well but otherwise our stay was uneventful!
During my first term I was known for drinking many coconuts very quickly. I think it’s safe to say that Catherine had inherited this trait as she downed two coconuts in quick order after our first visit to the beach.
Kep has, for the most part, changed for the better since I was last here. The beach was clean and free of plastic trash (and needles). The crab market has refrigerators now and food safety is greatly improved in general. While Veranda has become very expensive (and gone from feeling like Swiss Family Robinson to Rivendell) it’s still easy to find beautiful and affordable places to stay. It was quiet while we were there and the locals told us that’s usually the case during the week.