The journey from the north/northeastern to the eastern central area of Cambodia was depressing. The landscape has been raped. Acres upon acres, nay miles upon miles, of smoldering stubble laid waste for ???? There were acres of pepper bush and rubber tree plantations, but their acreage is minimal vs. the widespread devastation. The heresay/heresy is that 100-200 semi-trucks come across the border from Vietnam at night and clear cut, load & leave before daybreak. Don't know if that is true, but it would be interesting to know the 'otherwise' explanation; never saw anyone/anywhere doing any clearing during the daytime.
The resiliency/perseverance of the Cambodian people is heartbreakingly admirable. Amidst the devastation & poverty & unspeakable personal family horrors suffered at the behest of Pol Pot's regime (more than one person would merely avert their eyes when queried about those times & their family experiences) most Cambodians we've met have a ready, warm genuine smile, and are willing to help however they can.
We have entered the higher elevations of eastern Cambodia and the temperatures have enjoyably lowered. Where trees do still abound there is so much more green than we've seen in past couple weeks. It is beautiful countryside in its natural state.
Next is a TOTALLY different locale as we journey many hours to the southern coast at Kampot.
Ciao for now