So as I said in the last blog it was onto the Perhentian Islands which are lovely little things just off the north west coast of Malaysia, there are only two inhabited ones and we went for Perhentian Kecil (small island).
It was a fairly harrowing speedboat journey to the island as the driver gave it the full gun across choppy water and with each wave the tiny speedboat was launched several feet into the air. About half the passengers loved it and laughed for the entire journey; those that didn't sat with grim faced determination - all except Rhiannon on whom you could see the fear etched onto her face every time we took off followed by the pain and panic when we landed. If ever there was a face that shouldn't play poker it's Rhiannons!
Still, we got there in one piece and eventually found somewhere decent to stay in the Coral Bay area. The weather was hot and sunny, the beach is a kind of whitey gold and the sea was the clearest either of us have ever seen, honestly the visability when you are in there is amazing, you can see for miles. It looks like your picture postcard beach location.
We didn't do too much in the first day or so as Rhiannon's rash was coming up nastily on her arm and she was quite rightly afraid that if she went outside people would run away from her shouting "unclean, unclean". Rhiannon was actually quite worried about the rash and with the dubious help of the Lonely Planet medical section she managed to diagnose the rash at various times as dengue fever, measles, some kind of larve that gets under the skin or that her arm was about to fall off. Fortunately it turned out to be just an allergic reaction, probably to tea leaves or the damp of the bed we had in the Cameron Highlands, and it soon wore off. Still, close shave there!
We were only going to spend four days on the islands but ended up spending nine! That makes us feel quite guilty considering we are supposed to be travelling, but we are managing to get over it. The place is just so relaxing that it is hard enough to motivate yourself to move from the sand to the sea never mind off the island. Sadly we didn't manage to see any of the land based nasties that live on the island such as six foot monitor lizards and big old snakes; there was an eagle though that liked to land on the beach around 5ish every evening, scattering sunbathers with a glare and a flap of the wings.
Eventually though we summoned up some energy from somewhere and went on a days snorkelling trip which I think is one of the best things we've done since coming away (Rhiannon thought it was good but not that good). Obviously it was a day snorkelling in the warm, clear blue waters around the island and we saw loads of coral, fish of all colours including tiny little Clown Fish, or Nemos to the rest of us (they are tiny, it's amazing he was ever found). We saw stingrays, barracuda, pointy headed fish and swam alongside giant turtles which was absolutely amazing. Nothing though quite prepares you for the feeling you get in your stomach when you spot that tell-tale dorsal fin and a two metre shark swims ten feet below your dangling legs. Don't worry though they were harmless black tipped reef sharks and we expected them to be there, (we were at Shark Point), but it takes an effort to remind yourself of that when they are coming right for you.
That was it really, we worked on our tans and read a lot of books, quite boring to read about but very good to do. Rhiannon summed it up well when saying that before we came here she was quite looking forward to being back home, but after a week on the island she felt she could happily put that off for a while. Sadly, only three weeks to go now of our travels and the real world is starting to break into our protective 'travellers' armour, but don't worry we will make the most of it!