So I never had a chance to update with stories and photos from Khmer New Year. I will post eventually, but last week I was so busy finishing stuff up at work and preparing for Dustin's arrival.
For traveling 28 hours and being deathly afraid of airplanes, Dustin looked surprisingly well getting off the plane. Although he had me extremely worried because he was one of the last people to walk through the gate, nearly an hour after his plane landed.
We boarded a bus early on the way to Kratie. Along the way I got to introduce him to many of Cambodia's eccentricities. The crazy roads of the country impressed him and I think he's still getting used to the different way of life. At one of our rest stops we tried some of the local snacks. Can you guess his first official Cambodian food? A cricket! (I rub off on others pretty well.) His ego was also boosted just a bit by the girls selling mangoes and pineapples who called him "Mr. Handsome."
When we arrived in Kratie, we took motos about and a half hour away from our guest house up the river to see the rare Irrawaddy River dolphins. The legend goes as this, a girl was giving her offerings to god when she met a man and fell in love with him. After telling her father about their engagement, she found out the man was not really a man but a snake. While she was sleeping, the snake ate her. Her father came to find her eaten by the snake and cut it open to save her. She came out alive, but she was covered in scales. This upset her, so she jumped into the river to kill herself and turned into a dolphin.
We got to see quite a few dolphins, but none came above water long enough for a good photo op. We enjoyed just relaxing along the river, though, in the rickety old fishing boat just around sunset.
Today, we are heading up to Ratanakiri, about 5 hours north, where we will be able to do some great trekking for the next couple days.