Monday, December 22, 2008
Chi Phat at 6am today. Please remind me never to accept another invitation to go trekking again, or mountain-biking, as they are definitely off my 'wish-list' for future FAM trips. I'm completely knackered, as I was after the Mondulkiri cycling experience a few months ago. I'm patently unfit of course, which doesn't help, but trekking through dense forest, dodging overhanging tree branches and underfoot vines, and keeping an eye open for blood-sucking leeches, which were everywhere, isn't my idea of fun, fun fun. However, my whingeing aside, its a beautiful area in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains, the villagers and project staff are fantastic and looked after us really well and in time, I'm sure they'll have a successful ecotourism product on their hands. It's early days still, they know their limitations but they're already under pressure after the project was given full coverage in the latest edition of the Lonely Planet, which has only been out for a month or so and up to twenty tourists are already making their way to Chi Phat on some days (which is the limit of their overnight accommodation at present). I'll write some more over the next week, with pictures of course, but I'm so tired I can hardly type!