Finding Nemo In Paradise!

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July 24th 2011
Published: July 24th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

I'm so behind right now i really need to pull my finger out. We are currently in Bangkok for the 3rd day and have just booked our 12 hour over night train ticket upto Chang Mai. Since my last update though we have already been to the Teman Negara National Park and had a quick overnight pit stop back in KL to catch a 2 day train journey up through Thailand. I will try my best to try to get caught up on blogs but they do take me forever to finish so bear with me.

Hmmm (I'm thinking whilst scratching my head here!). I'm unsure of where to even begin with this blog about our time spent in the Perhentian's. I'm getting kind of bored listing activities by day and it's probably becoming a bit boring and dull to read for you guys too so I'll just type as I think and hopefully I'll try and capture as much as I can but it probably wont be in any sort of order! My short term memory is as bad as ever!

I hope everyone is well and your all keeping tabs on what were getting up too, we do like to hear from our nearest and dearest so let us know what's happening back in blighty! Dad I miss you heaps too and will be in touch very soon. I hope I can keep some of you even just slightly entertained and informed if only for a little while when I'm tapping away at the keyboard but if not, I'll always try and upload a picture or two so you can see for yourself how much fun were having! We're week 3 in to our trip so far and were both feeling like were still in a day-dream. I still can't quite believe were actually here. We've already mentioned that in the short time we've had here so far it's already superceeded all expectations. So all those with bet's on our early return, bet's off! Scott has managed to face a handful of many fears already which is fab so let's see if by the time he's back on home turf he'll have thought of a load more! I on the other hand am just trying to soak up as much as I can and keep my fingers crossed that all the small little things I encounter along the way will still be remembered one day in the future. Malaysia was probably one of the best bases for us to commence our trip as it's one if not the most advanced and easiest countries to travel in terms of roads, accomodation, trips and the fact everyone speaks some form of English. On the flip side we've heard it's one of the most expensive countries in South East Asia but were still smug when we buy tea, drinks and a dessert for both under a fiver...bargain!

So, I spent the last week finishing up typing the Cameron Highlands blog and now it's time to try and explain how much of an absolutely incredible time we experienced from our 7 days on the Perhentian Islands. I'm sure my team mates back in the Arla world will muddy my name as they read this whilst sipping on a yummy cup of Yorkshire Tea! By the way - I miss my morning brew! Iced Lemon ones on the beach will have to do. Team Comm Log - Big Ola from me, hope your not working too hard and not missing me too much mwahahahah!!


To get there first we did have to spend another 5 hours on a mini-bus, a 30 minute boat trip to the Island of our choice and then a water taxi which landed us directly onto Long Beach. The weather was el scorchio and with the backpacks on it was like walking uphill on a treadmill in the soft sand, utterly exhausting and super sweaty! We hadn't pre-booked any accommodation but we did meet a lovely couple on our journey over called Zoe & Hamish who had made plans at the Lemon Grass Chalets, so we tagged along to see if there was any availability there. Our luck was out the first night but we did book for the next evening and stayed there for the remainder of our time.

The island itself was completely covered in jungle. It was teeny tiny. But good things come in small packages so I heard and it was perfect! No roads, intermittent electricity and creepy crawlies galore! The beach was near pristine, fringed with palm-trees and the water turquoise and warm. It was like something we were used to seeing on the TV or a James Bond movie! Our little wooden hut was as basic as it gets. With 2 single beds, 1 fan, 1 veranda with 1 comfy hammock swinging gently in the breeze. Oh an let's not forget the ocean view through our little window! I'm not actually sure how many different adjectives I have in my vocabulary to describe amazing without the use of a thesauraus so if I use the same words ten times or more, don't be suprised!!!

Just before I begin to dribble on and explain what we managed to do with ourselves for a whole week I would like to introduce Hamish & Zoe first. We actually spent a lot of time together for the duration of there 4 night stay and we thoroughly enjoyed there company. It was really nice to get to know each other and listen to the stories of where they had been on there 9 month travels so far. We experienced some fab moments together and really pleased we met. We hope you enjoy the last of your 2 weeks in Thailand and have a safe journey home guys :-)

So our days were filled with the usual: Shower, breakfast, swim, frisbee, lunch, sunbath, dip in the sea, read, fall asleep in the hammock, shower, tea, late night beer on the beach and then to finish - watch the storms roll in before bedtime! This was the life and exactly how I had imagined I would spend some of my time whilst travelling. Kicking back and relaxing in total tranquility! Athough we did managed to drag our lazy arses on a snorkel trip one day, sea kayaking another and a walk through the jungle to a secluded beach on our last.

