I'm diiiiiving in the rain

Perhentian Besar Travel Blog

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I have stepped into a postcard. The perhentians are absolutely beautiful; the crystal blue water, the white sand, the blue skies, the palm trees.... It's all here! Unfortunately the postcard got somewhat soggy today as we've had a bit of a rainstorm. And sod's law that had to be on the day I had free to do some diving didn't it? Yesterday we went snorkelling, which was clear and beautiful. We saw a turtle, a stingray, some reef sharks and plenty of parrot fish, angel fish etc. Lovely! But today, out we went on the dive boat and jumped into a murky, 4m of visibility, soup. We still saw some elusive emperor angelfish, a yellow boxfish, fusiliers, mullet etc but only because we got close to them and inbetween some pretty tough swimming. So not quite the relaxing tropical adventure I had planned! It's all good diving experience though and the people I dived with were lovely, I'm going there to have a couple of beers with them later. There was a brummy chap called Dave diving and turns out he's been to Borneo so I got some good tips from him and have now added Turtle Island (where they come up to lay eggs and you see the little ones released), the proboscis monkey sanctuary and Poring Hot Springs to my itinerary. Not that I've asked Jesse yet but I'm pretty sure she won't be able to resist monkeys and baby turtles. Who could?!

Apart from some prolific reading in a hammock and a bit of eating that's all I've really done here in the Perhentians, which has been rather nice. I've had my own room while I've been here so that's also been good. My group are all pleasant enough but I like to have my own space. Taman Negara was a little disappointing. I mean the rainforest is as you expect a rainforest to be but it was so tall and dense we barely saw any wildlife. Bar the thousands of leaches wriggling after our ankles that is.... I was lucky enough not to get bitten but I was in the minority, most people had blood running from their leg or ankle somewhere. Our guide Joanna even had a couple on her back....how she managed that I don't know. Might have had something to do with the ones which were being flicked off other peoples shoes. Or leaches have evolved the power of flight, who knows.

So there's now extra pressure on Borneo to deliver the wildlife, as I'd be seriously disappointed to leave Malaysia without having seen much of the very reason I picked it as a destination. I've seen more in the less obvious places; the tree outside my window which is full of nectar-eating birds (look like humming birds but don't hover), the monitor lizard I saw on the grass and the ferret which hangs about on the beach (OK, its someones pet, but I still enjoyed watching it). One thing I haven't figured out yet is Malaysian food, I mean apart from being famous for its diversity, which it has. I'm not entirely sure what traditional Malay food IS, we've had a couple of regional things like rice balls with chilli sauce in Melaka but most menues just seem to have chicken/beef/prawn/squid in either garlic butter/sweet&sour/ginger etc. I haven't even seen any of the satay which I was looking forward to. Closest I've got to a satay sauce is the peanut butter I had on my toast this morning! Oh well, Nick will arrive in a couple of weeks and I'm sure he'll eat enough to figure it out.

Anyhoo, this internet is extortionate and now the rain is stopped I'm off for a swim, the sea is as warm as a bath!

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Perhentian Besar
photo by: alexchan