The Poseidon Adventure... almost
Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
40Trip End Jul 17, 2010
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Where I stayed
This left us round 13 kilometers from Tanah Rata, our accommodation and starting point. We made our merry way to the road in order to get the bus back. A kind young Malaysian girl informed us that the next bus would be at around 6.30pm (it was 3pm). So we were left with little choice - as we had little energy - but to turn our hands to hitchhiking. Kanan flashed her smile (unlike the chap earlier in the day, who had flashed something rather different indeed) and a thumb at a handyman in a (very) old banger, and he obliged. We settled down happily to share the back seat with an army of ants. He refused payment of any kind and was much happier it seemed, to have a bit of company for the half hour journey Malaysians in general we've found to be very warm, welcoming people. It's been a pretty relaxed beginning to the Southeast Asia leg of our trip.
The next day we signed up to another hike, this time through even denser, more humid jungle, to see the Raffleasia flower. The Raffleasia is the largest flower in the world. As ever with these things, there is a caveat: it's only the largest when judged by weight; either way it was pretty impressive, and we felt lucky to have seen it. Whether my shirt felt quite as lucky at the end of the hike is another matter
We were bundled into a minivan with six other people - two French, two Dutch and two Germans - and embarked on what was a very scenic journey to Kuala Besut, the port for boats to the Perhentian Islands. There was a bit of a palaver at the jetty involving a government official over whether the journey was safe to make or not, as it looked as though a storm was brewing, but the boatmen all decided to go. In short (we'll recount the rather frightening reality when we get home), the journey by small speedboat over the 21 or so kilometers to get to the Island was absolutely horrendous. The waves (ten feet tall at times tossed our little boat around for around an hour and a half, at the end of which our bags, possessions and witless (for taking the journey in the first place) selves were soaked to the bone. Luckily we'd had the foresight to buy a dry bag (a kind of impregnable rubber tube) for our real valuables a few days previously in Singapore - how thankful we were. We parted ways with our traveling companions at the jetty, all with slightly stunned looks on our faces at what had occurred. We were to meet up later in the week with both the German and French couples, and spend most of the time reminiscing - none too fondly I might add - about the sorry experience.
We spent our time in the Perhentians mostly relaxing. We spent a day on a snorkeling tour of the Islands, the highlight of which was swimming with black-tipped reef sharks (at one point three of them together)
We have just braved the return journey though (which was nowhere near as bad), and I write this from Kuala Besut as we await our overnight bus back to Kuala Lumpar. I have a ticket to the Malaysian Grand Prix o Sunday which I'm looking forward to, and Kanan I think, is rather looking forward to a day away from me! On Tuesday we fly to Hanoi in Vietnam which we're both hugely excited about.
Love to everybody
Jo and Kaa X
PS Thanks for all the comments on the blog, we love reading them and sorry if we don't get the chance to respond!