The next day we cleaned up the flat and finished packing up before setting off to catch our flight back to KL and then on to Kota Bharu. Unfortunately our flight was delayed and we spent several hours wandering the rather small airport before they transferred us to an earlier flight else we would have missed our connection. Finally we made it to Kota Bharu (and thankfully so had our luggage) and caught a taxi to our hotel in the 'Business District'.
Crystal lodge is an interesting hotel. Its website, written in poems says:
Crystal Lodge endeavours to please,
To make you savour a life of ease;
To your demands we're ever alert,
Without your having to pawn your shirt.
We do not boast of chandeliers
Or crow like crusty chanticleers
Of thick-pile carpets and tapestries
Or other gimmicks such as these.
Prepared for the friendliness and humour portrayed on its website it was a slight anticlimax when we arrived. After some 'communicating' with the staff we managed to get two rooms on the same floor that were described as 'superior', although they were anything but. The parent's room did manage a window however Kerry and I had a view out onto the neighbouring corridor and so kept the curtains firmly shut. It did however have its quirks: if you climbed to the top floor there was a rooftop terrace with impressive views over the area and the fridge in each room was a welcome addition.
We explored the town to find somewhere for dinner, and ended up walking around for a couple of hours not particularly impressed with anywhere we found. The town was quiet and mainly businesses so not too exciting for us as tourists. Settling on an local restaurant we had passed early on which had looked pretty busy, we returned and were taken upstairs, which was empty. The food was good but by the time we left the downstairs was deserted and we hurried home though the uncomfortable streets.
We slept well, until some porter came knocking on our door at an unearthly hour of the morning. Behind him stood Dad looking confused and angry. For some reason they had thought the parent's room had wanted an early wakeup-call (and I mean early) and then Dad had asked if the porter had woken us and since not getting a straight answer had given us a knock to see if we had been disturbed. Of course that got us up and no-one was really any the wiser about what was happening. When morning actually came we packed up and got a taxi onwards to the jetty at Kuala Besut.
Here we organised our tickets for the boat and to enter the national park and waited for our transfer to Perhentian Besar (the larger of the two islands).