Living with mice!

Trip Start Jul 17, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Symphoni Village

Flag of Malaysia  , Terengganu,
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We catch an early bus (which turned up late because it broke down on the way to us) back to Kuala Tembeling, half an hour into the journey, the bus brakes down again. They put us on to a new bus with a working engine not steaming at the back of the bus! From there we get into a minibus to take us to Kuala Besut. This was our first experience of real Malaysian driving (something now which I have become accustomed to!). they tailgate the next car about a metre behind and always swerving toward the middle of the road to have a look to see if they can overtake. And overtake they do, at every opportunity...even round bends, going up hills that you can't see over the hill...CRAZY!

We arrive at Kuala Besut all very alert and aching from the number of people and bags they crammed into the bus! Time to buy another permit to be on the island! Next, the speed boat...highlight of the day! The driver gives an example of the speed of the boat, then several people ask for life jackets! For the next 30 minutes, we are going at I don't know what speed, bouncing and crashing down when we go over a rough bit of water! We arrive at Long Beach on the smaller Perhentian Island and walk along the beach for a couple minutes to choose from the numerous beach chalets to stay in. We walk into Symphoni and ask how much a room is...55 ringgit for the room (just over 10). It's a pretty basic room but has mosquito nets which are a necessity for here, they're everywhere! Rooms also come with free roommates...geckos are everywhere, and actually also a couple of mice liked our room!

Monkey juice is the local drink here; it’s basically rum and 7up. They only sell it by the bottle, because it local alcohol it’s only 25 ringgit for the bottle!! Compare that with them selling a bottle of Smirnoff for 250 ringgit and you see why it’s choice drink! Go grab some food at the restaurant next door...tempura squid, the best calamari I have had!

We walk along the beach the next morning looking for somewhere to have breakfast and sit down at one of the first places we see...good decision, I think we ate breakfast there every morning except one plus other meals! The next few days consist of just waking up, leisurely eat breakfast, go swim in the water, sit on the beach, read a book, go get a drink, play frisbee and bat & ball in the water, sit on the beach some more...

In the afternoon I find a coconut on the ground just outside our chalet like it had just fallen from the tree. Jack attempts to open it up by slamming it again a concrete corner, not really doing much to it! The owner of the chalet sees us trying to open it and calls Jack to follow him so he can open it for us with his machete. Jack returns maybe 10 minutes later with the coconut opened up and 3 straws in it. Jack then opens it up fully and we start scraping out the flesh!

We walk over to Coral Bay, on the other side of the island, but only a 15 minute walk. We get to the other side just as it starts to pour down with rain, ran under cover of one of the restaurants that’s having a BBQ on the beach and order a hot drink...teh tarik (Malaysian tea that is slightly like chai). They start up the BBQ and we go up and choose the seafood we want...Malaysian lobster for me!

We watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and kept freaking out when a mouse would run past our heads, luckily we were inside the mosquito net so it had no way of getting in!

We moved to Moonlight Chalets which was even cheaper and had a deck balcony with a sea view where we played card games and watched the second instalment, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Our first night here, a mouse was trying to get into a bag that some crisps in it. Jack tried to disturb it by throwing a pillow at it but it carried on all night...eventually got to sleep again!

Finally we get round to being ready in time to go snorkelling, only 10am! We get on a boat with 2 other British girls, Sophie and Rose. The trip takes us to 5 different places where we jump in the water with our flipper feet and masks and look around at the extensive underwater life. Pretty impressive stuff until the current starts to take me out a little bit too far for my liking, I swim back to where we started and look behind me and see people who I think are in my group, so I go towards them and then realise it’s a different group who are all getting into their boat! I start to freak out a little bit and swim towards a rock, and wave my hand in the direction of our boat. Our driver sees me waving after a little bit and comes to get me from the rock! I think I am now a bit scared of open water...I didn’t appreciate its strength before that! The next spots we stopped at I made sure I was swimming right next to someone the whole time, and I think Jess was trying to stay with me as well!

The second place we went snorkelling was by far the best in terms of the number of fish and different varieties of fish we saw. They gave us all a slice of bread each, I wasn’t sure why at first but as soon as I jumped in I knew...these black and white fish were everywhere, right in your face, all trying to nibble at the bread. They were nipping my hands where I was holding the bread, one even nipped my back! So I tore it up and threw it away from me and then they swam away! We saw a school of fish swimming in a line, so we swam along with them for a bit, was awesome! The colour of some of the fish is amazing, multicoloured and luminous! Then a huge fish with a massive forehead swam underneath us. Kept up with it for a bit but then it sped away! Managed to get some great pictures before I realised that my waterproof case was letting water in...didn’t use it after that! Ended the trip on an isolated beach with some great waves, so I just floated on the waves for a bit!

Left my camera to dry out for the next few days, wasn’t turning on! Thought it might be the humidity not letting it dry, but after a few days it still wasn’t working!

We tried to book the overnight bus to Penang for 25th but it was full up so we had to stay another day on the islands...damn! Spent the day just chilling out not doing much...not to different to the rest of our time on the island!
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