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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From the Jungle to the Perhentians...

The rest of the time spent in Taman Negara was lovely, especially the time spent on the water (firstly because it's amazingly tranquil and secondly because it's cooler when you're in a boat that creates a breeze!)  We got to go swimming twice in the river.  I, of course, managed to find the one spot of current that carried me uncontrollably downstream and then had to be semi-rescued by Siam, our tour leader.  In another "small world" occurrence, Siam knows not only Wannalee and last saw her a month ago but also went to school with both Supat and Non in Lampang!


Wildlife sighted: one monkey in the trees as we sailed past.  A humongous butterfly perched ON the Taman Negara signage.  A very very noisy cicada at the guesthouse.  And frogs in the squat toilet of two women in our group!  Oh, and the wild pigs that crashed through the back yard.  This compared to vaguely seeing something that might have been a wild cat of some sort, and two birds and a snake, on the Night Safari.  My jetlag enabled me to fall fast asleep while riding in a 4 X 4 pickup truck during the night safari listening to the (apparently very soothing) sounds of the jungle ;-)

Further wildlife seen today once we got to Kuala Besut: a goat under one of the tables at the restaurant we had dinner at, and a LOT of cats, some of whom were interested in me even before they got the leftover shrimp tails.   I swear.

Today involved a 8-9 hour drive in two minivans from Kuala Tahan and Taman Negara to Kuala Besut, the jumping-off point for the Perhentians.  The driver, at least the one for my minivan, was maniacal.  And the road though it had high quality surfacing was extremely windy.  During our first bathroom break I had to take Compazine.  It was much easier to tolerate his driving with the drugs on board.  I vaguely remember waking up for lunch and then sleeping for most of the rest of the journey.

Kuala Besut is a very sleepy town, but the hotel I'm at for the night features not only Internet at decent prices but A/C AND a flush toilet!!!  I was just having some thoughts earlier today about how the hospital I work in must have 100+ flush toilets if it has a single one, and to think, I haven't tried them all!  You start to focus on (and be appreciative of) some weird stuff when your brain has fried in the heat.  Another thought I was vaguely having is that I really should replace my camera with a newer lighter weight better more scintillating one.  But that will have to wait till after the trip, I'm afraid.

Tomorrow morning it will take a half hour by high speed boat to reach the Perhentians and lots and lots of snorkelling :)  No internet there, it will have to wait till I'm back on the mainland.  :)


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