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Published: September 10th 2008
Yes we are still alive and well. We have been lazy cyclists and even lazier bloggers for most of our time in South East Asia, especially since leaving Vietnam - our last blog post. That was 3 and a half months ago and since then we have visited 4 new countries and pedalled our way very slowly from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur here in Malaysia.
Thanks to the many people who have contacted us recently with messages of support and encouragement, both friends from home and those we have never met who simply wondered why the blogs had stopped and where we had got to.
Sometimes we do not feel so inspired or motivated to cycle anymore. Maybe it is the heat and humidity, maybe we have simply been on the road for so long. Maybe it is simply that this part of Asia does not seem very adventurous to us - everything has been rendered simple for the traveller here by the vast numbers of others that have been before. To quote another traveller, it is "a very user friendly place".
There is nothing wrong with this of course, but in comparison to other less
well trodden/ridden parts of the planet it sometimes seems a little bit boring. We find ourselves wondering a lot if we have just been on the road for so long we can no longer appreciate things as much, on other hand we have been on the road for so long going home is a daunting prospect.....
We have differing ideas as to the best solution to our state of heart and mind - one of us prefers the idea of stopping moving altogether and getting more deeply involved in a specific place, making more than fleeting connections with people. While the other thinks moving at much greater speed to another part of the planet will improve things. Clearly this does not help us reach any big decisions easily. Neither does being so close to the end of the continental landmass - crossing oceans is problematic if we cling to our no flying rules.
With these kind of thoughts featuring heavily it has been hard to motivate ourselves to write about our trip or the countries we have passed through, hence the lack of blogs. But things have not been as gloomy as I am making them sound - we
have had many good times and a few adventures since Vietnam and we try to constantly remind ourselves that the options we have and the freedom to choose is something truly amazing, something so many of the people around us and that we have met along the way do not have.
And for every uninspiring place there is always somewhere else to lift our spirits. Perhentian Kecil was one such place. Waking every morning to clear blue skies and the sound of the waves rippling across the turquoise coloured bay to the white sands only a few metres away was a refreshing and relaxing change. That and the fact we were so busy diving most of the time we didn't have much spare energy for thinking about the future, just lying on the beach watching the sun drop below the watery horizon.
The marine life is fantastic - we dived with turtles (green and hawksbill) for the first time, got manicured by cleaner shrimps, while rays (mostly blue-spotted, but also one large stingray) and sharks (bamboo and white-tipped) were also fairly regular. Not to mention amazing coral reef landscapes, submerged boulder gardens complete with swim-throughs, a murky wreck,
and the hundreds of multi-coloured reef fish everywhere. The islands are part of a Marine Park and fishing is banned, something immediately apparent by the numbers and size of giant clams everywhere. Other places I have dived it has been hard to find these easily collected food-sources, but they were all over the place here. We also made our first ever night dive, a sleeping turtle and an octopus were probably the highlights but the whole experience of being underwater in the dark on a moonless night was pretty cool by itself.
We do not have an underwater camera and were too stingy to hire one so we cannot properly share the undersea splendour with you, but Ali
has many amazing photo's of the Perhentian Islands on his pages.
We are now back in Kuala Lumpur, trying once again to decide what to do next. We may even get around to writing up the last 3 months properly. 😊
Tot: 0.043s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 9; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0079s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb