Friday, May 21, 2010

Perhentian Trip

Warning: A lengthy post with lots of photos and words.

Snorkeling is my least favourite largely due to my inability to swim and my phobia to the sea. However the first trip after my final exams was to Perhentian Island with snorkeling as the main agenda. Wondering what could I have been thinking, to do something against my interest? It was a long story which few of you might have already heard of and I chose not to describe. Simply put, without me, the trip won't make it. Noble, am I not?

Day 0, 16 May.
Constantly, we kept our eyes on arriving buses and announcements in Perhentian Putra in case we miss the bus. Finally we boarded Mahligai Ekspres after an hour late from its original schedule.

 Cam whore in the bus

We were grateful not to occupy the first row of the double-decker or we suffer sleepless night from flashes of cars light on the opposing lanes.

Day 1, 17 May.
The night was dark. Along the curvy roads, there was no street lights. And we watched the rain fall on the window pane from the beginning till the end of the travel. Imagine how dangerous it was to speed in this conditions, yet the bus never slowed a bit. 8 hours journey in the freezing cold bus was hella tough. Back was aching, legs turned numb, ass sore. Toasted bread and half-boiled eggs as breakfast before the boats arrived at 8 morning. The winds befell us as we continued watching the rain like threads of gold glided down our cheeks.

Each paid RM 5 for Marine Parks Conservation Charges before we were permitted to hop on the boat. Surprisingly, the boat was speeding too fast on the 'bumpy' sea, we 'jumped' a lot on the boat. Furious sea in the rainstorm, plus the boat leaked at the top left me and another handsome, tanned guy totally wet through. The boat then sent few passengers off separately to different resorts, while we were the last to reach our destination. There was no way I can compromise on a wet 90 minutes ride. I hate this boat! I hate the weather!

 I was wet

 Arwana Perhentian Eco Resort and Beach Chalet

DiGi yellow man couldn't swim over to the island, hence the lack of network coverage. I couldn't call home to report my status, couldn't sms Khai to inform him that I was safe. The day was too early before lunch so I scouted around the island, snapped some noob shots with my camera. One of the greatest in the stashes was the rainbow after rainstorm. Seriously I didn't notice until I reached KL.

Picture edited to allow rainbow displayed prominently

Nicholas was running a fever that he withdrew from snorkelling on the first day. The sea was indeed too calm after the rainstorm, allowing me to swim without the need of help. I couldn't take care of Edwin in the sea so I allowed Allen to handle him. I was alone, I might add. Wonderful Nemo, sea urchins and colourful fishes as well as colourless corals. Yea, I even saw a black patch of substance at the bottom of the sea, which indeed was claimed as a turtle. Nothing impressive but somehow I managed to relish in the sea.

Noob and pro swimmers

He really has a big head

We walked around the beach to catch our breath after snorkelling, which ended with cam whore session. The sky turned dark. Aside from the wind, it also brought another round of heavy rain.

Cam whoring

We spent the rest of the night on sinful carcinogenic BBQ meal followed by Indon channel and HBO on tv. There was an extra activity on the balcony while everyone was asleep. That was quite a shaky and hot night. Consequence was, countless mosquitoes fed on my body. Don't have to drop hints to guess what's going on, do I?

Day 2, 18 May.
The difference this time, the not-too-well Nicholas joint us to snorkel. Alex Phang, another group of the same snorkelling boat suggested to visit lighthouse which had more fishes and corals with extra charges of RM 10. Regretful. The current was so strong, I was washed so far away from the ship in an instant. Couldn't survive on my own, a life guard was dispatched to the rescue. And then Allen took the baton and led me back to the ship. I was greatly traumatized after the incident and dare not to snorkel already.

Where the lighthouse incident took place

After the incident earlier, I didn't dare to snorkel anymore. At the 2nd snorkelling spot I stayed on the ship mostly fed fishes with bread and took more pictures. Looked at me with shreds of sympathy, Nicholas offered to lead the ride. I accepted the offer and had few rounds of underwater sightseeing. But he couldn't last long. We managed to struggle our way back to the boat, just to realize we boarded on the wrong one. Embarrassingly and tiredly, we asked if we could be sent to the right boat, to which they agreed.

2nd snorkelling spot

Everyone zonked off after the sea activity, while I was awake, anxiously waiting for jungle trekking. Sadly, I couldn't wake them up and we missed the last chance to hike the hill.

Blue sky, blue sea, white clouds

The night was dull. We had congkak, carom and bluff. We watched tv. And we called it a day early as we need to catch an early bus the next morning. According to Edwin, I took 3 seconds to doze off.

In the garden

There was no activity on the balcony, an extra knowledge in case you ask.

Day 3, 19 May.
It was worrying that we might not able to buy 9 a.m. bus tickets back to KL. If we fail to hitch the morning ride, we would have to wait 12 hours for the next bus. For that, we readied ourselves with every possibility and solutions for the worst outcome. The boat trip back to Kuala Besut was marvelous. It's a 30 minutes ride to reach jetty and none of us was wet was the best of all. Lady's luck was on our side. Seats were available for morning bus and that saved us from a lot of troubles. Similarly, the journey back home was uneventful.

Finally reached home safely with some damages. Firstly, my very last underwear grew moulds, I didn't have choice but to throw it away. Secondly, my soaked-in-sea-water jeans stinks and it deserved a third round of washing. Thirdly I suffer a deep cut on my finger, where blood clot remained at the injury site. It's not as flexi as it used to be. Lastly, sunburn itches terribly and painful, all thanks to the nature lover who objects the use of sunblock in the sea.

Deep cut and painful sunburn

The report pretty sums up the whole trip. Thank you Allen for saving my life in the lighthouse. Thank you Nicholas for the 'ride'.

More pictures can be found here.

[Jino] - A man's not a man unless he knows how to shoot