Last days in Malaysia
30 Oct 2006
|Ok, the last week has flown by, so here is a summary of what my last 8 days in Malaysia consisted of:
The weekend of the 21/22nd was spent mainly helping out in the restaurant at Nusa as we were very busy. There was a Chinese school group staying, some of whom had come before, and the teacher knew Asri, so they put on a mini concert with their guitars and sang songs which was pretty fun. On the 23rd I joined them for a trip up Warisan Hill, which was very very steep, and extremely difficult to fast as I needed water after about half hour of climbing! I don't know how some of the guides manage to go jungle trekking without drinking during Ramadan. Anyway, the views from Warisan hill were amazing, and apparently you can camp there overnight to watch the sunset/sunrise, which would be beautiful, shame I never got to though. Saw another hornbill, but too far away for a picture. Also heard gibbons, but never saw any which was a shame. Although after Warisan Hill I went to Kuala Tahan and saw some monkeys on the beach which was exciting, I think they were silver leaf monkeys as they definately weren't macaques or gibbons. A porcupine has come into Nusa camp a few times in the last couple of weeks, which has been exciting as it's come right up next to us!
Also in the last week I visited an Orang Asli settlement (original people) where we had a blowpipe demostration, and also got to try one out (I think I'll stick to martial arts myself as I wasn't very good!), also got shown how they make the darts, the difference between the poison darts and normal darts and how they make fire without the use of matches etc. from rattan and meranti wood and some other things that I now forget!
On Monday 23rd preparations for the Hari Raya Eid il Fitri began around 5pm with the making of the rice in bamboo (called Lumbang). Each piece of bamboo is about 1m long and you fill it about 3 quarters with rice and then add coconut milk, then it needs to be cooked for at least 3 hours! I myself made only 2. Also being made were biscuits and cakes and the children set off fireworks and played with sparklers. Everyone stayed up until about 2am to wait for the rice to finish cooking! Nusa was fully booked so I was sharing my hostel room for the first time, it was nice to have the company but I couldn't spread my stuff out anymore!
On Tuesday any tours etc. didn't start until 10.30am as most of the staff wanted to go and pray. I had bought Malay clothes when I'd gone shopping with Asri's sister in Jerantut so I wore them, also one of the girls in the kitchen lent me her headscarf for a little bit - apparently I looked like I was from Bosnia! Unfortunately I couldn't take a photo as my camera battery ran out.
Wednesday was my last full day in the jungle so I took a walk to say goodbye, but then a thunderstorm was about to start so I made my way quickly back to camp. Spent the evening playing cards with Asri and Duan. Yan (the boss's wife) gave me nearly 50% off my room and I didn't have to pay for using the laundry which was incredibly nice of them.
On Thursday Asri and I left for Jerantut in the afternoon as we were staying overnight at his sister's before making our way to KL the next day seeing as his sisters wanted to say goodbye to me. In the evening Asri and I went out for drinks and to a karaoke bar... and yes, I actually sang after much persuading by people!
On Friday we left for KL on the 2.45pm bus, getting into the city at about 7pm. Asri's friend, Din picked us up and gave me a lift to my hostel, but it was fully booked so he took me to another one that he knew which was right next to KL Sentral so that I could easily get the train to the airport on Sunday.
On Saturday I went to the Muzium Negara (National Museum) which was very interesting, all about the history of Malaysia and their customs and other aspects of life in Malaysia. Also visited Merdeka square and the Petronas Towers, although I didn't go up them as I'd already been up KL Tower before and the view wouldn't have been much different. Then Gan (the teacher from the school group that had been at Nusa) phoned and wanted to take me and Asri out to Chinatown so we went there at about 9pm for the night market, which was busy, but quite interesting. However I was really tired so went back to the hostel to pack my bag as I had to leave before 11am the next day.
On Sunday morning I made my way to KL Sentral to get the KLIA Ekspres to KLIA airport. What I hadn't realised was I could check in my bag there, before getting to the airport which saves a lot of time and hassle, although it felt strange to arrive at the airport with only my hand luggage and I started to think that maybe my bag wouldn't get to the aeroplane, although there was plenty of time!
I actually had to fly to Bali first and my flight was at 2.50pm, although it was delayed until 3.30pm. Only a 3 hour flight, and I slept for half of it! Did get to see the highest peak in Indonesia though at one point.
Then I arrived at Denpasar in Bali, and annoying had to pay for a visa even though I was only going to be in the airport for 5 hours.
Flight to Sydney left at 10.45pm.