Tag Archives: Kampot pepper

Kep, Cambodia – the Pepper Farm and the Park

6/15 – Kampot pepper is this area’s claim to fame, so today we did the tourist thing and hired a tuk-tuk to take us to visit Sothy’s Pepper Farm. 

 

  

We met Norbert Klein, a German expatriate who purchased this farm four years ago.  He grows fruit trees in addition to Kampot pepper, which is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

 

It is just after the harvest season for the pepper, but there were still some green pepper grapes on the vines.

  

The pepper plants are shaded with a roof of palm fronds as pepper doesn’t grow well in direct sun.

   

The plants are tied up on poles, and grow to about eight feet high. 

 

After harvest, the green peppercorns are set out in the sun to dry.  Most turn black, others white.  Some of the white ones are boiled and peeled to reveal red peppercorns, the rarest and most expensive.  The colors are sorted by hand. 

   

There is a small shop with fruit and pepper for sale.  An interesting trip; we learned a lot! and it made me appreciate Kampot pepper sauce even more!

6/17 – Today we hiked again in Kep National Park, this time entering from the beach side.  We had to pay a dollar to enter.  There is a sign assuring us that this park has been cleared of land mines, and is safe for hiking.  This is good to know – thanks USA for the gift that keeps on giving, 50 years after the Vietnam War ended.  (We met a European tourist who looked puzzled when we mentioned the Vietnam War, then he said, “Oh, we call it the American War!”)

 

  
The climb up the hill gave us some nice views of the beach below. 

    We reached a waterfall, but it was dry, as there has not been enough rain for the water to flow. Here is a pic of what it should look like.

   

We saw a sign asking us not to feed the monkeys, and kept looking up, hoping to see one in the trees. 

As we sat quietly on a bench, we heard a great crashing above, and saw a monkey swinging among the trees!  I was not fast enough to catch a shot of him between trees, but this is a pic of the tree with the monkey in it, I swear! 

 

Further up the road was a side trail promising cold drinks and baby monkeys.  The side trail was very steep, very narrow, very full of mosquitoes, but no more monkeys (or cold drinks) did we see!

 

It was awfully hot, even in the shade, but it was a nice morning’s walk.  Here is some beauty from the trail. 

        

Kep, Cambodia – the Park

6/4 – 🎵Da da da da da daaa da Today is my birthday! June is full of occasions: our anniversary, one son’s birthday, other son’s anniversary. A month of celebration!

Today we will hike into the Kep National Park to see what there is to see. Even though we leave right after breakfast, it is HOT.  The temperature is in the 90s every day, with a “real feel” of 105F due to the humidity.  I used to be such a dainty thing, but now the sweat just pours off me whenever I’m outside. I’m grateful for any little spot of shade I can find, and will cross the street to whatever side offers the most respite.

We walk past a school with animal statues adorning the path. The children wave and say, “hello!” Girls and women keep their shoulders and knees covered here in Cambodia. Boys either wear long shorts or a sarong.image

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These little cuties struck a pose without any prompting. Note the photobomber – a worldwide phenomenon!

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We pass a gas station. Not what you expected?

The trail is a dirt path also used by motorbikes. We see some skinny cows, called zebu.image

At a fork in the path we find a shrine.image

The path up the mountain takes us to an old dam.  It is perfectly quiet and peaceful. 

 When Jim’s on the trail, he’s a happy man. 

  

In case we get lost, a rock shows us the way.

 There’s a trail here, really! 

Some trail side beauty. 

         Have I mentioned how much I love flame trees? 

From the top of the hill, we can see the water below – the Gulf of Thailand. 

 Back to our bungalow, drenched with sweat.  Guess who’s spending the afternoon in the pool?

For supper we splurged on the local specialty, Kep crab with Kampot pepper sauce.  Once again, I should have taken a picture, but was too busy eating.  Here’s an online photo.  The strings of green peppercorns give a taste that is out of this world.  If you ever get the opportunity, you must try it!