Published: July 1st 2012June 29th 2012
Hello avid readers of our (rather sporadic) blog!
You will have noticed that we haven't updated this recently and there are a couple of reasons as to why...
Number 1. Becky and Emma told Lissie and Catrina off for making the last blog too much like an entry in Lonely Planet so we thought we'd give them the opportunity to write it. However, after seeing the postcard that Emma wrote to her parents we quickly took away that priviledge. Please see photo attached. We think a 6 year old could have done better... (PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU BELONG TO THE SHERRIFFS FAMILY YOU ARE EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN FROM LOOKING AT THIS PHOTO BEFORE THE POSTCARD ARRIVES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)
Number 2: We're just too busy having an amazing time to spend precious minutes updating you and will give you a much better account when we get home.
Number 3: We didn't want you to get too jealous of all the sun in South East Asia, especially when we hear it's been piddling it down in dear old England.
HOWEVER! We will fill you in on some of the highlights...
We made our
way to Kuala Lumpur in the most luxurious coach known to man. Malaysians have their coach travel perfected! We stayed with a friend in Kuala Lumpur so had our very own tour guide, Leda. Not wanting us to miss out on anything Leda made sure we saw the Petronas Towers, shopped in KLCC (which was slightly out of our price range) and drank cocktails in the sky bar of the traders hotel. In Emma's own words we 'dressed up as muslim women' when we visited Majid Jamek (national Mosque) and we even bartered our way throught the the markets of china town each of us ending up with a very stylish knock-off Cath Kidston make up bag. Classy. All four of us agreed that we loved Kuala Lumpur. Everyone in the city was so friendly- nothing like grumpy tube-faring Londoners- and they made us feel very welcome. We decided to start compiling a list of our favourite people of this trip. We'll let you know the final shortlist in a later blog!
In the middle of our stay in KL we went on an overnight trip to Taman Negara, self-proclaimed the oldest rainforest in the world. Now, its not
that we don't believe you, Taman Negara, but everything in SE Asia seems to state that is the oldest/largest/longest/deepest... you get the picture! Although, at 350 million years old we feel that this may be a trumor rather than a rumour afterall... After dumping our stuff at the hostel we went on a trek into the forest; we found a river and went for a casual afternoon swim. Didn't stay for very long though, as the subject of alligators came up and freaked us out a little.
Evening came and we went on a guided night-trek with Fariq (this local funny man will undoubtedly reach one of the top spots on our much anticipated list). We didn't actually realised that bugs featured rather heavily in this tour (much to Becky and Emma's horror) until we were shown hunter spiders, an Asian scorpion and lots of flying moths. Lissie even ate an ant's bum, much to everyone's shock. Tasted like berries, yum.
Back in KL for a few nights. Leda took us to a monkey reserve and to see the firflies on a river. This was one of our favourite evenings, not only did we get to 'chill' with
the monkeys (some of which were literally sitting on us) but we very much felt like celebrities with countless locals and visitors clambouring to take their photo with us. We think its the fact that we're 4 white girls - two of whom are extremely blonde, rather than having any claim to notoriety. And whilst it's fun for about 5 minutes, we can see why the odd celebrity ends up hitting the more annoying members of the paparazzi. It got worse in Indonesia when we ended up writing our assignements (code for signatures) for about 30 excitable 10 year olds. Wrist hasn't hurt that much since exams!
Off we then flew to Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. From Medan we were over charged for an executive taxi ride to Lake Toba. After all our complaining about mini buses in Thailand we feel the need apologise to Thai drivers. You are tame in comparison to Indonesian ones. None of us have ever felt quite so close to death as we did on that four hour journey, most of which was spent on the wrong side of the road. Emma nearly texted her mum to tell her she loved her. Mental. But it was definitely worth the trip as Toba is incredible. We're staying at the Samosir Cottages and although our rooms are very basic (complete with cockroaches and dripping ceilings) the views are stunning. I dont think any of us will forget the view from our rooms with the sparkling lake, striking mountains and beauuutiful sunshine. We all agreed its been one of our favourite places on this trip. On a tour of the island yesterday we experienced the 'HOT' hot springs, crashed a tradtional Toba Batak wedding and photo-bombed the traditional villages and homes.
Next stop on our tour of Indonesia is Bande Aceh and Pulau Weh (the marine national park) for some casual diving and the last opportunity to top up our tans (or make ourselves look even more tomato red than we currently do).