Long Beach, Perhentian Island
19.03.2013 - 23.03.2013
As we hopped off the boat to make our way onto the beach we were hit with a release of excitement as we really felt as if we had found a real gem. The water was crystal clear as the sun rose in the distance gleaming across the water and the white sand of the beach was as a good as any I had set foot upon. However we still had to find the right place to stay and so the air of excitement had to simmer as we walked the beach asking for prices. We started on the east side of Long Beach and found that it was a little too much and so continue west to the larger pocket of accommadation and restaurants. Realising that the sun was going to be stronger soon we collectively decided that one of us should stay with the bags and the other should look for a room. Lugging big bags and trying to be smart about your choice of room do not always go hand in hand. I graciously allowed Sarah to take on the task as she had been so good at it back in Luang Prabang. It gave me a opportunity to take a couple of photos to set the scene for our arrival. Who wouldn't mind this view at your breakfast table!
To Sarah's credit she came up trumps as she found a cheap place that was off the beach and had a good view. The downside was that it was a few steps up the hillside which wasn't ideal when carrying bags in the heat but it made no matter after because it allowed us to have a break from the bars on the beach in the evening. After making it to our room and floping for a moment we regrouped and set off to the beach. By this time the sun was out in full and we really got to capture the quality of this area and the views we had.
After taking in the sights and sounds we walked to find some breakfast happy as larry with our decision to head east and find some inspiration. To top off a great morning I found museli on the menu where we had breakfast, which in the grand scheme of things isn't a big deal. However when you only get to choose between egg and toast/rice/noodles/ for breakfast having a change is always welcome, plus it wasn't the crappy kind that has been on offer, it was like Alpen which I really enjoy.
After that little joy you can pretty much guess what we did.......tan fest!!!
Buying a pitch with an umbrella from a local on the beach for £2 a day and then interspersing sunning with a dip in the crystal clear waters whilst reading our books (I'm currently on the third book of Game of thrones! Its ace!) was a perfect way to unwind.
Later that day we decided that we should try out the bar that played movies which would end up being a recurring theme for us. Looking back on it now and remembered watching the film 'The Beach' and DiCaprio's character talks of seeing tourists going abroad but doing the same thing! And this was to a backdrop of people watching a film, and I thought its very true however when you travel for a long period you sometimes need just something easy like watching a film to pass the time. We hadn't really got into boozing whist travelling so this was a perfect solution for us while having dinner. So sod you Leo!
The film on the reels that night was The Rum Diaries with Johnny Depp which I was interested in because it was coming from the same Hunter S Thompson crazyness that was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It wasn't as good as fear and loathing but it sufficed. It was quite funny after the film because Sarah had ordered a pizza and realised she wasn't that hungry and these two young guys sitting next to us had been eyeing it up. It wasn't till Sarah realised and offered it that they eagerly took the plate and wolfed it down as if they hadn't eaten for months.!!
The next day was really did much of same as the day before with the additon of a bat and ball and trying to play in the shallows of the sea was fun. Our game was trying to get a high score of hitting the ball back and forth and we joked around quoting the Friends episode when they throw a ball all day. (Monica "no don't throw to him! He's a dropper!). We enjoyed the movie night so much that we went back to Panorama and watched America Pie: The Reunion and luckily the Monkey bar out front was putting on some live music after and we were treated to a Canadian girl who I think was just passing through and she teamed up with the barman who was a virtuoso bass player. They combined to play some cool covers and we watched them for an hour before heading back to our room. Another day well spent!
Our third day we decided we should mix it up and so outside of sunbathing Perhentian islands offer snorkelling. There are plenty of makeshift businesses offering a trip and we decided on the short one mainly due to not being exposed to the sun all day. It was a good choice as we ending up meeting a friendly couple from Spain and two girls from UK who we later met up with for ... You guessed it... A movie night at Panarama! This time it was Hangover 2!!
The snorkel trip was cool!
As we had seen Turtles up close and personal from diving seeing one little one in the 'Turtle bay' wasn't really exciting but fun enough. However, we did end up seeing one of these!!!
Swimming around together Sarah and I broke off from the group and suddenly a reef shark appeared which I missed and I saw Sarah look a bit in shock! We swam quickly to try and see it again but it went away. We kept swimming around and out of nowhere two of these fellas were swimming in unison, each about a metre and a half long and we tracked them from behind, keeping our distance as we didn't know much about them. It was incredible!!
After that little encounter we headed off to the fisherman village for lunch and this was where we made friends with the Spanish couple and the two girls from UK who we would later watch the movie with. We all had had enough after the movie and the others were heading off the island the next morning so we said our goodbyes and wished them well. In our minds we had said we would leave after the next day but the idea of leaving we hard to take because it was so good here.
The last full day was spent doing what we had done so well the last few days which was beaching, playing games and reading books. We did however make our way over to the other side of the island having been told the sunset was good by the girls we met the night before. Unfortunately the clouds were against us but we decided to stay on the other side and have dinner at a different place, seeing as we had become a bit of a regular at Panorama. This time this place showed the movie Serendipity, a rom-com but a no brainer. Before chilling out I had checked the Internet and read that the Spanish couple had had there room broken into and camera stolen amongst other things on the night we said goodbye. A bit disconcerting as they were staying at the same place we were! With this in mind I ran back across the island (about 5 mins) then up to our room hoping I would get there before dark to collect our valuables and take them with us to dinner. I made it in good time but suddenly thought perhaps leaving the next day might be a good time to go as it felt a bit like a sign.
Next morning was an early start to catch the small boats out to the slightly larger boats a bit further out to shore before being ferried back to a Kuala Besut. At first it was a confusing situation because the boat company our hotel booked with were not there, and we thought that actually he probably never called them, so we had to hang on the word of a kind lady who had the mobile to call them and it ended up that we jumped onboard with another company's boat, not ideal but you get use to it (sometimes). Once we were off it was not a long time before we were back on the mainland and a short walk to the bus stop we waited for a bus to KL.
Heading onto the Perhentian Island was the best decision we could have made as we really felt like we had taken on the travellers ethos and found our way to paradise. Perhentian actually means Meeting point and I guess in some way it was are kind of meeting point with discovering our trip again.
Smiles all round!
Stay tuned for more tales...