Part 4 - the Disappointment

Setiu Travel Blog

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My room, or chalet at Penarik Inn.

Well, I thought I woke up in time the next morning to enjoy the sunrise. Forgetting that Mother Nature waits for no man, I took a quick shower but it wasn't fast enough... I missed the sunrise!! Arrggghhh!! I managed to capture one really lame shot of the remnants of the sunrise before the sun was out and shining brightly.

After my breakfast of digestive cookies and instant coffee, I decided to open the door of my room and leave it slightly ajar to enjoy the cool breeze from the sea and the warmth of the sun from my bed. I began to notice, after sitting quietly for about a half hour, that it really was quiet. There were practically no other guests at the inn except for my "neighbours", whom I later discovered were two Bangladeshi or Indian men who took turns strolling around the grounds.

I walked about 50 meters to my right, then stopped, when I saw this "catastrophe" ahead of me.
We practically had the whole beach to ourselves!! Then, as it got warmer, I realised that it would be crazy to sit out on the sun, unless I wanted to look like those fish that were soaked in salt water then left to dry in the sun (it is a local delicacy - salted fish - that Malaysians would quickly fry in hot oil until crispy, and usually accompanies rice  and stir fried vegetables. It actually increases the appetite!).

At first, I thought well, this won't be too bad a holiday after all. I get the beach to myself, it was nice and quiet which was perfect for me to finish the three books I had with me. But barely an hour had passed, and I was still stuck on the same page on Chapter 4 of my Anne Rice novel, choosing instead to be distracted by the "wildlife" that were running around some ten feet away from my room - the lizards, the odd cow and goat that were 'passing through' and the increasingly hot weather didn't provide the impetus for me to get out and explore the beach that I supposedly had all to myself! But I couldn't just sit in my room all day, could I? So what else was there to do once I was done with my exploration? The road behind the beach wasn't exactly bustling with tourist shops or even restaurants that I can go to for a nice cold drink.

Somehow, this pic of the sunrise just didn't come out right!
It would take a mile-long walk before I would come across other human beings, aside from Yan, the owner, and the only other guests (who seemed shy, as they were couped up in their room as well!) at the inn. What was I thinking??? Sure, I could do the solo travelling thing, but what I could NOT do was be cut off from civilisation, even if it was for a few hours.

Sure, I could always get to know the owner and how he decided to open up a bunch of chalets near a beach (but I pretty much know his history, and that of his family, who actually co-owned the establishment), but he was almost always never around, as he would jump in his car and drive back into civilisation, then only return to check that his guests hadn't run off without paying for their lodgings twice in a day! Plus, he's not my type.

The slightly cleaner section of Penarik Inn's beach side, which literaly to my left when I walked out from my chalet.

The increased number of visitors into my room (read: ants and tiny spiders)  were enough reason for me to pack up and check out earlier than planned. Yup, that's exactly what I did, after confirming my change of flight and calling up the taxi driver that sent me here the night before, I was determined to get out of there.

As I got ready to check out and leave, I finally walked out to the beach. As I got closer, I noticed that I would have to jump about a storey high to get to it! There was a weird level of sand that didn't quite flattened out as you made your way to the sea. So I turned right and started walking downward so I could get my feet wet in the sea when I noticed driftwood and broken bottles scattered over about a 300-meter stretch, which was when I just decided to not make the effort. Years ago, you could just lay a towel anywhere on the beach and get a suntan... today, you'd probably need to walk a few blocks just to look for a spot that was clean enough or at least safe enough to walk on without sandals. I only stayed there for ten minutes, then made my way back to my room.

At noon, I checked out and said goodbye to Yan, and promised him I'd return next time (I hope). As I got into the cab and we drove away, I couldn't help but wonder if I had not visited Penarik Beach, maybe I'd still be romanticising on its beauty and golden sandy stretch of beach. But then again, at least I had fed my wanton desire for wanting to experience it first hand and knowing, to some extent, its present condition. Of course, all is not lost, as I'm pretty sure that there are miles of Penarik beach's long stretch of golden sands which are still in pristine condition, and I have to do is look for it the next time I visit.

So I said goodbye to Terengganu and flew back home on Friday evening, then headed to a local hotel in Petaling Jaya, my hometown, to enjoy the rest of my short holiday. I must remember to have a Plan B the next time I travel solo (Bali in July!).

arlene0725 says:
Bummer about this trip. Don't worry, I booked a 3 nights trip to Kachanaburi (Bridge of River Kwai) and I only lasted one night. The accomodation was this floating straw house & has NO electricity. I was scared to death hearing all the crickets & frogs while sleeping. Bali should be amazing!
Posted on: Apr 25, 2008
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My room, or chalet at Penarik Inn.
My room, or chalet at Penarik Inn.
I walked about 50 meters to my rig…
I walked about 50 meters to my ri…
Somehow, this pic of the sunrise j…
Somehow, this pic of the sunrise …
The slightly cleaner section of Pe…
The slightly cleaner section of P…
310 km (193 miles) traveled
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photo by: Jopin