Adventures of Jacqui and Paul
The bus to the Perhentian Islands was horrible, let's just leave it at that. The speedboat over to the islands from the mainland was much more fun, as the driver was going way too fast and the boat was bouncing all over the place. We transferred onto another, smaller boat in the middle of one of the bays and that took us to our "resort", which had a bay to itself. There wasn't much to the place at first glance, just a few beach huts around a bigger hut that served as the restaurant, and because I'm into pre-judging, I wasn't impressed (in my defence the place looked like it was falling apart). It didn't take me long to change my mind though. The snorkeling trip we did on our first day was really good. There was only four of us and we jumped on "Bubbles 1" or whatever the boat was called, and were taken to a few spots where the reef was most lively. We also went on a turtle hunt, which was both great and kind of bad, as although we found a few massive turtles (I wasn't expecting them to be as huge as they were), once other people realised what we were looking at every boat in the area descended upon the poor thing and twenty more people dived into the water at once, trying to touch it. We were later told that this can actually kill them, as they get scared, go deeper and sometimes drown, but it didn't take a genius to work that out. People's stupidity continues to amaze me on our travels. Anyway, we were allowed to keep hold of our snorkeling equipment and use it at the resorts beach, which had an amazing reef which was also private, and in the afternoon we managed to see a few smallish reef sharks but no more turtles. That evening I decided the room wasn't so bad, although there was no hot water, a major ant infestation in the sink and I became reasonably convinced that there was a family of large animals living in our roof. The only difference between our first and second days was that on our second day we played Malaysian edition monopoly for two hours. No one won, despite Jacqui's underhanded, black market tactics and rigged dice throwing (her excuse was that she "was the bank", which just sounds like an admission of guilt to me). Actually there was one more major difference, as during the night we watched a huge turtle lay her eggs on the beach. The beach itself is protected so the turtles can lay their eggs there safely, and the hotel employs a fair few volunteers (mostly English for some reason) to keep a look out for them at night. Anyway, it was an amazing sight for about half an hour, after which it got kind of boring so I went to bed. It wasn't until our third day beaching it up that we managed to find a few turtles swimming around our bay. We also found a few jellyfish washed up on the beach, but luckily none seemed to be swimming about. The weather was fantastic, as it had been on each of our previous days here, and I think it was that which compelled me to crack the secret of stone skimming. I managed 10, which Jacqui will objectively verify, but struggled to reach similar highs after that. The Perhentians turned out to be a great place to go to relax (which we reaaaally needed after all our long months of manual labour) and was well worth the visit. Unfortunately our stay was tainted somewhat by a stupid couple of tried to hijack our boat back to the mainland as they'd been too stupid to book their own. We'd arranged to share a taxi to the airport with a couple of other people which was picking us up from the jetty on the mainland, but while we were waiting for them this idiot woman thought it'd be fun to spontaneously go crazy and shout at the boatman to leave without them or they'd miss their flight. It turned out that she'd just assumed they had a boat booked without actually engaging in the act of booking, so when one didn't turn up in the morning she panicked and tried to steal ours. It was explained to her that this was not what was going to happen, she responded by having some kind of fit and then sulking like a brat, but in the end she didn't get her way. Nice. I hope the gremlin missed her plane.