I think I remember snorkelling when I was younger in Cyprus but Scott had only just swam in the sea for the first time EVER on the day we arrived! I'd like to point out though that he can actually swim but the sea has never enticed him in far enough! We still decided however we would have a go at snorkelling and booked a days trip round the Island's best spots along with Zoe & Hamish. I couldn't possilby try and describe all that we saw and wish we had invested in a camera case to help better explain, but nevermind hey! We were both a little nervous on the first & second stop so we decided we would hold hands and float along together, safe in the knowledge that it was all for one and one for all. We'd sink together! After some time we did manage to relax and only then were we able to take in all the vibrant coloured schools of fish swimming in this magnificent underwater world. We saw Nemo's, sharks, turtles and coral gardens as far as our beady eyes could focus. Even the jellyfish stings we both got zapped with didn't deter us and continued to spend 4 hours or so having fun with the more enquisitive species! Such an awesome day for the both of us it left us speechless for a little while whilst trying to remember all the magical things we were lucky enough to see and thankful we still have 5 months left perfect our flipper action!

Most nights were spent enjoying scrummy food, I even tucked into a Blue Marlin steak - It was like a pork chop! Then we would all relax, grab a tin of beer and plonk our butts on a grass matt at one of the two bars along the candlit beach. One of the evenings we sat and watched a live Reggae Band and they just so happened to play a bit of Mr Marley...fabbo! Alcohol was super expensive though and for a small half can of beer it cost a whole £2. We usually have one each and at a push share the third! There really was no need to get drunk and although there is young & hip vibe it's not enough to want to spend the next day enduring a hellish hangover in the relentless heat! We were happy with just a couple to quench our thirst after a hard day in paradise! On the guy's last night we all pushed the boat out however and shared a bottle of Monkey Juice (Rum and pineapple) and watched the beginnings of the nightly storm show. Unfortunately for me I had to duck out early as I had started to feel queezy which later turned out to be food poisoning from my chicken tea earlier. I spent the next day in bed, feeling super sorry for myself wishing my mum could transport over, rub my back for a little while and climb in bed for a cuddle!! Scott subsituted however and did a great job of toast & water fetching and hung around all day to keep me company...ta chuck!

One of the days during the week we were feeling slightly more energetic & adventurous. We had spotted a few kayaks on the beach in previous days and commented that it should be fun to at least have a go. Plus, it looked easy peasy and we were both well up for some excercise for a change and a paddle round the Island! I actually thought it would be possible to do this so we rented one for £3 an hour, packed a bag with plenty of water and munchies and wobbled off from the safety of shore! I clambered on at the back with Scott captain at the front. It soon became clear after a few paddle strokes that we would not be kayaking round the island! Firstly in my defence the paddles were the weight of steel scaffolding poles with a flipper at either end. Now i'll admit I'm not super woman, I do a gym class once every 3 months so i'd say i'm fit-ish....but bloody hell, It was like weight lifting a grown man who had eaten far too many pies! Swing hasn't got a patch on this Dobbo! Anyway cut a long story short - me & Scott cound't paddle in time if our lives depended on it. I was hitting his fingers, toes and shins. He was bashing my paddle and consistently filling my seat and the bag with half the ocean! We were spinning in circles and probably only about 200 meters from shore once a heated debate about who's doing it wrong, who's right, who should be steering at the front and who's powering the at back! We were ready to literally sock each other in the head with the flippers and send each other over board to cool off! The sea was choppy and the once calm breeze was a little more powerful than when protected from the hills in the bay. Scott was adament we could make this work if only we swapped seats...! Yes in the middle of the sea. Two pieces of weight lifting equipment, a bag with the camera in and us!! I reckon it must have looked kinda funny from the expression on peoples faces as they passed by on the speedboats. We agreed on a smooth one under one over jobby so as not to rock our vessell. Whilst still enraged with anger, I shuffled forward with my elbows on my back into the middle while Scott began to crawl over on all fours! I couldn't help myself but during this technical transition I began to giggle and belly laugh so hard I couldn't continue - Stuck in limbo! Scott did finally find the funny side too once he managed to stop frowning and just like that we seemed to agree that we were soooooo shit at Kayaking together. Seperatley I'm sure we'd be pro's but this team sport was not our bag, for sure!!!

