Well, this past weekend was spent in the middle of the jungle and atop mountains, riding motos on dirt roads and chasing waterfalls. There was a two-day holiday from work because of the Water Festival, which made for a four-day weekend. We went to the travel agency and asked where we should go. Ten minutes and $48 dollars later, we were headed to Mondulkiri for the weekend.
The bus experience was one of the best I have had in Southeast Asia so far. The bus left on time and we made it to Mondulkiri ahead of schedule, arriving a full thirty minutes before our ETA. What a great start to the weekend!
Since we got there much earlier then anticipated we rented a moto and took off for one of the closer waterfalls. It was so beautiful outside – the weather was nice and chilly and the sun was shining. The air was fresh and crisp, there was stillness and quiet around. It was a different kind of peace than Phnom Penh offers. The waterfall was wonderful. It was one single rush of water down into a perfectly round pool. We hopped rocks down stream, crossed the river on a tree and played for awhile. When we headed back upstream, the falls were completely empty and we got a moment alone with the water and the trees. It was lovely.
We went to bed early, a trend that would continue to my delight for the next three nights. The guesthouse we stayed at was charming. We couldn’t figure out how to work the water until Sunday. Water is something I take for granted, I found out. It wasn’t too bad and when we finally got the water turned on, it provided a funny, laugh-out-loud, if you will, moment. The walls were dirty and the sheets were thin but it was a great experience. The ladies who were running it were awesome and we enjoyed our stay.
Saturday we woke up early and got motos again. We took off for the most popular waterfall, about 50 km away from town. The drive was breathtaking and slightly challenging. The falls were amazing. We climbed up to where the main falls were coming down and stood underneath. We walked out to the edge of the next falls and looked down. On our way back to the moto we bought a bag a delicious banana chips that lasted us the entire weekend!
The next day we got motos again. This time we took off early in the morning and it was colddd. It was so nice to be comfortable in a sweatshirt! This time we found a waterfall that was completely unmarked but it was just as big as the first waterfall. We were driving down a dirt road when the road ended in a creek. The moto ahead of us had gone right through but we pulled over and climbed off. The sound of rushing water invited us over and as we got closer we realized it was a beautiful waterfall, probably 30 – 40 feet tall.
On Monday afternoon we adventured over to a coffee plantation that we had passed the day before. We sat on a small pond and drank wonderfully rich Mondulkiri coffee and enjoyed the afternoon sun.
Other than chasing waterfalls and driving around enjoying the weather and drinking delicious , we ate and slept. The bus ride home was just as awesome, on time leaving and arriving early. Unfortunately we did not get to go see the elephants but that just means we will have to go back again, which is something I will not complain about!