Pinch me, I'm dreamin'

Trip Start Jun 04, 2012
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Trip End Jul 14, 2012


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Where I stayed
Rainbow Chalets

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, June 25, 2012

Onward to an undisclosed location…sorry readers, but this is one travel secret that will remain unidentified. I'll just say this was one of the most beautiful, laid-back, perfect-in-every-way, pinch-me-cause-I-think-I’m-dreaming beaches.  

Gentle breezes, shady palm trees, sugar white sand, quiet days and even more quiet nights.  "Is this Heaven?", I repeatedly asked myself.

We blissfully checked into the first bungalow shown us, a beautiful little tangerine-coloured hut.  At 14USD per night, this simple little cabin was…quite the steal.  Okay, if you require amenities like air-con and maid service, this is not the place for you.  

But for me (and as Chris came to realize too) this was exactly what was needed…and at exactly the right time.  Not only did we not need swanky facilities, we did not even miss them.  Oh, the life of a backpacker…not a bad life, if you ask me.

As I read over my journal, a phrase I jotted down while on this beach catches my eye: “bliss out in isolation”.  What a succinct description.  Yet I wonder if it was my own, or perhaps I read it somewhere.  Sounds suspiciously like a Lonely Planet phrase.  Nonetheless, I claim it as mine, and reading it now almost takes me back…

On this island, some of my favorite things:

  • the sound of waves crashing (better than any playlist)
  • gorgeous sand: soft and white (much like my beloved gulf coast of Florida)
  • clear, blue water…one might even say aquamarine
  • making new friends – who very quickly felt like old friends
  • the feeling of being safe, safe, safe…we rarely locked our windows or doors, or for that matter, even closed them
  • early morning sunning and late afternoon swims
  • racing Chris and our other friends to the flotilla
  • freshly squeezed orange juice…breakfast…afternoon…over ice with vodka..
I enjoyed several days of very little activity.  Lazy hours were spent reading on the balcony.  Local children played happily in the surf.  Boys and men fished.  Ladies chatted in small groups. Restaurants closed for afternoon siesta.  Hours, days, a week slipped by…

Chris & I entertained new friends on our small porch, especially Adam & Josh from Brighton and Thorston & Katharina from Bavaria.  We invented a new verb, “porching”.  This esteemed activity can be done alone or with a friend(s).  And yes, it can be done stateside as well.

Time stood still for us all.  Days melted into nights, and the morning sun woke us with his brilliance.  A luminous full moon and thousands of sparkling stars lit our path at night. 

Chris and I began a habit of rising early, to catch the warmth of the early morning sun.  The gradual shift from night to day was calm, peaceful, almost lyrical.  And when else in our lives would we arise so willingly, so early?  I am hard pressed to think of another time. 

Every evening, we dined at the same restaurant, and we tended to order the exact same dish: that’s how very good it was.  For me, I could not stay away from the tuna in a garlic-peanut sauce.  And instead of steamed rice, I requested the staff to prepare a stir-fry rice with veggies. Utterly delicious!!!  Chris ordered the same, but with chicken. Looking around, we saw that we inspired other diners to order likewise. It's good to know a good thing when you see it.

There were many, many creatures on this island, such as the bats which arrived at dusk and swooped gracefully through our porch (and sometimes our bungalow).  These quickly became our friends, as they devoured the dreaded mozzies which also arrived at dusk. 

Unusual little squirrels played among the palm trees, and huge butterflies (more like birds) flew lazily about.  One afternoon on the flotilla, we spotted a small squid feeding along the anchor rope…so cool to watch! If only we’d had a camera; alas, we did not.

We also encountered a strange new creature, the flying fox bats. They were huge and made these crazy screeching noises; other than that, their presence virtually went unnoticed.  Well, except for the time they swooped overhead as we walked into the local village to the karaoke bar…now, that was a little freaky.  

But oh so worth it, as Chris jumped about 10 feet each time we heard or saw them…I hurt myself laughing.  

{Chris does have several strengths, and I will give formal kudos for his efforts to de-frog and de-wasp our various abodes along our way this summer. Dealing with slippery, slithering creatures or large flying screeching anomalies of nature is NOT his strength.}

We thought the walk to the karaoke bar was entertaining. But that was just a promise of more “fun” to come.  Chris did a stellar rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” {a la Adele meets Johnny Cash}.  

I resisted, I mean really resisted, but was coerced into aiding and abetting a horrible (HORRIBLE!) version of the “Milkshake Song”…did I mention horrible?! 

Oh well, don’t think I’ll be asked to do THAT again anytime soon.  I’ll stick to the shower or car, and save everyone’s ears, lol.  Everyone hates being humiliated. Yet, karaoke still exists...

As you see from the pictures, Chris and I found time for another extended photo shoot…these are moments that only we could pull off (us, and our new BFF's).  Props, everyone, places…!  And yes, more jumping.  Always jumping.  It clearly goes hand in hand with May’s beach time. 
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