Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canoeing to Tatai

I needed this at the end of our canoeing visit to the Tatai Waterfall
This is the view I had during our adventure, a tranquil river view and the back of Tim's head
I have so many photos and stories to post about my trips and adventures over the last few months, that there is a real danger I will forget many of them. For example, I spent nearly a week in and around Koh Kong (on the southern coast of Cambodia) before my birthday and that was closely followed by my trip to Isaan in NE Thailand. So to ensure I keep the Koh Kong trip in mind, here's some photos from a 3-hour canoe trip my brother Tim and I did on the afternoon of our arrival at Rainbow Lodge, an eco-friendly set of bungalows, just a little upstream from national highway 48 and the bridge at Tatai village. The owner of Rainbow is Janet and after she made us a bite to eat, we made good use of the lodge's two-man canoe. Tim sat in the front, I tagged along at the back, and we set off for a paddle along the tranquil Kep and Tatai Rivers. Our target was the Tatai Waterfall, which because we were at the back-end of the rainy season, would be in full flow. It took us about 45 minutes of fairly leisurely paddling to reach the waterfall. During that time on the river we saw no-one else and had only bird-calls for company. The water level was high and the waterfall itself stretches across the river, making quite a loud racket and not allowing us to get too close, because of the swell, and my desire not to get dumped into the water. Both Tim and I aren't great swimmers (or canoeists) and even wearing life jackets, I wasn't taking any chances of getting too close. The forest comes right down to the water's edge and rather than get out of the canoes and try to get a closer look at the waterfall, we decided to take a look at a couple of much smaller falls we'd noticed on our paddle upstream. During the dry season, the main waterfall is much less dramatic and swimming in some of the small pools is easily done I'm told. We carried on our adventure, regularly stopping for a breather because I have discovered that I am totally unfit, and made it back to Rainbow before dark, three hours after we'd begun. It reminded me of our kayaking session in Laos a year before, though we emerged considerably less wet from this one.
Where's the riverbank - as the forest comes right to the river's edge
Tatai Waterfall from a safe distance to avoid the swell
It doesn't look too dangerous but the current and swell was pretty strong and carried us downstream as soon as I took this shot
We paddled back upstream to get a bit closer to the waterfall - trying to paddle and take photos wasn't easy
We crossed to the other side of the river for this photo
I'm a big fan of waterfalls but you have to give them the respect they deserve
Another view of the Tatai River, which was like a mill-pond for much of the time
One of the smaller waterfalls we encountered on the Tatai River
The sun came out as I snapped this picture
Yet another smaller waterfall with the stream cascading over a series of rocks
A close-up of the final smaller waterfall en route back to Rainbow Lodge

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Anonymous eric said...

A lot of water... fall! Nice upthere..

October 29, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I stumbled upon your blog becuase I spent the 07-08 school year in Cambodia teaching English. It was the hardest year of my life. I left with some bitterness. Reading your blog makes me wonder, "What did I miss?" I enjoy reading about your adventures there and wish I could've had a similar experience.

Best wishes.

October 30, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Heather,
I read some of your blog and basically Cambodia is different things to different people. I have a long history with the country and when I moved here I knew most of what to expect - maybe that has helped me integrate myself and feel comfortable with my location.
I have been blessed to meet many new friends here, 99% of which are Khmer, and they provide me with a different perspective on what I'd known before, back in the UK.
Of course there are negative sides to living here, but I prefer to focus on the positives and I hope you will be able to reflect on your time in Cambodia, in the same way. I believe the positives will always outweigh the negatives.
Spending time in Cambodia like you did, and like I am, is life-enhancing whichever way you look at it. Take those experiences and put them to good use, and come back for a holiday to see your old friends. They will never forget you I promise you.

October 31, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful place! How I wish can live there in Cambodia and spend the rest of my life canoeing and exploring the forests.

March 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM  

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