We spent a couple of taking the 15 minute hike through the centre of the island from Long Beach to Coral Beach. Both sides had their negatives positives. Long beach was long and sandy with a hip and happening crowd but sometimes there were a few too many boats in the water for swimming. Coral beach was the best for chillaxing to watch the sunsets and sample the better quality restaurants but the sand there was littered with mounds of dead coral from the bleaching which happened last year. We were happy with our choice though and took advantage of both sides. We did however on our last night forget the torch on our return back to our hut. Scott did manage to navigate us both back through the pitch black jungle path not even being able to see our feet with no trips or slips. Scott had clearly had his carrots - Good work!

For heaven though there has to be a drawback. There are creepy critters waiting round every corner much to Scotts delight but luckily for him they seemed to steer clear almost. I on the other hand seemed to attract them a little too much for my liking!! It was either crickets jumping in to join me for a shower, beetles trying to crawl in my ear and we both were attacked from an army of ants on our feet! Scott did fore-warn me in front that an ant super highway was running across the path but as I jumped to clear them I landed right ontop! They bite, hard! I spent a few minute in the dark trying to pick out about fifteen heads and pincers which had buried in-between my toes, ouch ouch :-( It left us mentally scarred and Scott pleaded for a piggy-back, back across the path later as he didnt fancy being munched on again without the safety of his flipflops! Gecco's where everywhere but they were quite cute and I did see them chewing on a spider or two so I was happy for them to be around. Although whilst having lunch Scott did see a 3ft lizzard walk under the table next to us and waddled on as if it was his stomping ground. We did later see a few more that were huge but harmless from a distance!

Our last day was simply amazing... After fully recovering from being ill we walked to one of the more secluded beaches namd Mira round the other side of the Island. It took us about 30 mins along the coastal jungle path and once we arrived it was clear that we had the place to ourselves. It was deserted and simply stunning. Were we halucinating, definately not?! Picture, postcard, perfection! We sat and watched tiny white crabs float along the sand like leaves in the wind, digging there homes with shovel like claws then dumping the grains just outside the entrance like mini diggers! We played frisbee for a while, took a few snaps, jumped on the swing and day-dremed listening to the waves lap gently on the shore. We both agreed that we would be lucky if we were to find any where else on our trip as beautiful and peaceful as Mira...AMAZING!

Yet again we watched another mesmerising sunset on Coral Beach in the evening and tucked into oodles of noodles before heading back to base for our last night! Only to be woken in the early hours with what I can only describe as the sound of a grenade exploding in the chalet next door. Our whole wooden hut shuddered and the noise woke us both up with such a shock we momentarily panicked and bolted upright. It wasn't until after the purple flashes lit up our room between the wooden cracks we realised there was a huge storm overhead. After laying there for a few minutes hoping to drift back off to sleep again it became apparent the long rolling claps of thunder would not allow for a peaceful nights kip. It was as if the Gods had decided to play ten pin bowling with boulders as huge as houses on wooden planks that ran for miles. The rumbles would last upto 15 seconds and sometimes more with claps so loud you could literally feel the pressure whip the hairs on our skin. Breathtaking. I'm not generally un-nerved by storms but I much preferred watching from the safety of the hammock than inside...just incase. The lightening would fill the sky and light the entire ocean with flickering shadows of fishing boats anchored off-shore. Truly spectacular :-p

I think i've just about covered off most of our trip and to be honest my back is killing and I'm getting hungry!! Time for a snack and wander. So goodbye from me, mwah!

x x x

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27th July 2011

Missing you too
Hi Babe, i am so pleased it is livingup to expectations, missing you but take comfort inknowing you are having the time of your life. Keep the updates copming as they are a ray of sunshine here in the UK. Tae care Love always. Ps i have put the 6 inch nails to one side for now.
13th August 2011

Reply: Finding Nemo In Paradise!
Hey Dad, I was just having a nosey and must have missed this e-mail you sent ages ago now! Aww I really miss you too, loads and your mail just made me blub a little! So many things remind me of you whilst i'm out here weather it's some Karaoke bar playing a bit of "sitting on the dock of the bay" or your silly sayings that spring to mind in random situations! We keep saying you'd absolutley love it out here and you must make sure you take a trip at some point - it's right up your street! Hope your looking after yourself and keeping healthy, and by that I mean cut down the faggage! By the time you get this your probably on your way home from holiday so I hope you've all had a fab time, bet you've all got a wicked tan! Let me know when is best to give you a call as I miss your gruff voice! Heading to Vietnam in a week, so will set up skype or something - Whichever is easier. P.S Yeah you can keep those nails aside for now but bloody hell we shit ourselves the other day when old vietnam war bombs were being detonated by the laos government in the field road the corner! Anyway - Love you lots and lots. Bug hugs and squeezes - Natz x x x x

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