Another entry from the 27th, but this time an altogether more realistic time of day than 1.30am.
After drifting off to dust filled scent of the fan I slept through until about 10.30am, waking up to a nice powerful shower that helped wake me up, but antangonised my poor blistered sunburn. Another couple were in the hostel/homestay when I got up, Terry and Sue, from London but now pretty much living in Australia: they were in Penang to make sure they didn't lapse on their tourist visas. They gave me some advice about Penang, told me to watch my bag and the motorcyclists, and that Georgetown was busier than London.
Breakfast was toast, foul cereal, and Milo accompanied by coughing and sneezing: I did manage to find my Ibuprofen and antiseptic lozenges this morning though, so at least they should help combat the latter.
I set off the Penang's Butterfly Farm at noon, catching a bus down to one stop and then being told to get out and change to do the 1km ride to the farm, as the buses don't have change this cost me an extra 2MYR for a distance I could have walked if I'd known the way, and in fact did walk on the way back because no buses came. After the blisters from my flip-flops, my bright white New Look plimsolls made their first appearance, which made me very careful about where I put my feet so as to keep them that way for as long as possible.
The Butterfly Farm was pretty cool, lots of butterflies just flying around and landing on flowers as they got their nectar fixes, I even managed to get a few close-up pictures as they're now quite tame. The frequent spraying of the plants made for a sweaty walk around the farm though, and I had to keep dodging into the exhibit halls to try and cool down a little. There were some iguanas and scorpions in the farm too, although I walked past the latter rather hastily. After buying a couple of souvenirs, including the elusive foldaway Malay hat that I've been coveting since seeing it Kota Kinabalu, I waited at the bus stop for the non-existent bus to arrive, even turning down a taxi ride from someone who didn't appear to have a license. The walk wasn't too bad, just a little uncomfortable for my still aching feet, and I made it to the second bus stop where I caught a bus up to the Spice Garden.
As I walked into the Spice Garden they sprayed me with Citronella to keep any insects away, but this pretty much burned my skin as it sunk it, which, along with sweat, didn't make for the most comfortable walk. It wasn't like I imagined in there, as it wasn't anything like the Spice tour on Zanzibar: no tasters, guides, or interesting explanations about the spices. After managing to still get attacked by huge insects I opted out of the Garden, apparently missing a cool cafe at the top where they serve drinks in Pineapples. Alas, I'd had enough and took yet another bus up to the Golden Sands hotel at the bottom of my road. A walk to the pharmacy for insect repellant that didn't contain DEET for some legal reasons, and to the Seven Eleven for noodles led me back to the hostel.
Annie and Raj, the owners, appeared soon after and I quickly settled my bill with them after not having time to this morning. I'd underestimated my spending when drawing out cash earlier today, and somehow now only have 17MYR to last until Moday evening. As that's less than three pounds fifty I think I'll have to visit the ATM again, even though Nationwide are annoyingly charging me a quid for each withdrawal.
Dinner was noodles that I cooked incorrectly, used the microwave instead of the hob, and some mini bananas that I think are only really meant for breakfast. This was followed by wincing as I realised my sunburn blisters have burst, and surprise as I received a text from Doug saying he'd woken up to snow! Talk of Christmas followed this relay, and of course homesickness set in a little, so I've been trying to set up my Skype account, now all I need is a microphone. The lack of a microphone on this computer means that Mum and Dad are going to get an empty answerphone message today - sorry!