Cambodian Taxi Chaos – a Leaf, a Radiator and a MacGyver MomentWritten by Rick Chapo
The roads in Cambodia are vicious, angry slabs of asphalt filled with potholes that would qualify as valleys in some countries. Fortunately, I had it made traveling from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. Or so I thought.
Having spent two weeks in relaxing beach town of Sihanoukville, I was getting bored and so were three chaps traveling with me. It was time to head to supposed chaos of Phnom Penh and eventually Angkor Wat. Despite legendary reputation of Cambodian roads, owner of our accommodations told us road to Phnom Penh was smooth as glass. For twenty U.S. dollars, a local taxi would get all four of us to city without incident.
Around noon, two Australians, an Englishman and myself crammed into a Toyota Camry with our backpacks and miscellaneous junk. Our driver was a good guy, smiling constantly. We did have a communication problem since he spoke about two words of English and we only spoke English. The road, however, was as smooth as promised and we congratulated ourselves on our stroke of luck.
For about an hour, we cruised through placid Cambodian countryside. It was difficult to imagine chaos that must have occurred when Khmer Rouge was in power. There really wasn’t much to see beyond occasional village. About half way through trip, lack of any sizeable towns became a concern.
In proverbial middle of nowhere, our driver pulled over to side of road and turned off car. Since we couldn’t verbally communicate, much finger pointing was undertaken. Were we lost? Did he want more money? Was he going on strike? What heck was going on?
Eventually, we foreign idiots were able to decipher that car was overheating. Lest you think us complete idiots, I must mention that temperature gauge wasn’t working. Regardless, our driver popped hood and our smooth trip came to a cracked end. Steam poured from a half-inch crack next to radiator crap.
Come Visit Bombay, And You'll Be HookedWritten by Ernest C. Lancaster
A few years ago Smyrna, Delaware was voted one of top "small towns" in America. When you visit town, it's very easy to see why. Smyrna has a home-town feel to it. Even though it has a fairly small poulation, it is very accessible. One of popular attractions is Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The Wild Life Refuge is within 1 1/2- 2 hour drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Jesey area.
Been there, done that... and visited other wildlife refuges? This is not your ordinary place to view wildlife. Bombay Hook plays a critical role for thousands of migratory and waterfowl birds. Every year over 17,000 visitors come to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge to view wildlife, in their natural environment.
Bombay Hook has a very interesting story. It was established and purchased with Duck Stamp revenues from Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. It is a major link in chain of refuges that extends from Canada to Gulf of Mexico. There are millions of ducks and geese that use refuge as a stop-over or as a place to ride out winter.
Although refuge is open year-round, best time to see this spectacular site is in October and November. This is time that waterfowl populations are at their peak. There is also another smaller spike in population which occurs in March. This is when birds are returning to their northern breeding grounds. The refuge is first and foremost a breeding ground for migrating birds and other wildlife. Bombay Hook has become extremely important for protection and conservation of waterfowl.This is due to urban and industrial development.
The refuge covers approximately 16,000 acres. About four-fifths of it consists of tidal salt marshes. One of largest areas of nearly "natural" tidal salt marsh in mid-Atlantic region resides within refuge. Additionally, Bombay Hook has 1,100 acres of impounded fresh water pools, 1,100 acres of agricultural lands, with wooded and grassy land and swamps. The general terrain is flat and less than ten feet above sea level. So bring a good camera and pair of binoculars, because views are breathtaking.
Take auto tour to get as close to nature as possible without scaring birds and animals away. The Auto Route is only a 12-mile round trip. The tour route passes by four freshwater impoundments.There is plenty of room to to stop and view always-present water birds and animals that are feeding or resting. Depending on season, visitors can easily spend a half-day or more traveling tour route. There are even some trails that you can walk on. The best times for observation are early and late in day when wildlife is most active.