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Published: October 26th 2015
A few months ago I took my first trip to Cherating and befriended an Australian on extended holiday. He stayed longer than I did, left, and has now returned for a few more weeks. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see him and catch up. And really, how can you go wrong with a beautiful beach nearby? As an added bonus, my friend had spent a lot of time in Cherating, which means he knows everyone. Which means that in a short time, I would too.
I arrived Friday evening just before dinner. We went to have some drinks with an ocean view before heading to my favorite ikan bakar restaurant. But they were out of prawns so I ended up with an omelet instead. Luckily, that was the only disappointment of the weekend.
We went back to the bar with more people and by the end of the night everyone was friends. We called it a night early, though, since Saturday night there was a big party planned. One of my friend's closest friends--also an Aussie--was having a birthday and hosting a party. But as it turned out, two more people--Dutch and Italian--also had birthdays the
same day, so it was decided to turn it into a tri-birthday party!
Saturday I woke early and enjoyed reading on my little porch. The guest house owner and I went to have breakfast while my friend slept in late. The owner is a pretty cool guy--it turns out he spends a lot of his time living in the jungle! The city slicker in me can't even imagine what that would be like. But since he travels to Kuantan often, we're planning to meet up for coffee and I'll ask him about it then.
In the afternoon--after breakfast part two with my friend--we took a walk along the beach. He was going to show me how to cross the river and continue down to the next few beaches, but the tide was high so we just jumped around in the water and dug our feet into the sand, delighting our inner 5 year olds.
After a nice nap and shower it was time for the party. We arrived around 7 (one hour early) and things were already in semi-full swing. The BBQ was going, the food was prepped, and there was a bonfire built for later in
the evening. Everyone else arrived within the hour and soon it was time to eat. The bar owner had gone fishing that day and caught a huge barracuda; it was grilled to perfection and I couldn't stop commenting how could it was (to everyone's amusement). We also had a proper lettuce salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and someone brought a cake. The funniest part was the the cake didn't have the birthday celebrants' names on it, but rather: Happy Birthday from Sam and Family!
Around 2 the party was winding down, the bonfire was reduced to embers, and a few of us went down to the ocean again. So late at night you can see the sky really clearly, full of stars and a bright moon. As it turns out, it's also dark enough that you can see plankton glow! We waded in and splashed around until little green sparkles would blink at us. I'd always heard about other people doing this and was really excited to finally see it for myself.
I made it home at a ridiculous hour, but not after many, many hugs and "keep in touch"'s and "when are you coming back?"'s. I slept easily
and the next morning spent some more time on the beach with my book, had some fruit salad, and then it was time to go. We all gave more rounds of hugs, a few tears were nearly shed, and we all piled into my car so I could take my friend and the birthday girl to their bus. And of course, this meant there were more hugs, more warm wishes, and more "come back soon!"'s.
As I drove home, I couldn't help but think how lucky I am. I started the weekend knowing one person, and now I've got a whole group of friends. Lots of memories made, lots more to come!
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What will you call your book
Dear Kris, I so love reading all your blogs---yes I do want to pack my bags and go anywhere--but who wouldn't after reading what you have been up too!!! So glad you are doing what you want and where you want. Is there anything more? Write a book---but include all your glorious pictures
Aww, thanks, Barb! I haven't thought about writing a book. The blog will have to do for now.