Off to Parts Unknown ... travel blog

Not a shabby view from my hillside bungalow!

Afternoon clouds rolling in ...

... and then they were gone.

Biker boys: Lindsay and Darren ... I don't know which is which!

Look Fay! I found Tip!

... and Sarah!

Sarah with one of the islands MANY little kitties.

After my journey from Borneo to Singapore, you'd think I'd learn that a plane ticket doesn't necessarily guarantee smooth sailing. It was a supposed to be a quick trip. A quick flight from KL to Kota Bhara, an hour to the pier and another hour to the islands. I can't really complain that we had to wait 2 hours for the boat, since I didn't check the schedule ahead of time, but the 3rd hour of our boat journey in the pouring rain had me singing the theme to Gilligan's Island. The Perhentians are actually two small islands - Perhentian Besar (Big Island) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Island.) Even the big island, however, was just a blip on the map. The boat from the mainland was servicing a bunch of beaches on both islands. By "servicing" I mean that we'd approach the beach, blow a horn and then wait for a little dingy to come out and meet us. Unfortunately, we were running late, so we spent a lot of time standing in the rain blowing horns at beaches and waiting for dingys that didn't arrive. Finally, however, we made it to Long Beach on Kecil with all the people who "missed" their nonexistent dingys. I started wandering the beach looking for a room. The only thing I heard more than "we're full" was "you just got here? Really? What time did you leave? That's crazy! The boat is never that late." Well, thank you very much. Finally, I ended up at Rock Bottom ... ummm ... I mean Rock Garden. Frankly, I was pretty happy with it. For 15 ringget (less than $4), I had my own hut on a hill. Yes, I had to scale a muddy cliff to get there, my mosquito net had holes and I only had electricity for a couple of hours a day, but it was home.

I settled in for my last two beach days in Asia. Kecil is a small island with no roads and small paths through jungle that connect the beaches. I avoided these paths at night, though, because while I was told the huge monitor lizards are harmless, they were a little scary. I also tended to wear shoes, given the stories I'd heard of people getting worms in their feet ... YUCK! (Dogs are considered dirty in Malaysia and are not generally kept as pets. Cats, however, are very popular and run rampant on the beach ... hence, worms!)

But enough of what I avoided. What did I enjoy? I enjoyed two glorious beach days, including a fantastic snorkling trip, where I found Nemo. I also caught up with Fay's friends and met twins from England. All in all, it's not a bad way to end a journey.

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