“No Cheryl No, You Said You Wouldn’t…”

When I arrived in Prek Presap, Cambodia, I took one look at our house located 30 seconds from the Mekong River.

Is that swimmable I wondered?

But then I saw the water buffalo come down to the river for their daily bath (have you ever seen how muddy and dirty those things are? ) and then I thought, NOPE, NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

Then, unfortunately, I saw a body or two float by (yes, this wonderful place can have a bit of the “wild west” element to it) and I thought, MOST DEFINITELY NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

Well then the hot season hit and the good ole shower (think bucket and a holding tank full of water) just wasn’t cutting it and yes, I CAVED! Everyone else was swimming (yes, peer pressure) so I ventured down in my full one piece swimming ensemble with sarong to take a little dip… just a little dip.. and just like any bad habit… that one little dip led to one more and before I knew it, I was swimming in that Mekong River every day. And you know what, it was the best bad habit I ever had!

The Super Model of Swimming Pools Goes to South Africa

Seriously, would you ever return to a country for a swimming pool? Especially when swimming is not really your thing?

Well… some swimming pools are so beautifully situated such as the one shown above in Graskop, South Africa (Panorama Chalets) that yes.. I would consider dragging my family to South Africa to experience this pool, situated on the edge of a cliff over looking the Graskop gorge. I have been twice and this pool, stands out as one of my top memories of South Africa and that is competing with charging elephants in Kruger Park, Table Mountain in Cape Town and the oh so cute penguins on Boulder’s Beach outside Simon’s Town. That says a lot for a simple swimming pool.

When we were on our honeymoon, it was a pool at IL Poggio dei Pettirossi, on a hill overlooking the valley of Bevagna in Italy that made us miss our kids the most. We couldn’t even enjoy it knowing that they would have died and gone to heaven if they were swimming in it overlooking the Umbrian valley and all its sparkling lights at night. Chris honestly said we had to go back to Italy so they could swim in it… and yes, see Rome and Venice and a million other sights but that pool… again stands out.

We didn’t have Abby with us in Guatemala and we missed her the most at the Jungle Lodge in Tikal National Park when we floated in the pool watching and listening to the spider monkeys above in the trees.

So seriously… a pool can definitely play a part in a family’s travel experience when backpacking. I know of some “beyond brilliant ones” in Bali too… another reason to return there as well 🙂