July 2012

Things To Do In England - August 2012


Stately Homes Of England

English summer is now in full swing – despite all the rain we’ve had. It’s almost August already and I just don’t know where this year has gone. If you’re looking for some inspiration of things to do over the coming month, here are To There and Back Travels ideas for August.



The city of London won the bid to host the Olympic Games for 2012, the games kicked off on 27th July with an opening ceremony welcoming athletes from 205 countries. There are some 300 events taking place at the various venues across England.

Meeting Woz

In the market

I had such a mix of feelings leaving Thailand, on one hand I'd had a brilliant time – including the highlight for me of the elephant day, that still brings emotions to the surface every time I think about it; but on the other there was a whole new country and culture to experience waiting at the end of an hours flight. John I don't think would have ever left Thailand, he enjoyed it so much that if we could have spent the rest of our trip there, he would have.

My friend Woz was coming to the airport to meet us, so once we'd landed and sorted out a visa we exited the airport building to find him. It was great timing because as we walked out he pulled up on his bike. It was all a bit surreal in truth as whilst Woz had become a good friend, I'd never actually met him and it felt so weird after 3 or so years of communicating with someone to finally be meeting them. Welcome hugs and handshakes took place and then we went in search of a tuk tuk to take us to our guesthouse. Woz was going to drive in front on his motorbike.

Beans On Toast Anyone?

Girl eating chicken embryo

John hadn't really adjusted to being in a new country yesterday, so a fairly lazy day was in order. We met Woz in the restaurant area and sat having a morning drink – or at least me and Woz did, John looked at the menu and had ordered beans on toast before we knew what was happening and looked decidedly pleased with himself when it came and he ate it. He said he didn't realise we hadn't ordered anything, but secretly I think he was pining for some good ole fashioned baked beans!!!

Once we'd finished our drinks and John had finished smacking his lips over his breakfast, we adjourned to a Chinese café on the next block, where Woz ordered an assortment of shareable items for breakfast which were really delicious and John topped up his earlier brekkie with a couple of bites. We stayed there for an hour or so just munching and having some interesting conversations,

Getting Sick In Siem Reap

Khmer BBQ

I got ill in Siem Reap, so my time there was not as enjoyable as it could have been.

Before I got sick we went to a Khmer BBQ place for dinner and I was really looking forward to it. When we went in, one of the options the waiter kept telling us we had was “kwit”, we had no idea what “kwit” was, but we thought we'd try it anyway, so for our BBQ we ordered chicken, shrimps, frogs legs, snake and kwit – which later turned out to be squid!

The Force Of Nature

Ta Prohm

It was during the time that we were looking for accommodation here that we met Sok, a tuk tuk driver who we took a shine too, mainly because he spoke good English and quoted us what we thought was an good price, based upon the $2 we paid to get from the bus garage into town and when we came to a point where we thought we'd had more than our monies worth, we asked him how much more to go on further and he refused point blank telling us that we'd already paid him enough money!!!

We had discussed walking routes and cycling routes to see the temples today, but we decided that a tuk tuk would probably be best given that John wasn't fussed how we did it and I was OK, but hadn't really been able to keep anything down yesterday, so felt a little weak.

Meeting Woz In Kep


I wasn't too well again yesterday after the temples and today we were due down in Kep to go and stay with Woz for a few days. John said we should get a taxi down as then if I fell ill again we could stop at any point, whereas on the bus it would take longer and there would only be one stop. It was an expense that I really didn't want to pay out for, but I guess it made sense, so that is what we did.

We were told that we would swap drivers and cars in Phnom Penh and take a second car down to Kep. The first driver we had gave me great cause for concern, he was speedy Gonzales and I saw my own life flash before my eyes as much as Cambodian life spinning past the car!!! Fortunately once the red bull he had been drinking when we started wore off he calmed down a bit!!!!

Life From A Moto

Man On A Moto

We decided to go out on the mopeds for the day today. John hadn't driven one before, so he needed to have a bit of a test run at and around Jasmine Valley on his own to see if he could get on with it before taking it out onto any roads with traffic on them. After doing this he said he was happy to ride it, but being new to it he didn't want to risk taking me as a passenger until he was really comfortable with it. We had already decided that we would be going out on the mopeds again tomorrow, so John suggested that I hop on Woz's bike with him until the last half an hour of the day, by which time he would be used to riding the bike and we could then have a trial with me as a passenger with him in preparation for tomorrow.

Out On The Bikes Again

Crab Market

Woz had some things he needed to do this morning. Glenn and Pam have been here for a few months now and had found the perfect spot to sit and watch the action of the crab market in Kep. There is a restaurant which has a table overlooking the area where people bring in the crabs to sell at the crab market and the four of us sat there having a drink, watching life going on about us and putting the world to rights.

Vietnamese Pancakes And Goodbyes

Kep Crab Market At Dusk 

It was a quiet relaxing morning yesterday having breakfast at a leisurely pace, as had been the case the whole time we've been here. Delicious fresh waffles are served for breakfast along with a choice of juicy fruits to go with them and this had become a bit of a habit for me, so tasty!! There were plenty of other things to order if wanted, but these tempted me every day! We sat around in the communal areas today just relaxing, drinking mango shakes, chatting, wandering round looking at the wildlife and John had some games of pool with Glenn, which they both seemed to enjoy.