After a morning on the bus, I arrived in the surprisingly beautiful town of Kampot. I didn’t want to waste my day completely, so I went into town to find something to do. I’d read about a company that does SUP tours on the river and I hoped they had a tour going this afternoon. On my way there an old, very stoned American approached me. We chatted for a while, but he went from one subject to another all the town, making the conversation hard to follow. I guess being stoned is one way to spend your retirement.
I kept walking and found the SUP place. They didn’t have a tour, but they would make one for me. Before it started I had some time to grab lunch. At 3.30PM I was back at the SUP office and ready to hit the water. One more girl had signed up and we went out together with two guides. We started right from town and at first we were going to go into the current. However, both of us had trouble paddling into it. I literally went from left to right and back again, but struggled to go forwards. When they saw us both twirling like ballerinas, the guides decided we would head the other way. It was the best decision!
There was a pretty strong current and a fair bit of wind, so this way we were pushed along a little bit. We paddled under three bridges and passed lots of cute looking guesthouses and resorts. I had no idea there were so many places to stay! How did people find these? There were people on the terraces, floating in tubes in the water or out for a swim. The water didn’t look super inviting, but it was surprisingly warm. I still hoped I wouldn’t fall in though.
The more we paddled, the more stable I felt and I kind of got the hang of it. Every now and then we rested for a while, letting the current take us. After an hour and a half, the guides wanted to turn around. The current hadn’t changed however, and even though we were moving forward this time, we moved so slow that it wasn’t enjoyable. We turned around once again and this was the best decision they could have made! We ended up seeing so much more than if we’d have turned around!
It was time for the fisherman to take their boats out to see and we saw them coming towards us. We paddled into a little inlet with huge plants on both sides. Hiding in there was a small pagoda. The sun was starting to set and the light was absolutely gorgeous. When we came back out of the inlet, we watching the sunset from the river, sitting on our boards. After that we paddled to one of the resorts and got out of the water. A tuktuk brought us back to town over lots of little unpaved roads.
After coming from Phnom Penh I felt so stressful and this was the perfect way to relieve some of that. I got a good introduction to Kampot, saw beautiful scenery and did something somewhat active. It was the perfect choice for a free afternoon.