Banlung in the Ratanakiri province, north-eastern Cambodia is a cool place to spend some time before embarking on a trek into the depths of Virachey National Park. Knowing that it would be over a week before I would see the welcoming sights of a shower, loo of any kind, bed or guaranteed edible food, I hopped on my bike and went for a gentle cycle ride around the Ban Siang lake, heading for the gorgeous Les Terres Rouges Lodge for a few hours of luxury and indulgence.
I whiled away the entire afternoon relaxing and devouring quite the most delicious food I’d had in months. Don’t be misled by the snacks on show in the photo – this deep fried smorgasbord of bugs, beetles and tarantulas was precisely what I’d been trying to avoid and went instead for some more familiar fare. And truly scrumptious it was too.
When the time came to leave I bade my fond ‘chum reap leah’ with great reluctance and waddled away fat and happy.
As I sauntered away on my less than roadworthy bike the strains of, “Madam, you Sue!” reached my ears. I turned to see the waitress running after me, waving wildly. “No,” I shouted, “sorry, not me,” and resumed my rhythmic pedalling. Still in hot pursuit and by now very much gaining on me, “Yes Madam,” she insisted, “you Sue,” . The closer she got it dawned on me that she was brandishing my flip flops, desperate to reunite them with their rightful owner. “Please Madam, you forget you Sue.”