Rachel & Darryl's round the world in 90 days!
How slow are we getting these blogs on hey!!Anyway here's the Kuala Kangsar blog. Although I say Kuala Kangsar, this is the nearest major town to where we stayed - Sukasuka Island. Now, pinpointing exactly where we stayed is a little more difficult as the Island doesn't officially exist, according to local surveys. When the area was surveyed many years ago there was apparently a miscalculation with the heights of the surrounding mountains and also the water level so the Island is believed to be under water. It definitely exists and we are very proud to say we were there as we had a fantastic few days there and there is so much to write about. Our hosts, Aziz and his Wife Asiah moved to the Island 12 years ago they are the sole inhabitants along with their son Azam who is almost 4. They were the perfect hosts in all aspects, courteously providing us with great hospitality, entertainment, adventure, tradition, culture and also fantastic food...really good traditional Malaysian food carefully prepared by Asiah made with many fantastic ingredients and all containing chilli in one way or another. I have a long list of all the food and ingredients including Rotichani - pancakes, Pajri - pineapple curry, Samble Udang - very hot chilli shrimp. Too many to write. You'll just have to trust me on it. For one of the evening dinners we ate as in true Muslim tradition. This meant wearing Sarongs...yep even the guys (see photos), sitting on the floor around the feast and in true Malaysian style, without using cutlery - only our right hands. Try tearing a pancake and scooping up rice with one hand...tricky. And messy!Along with Aziz and his family, the Island is also inhabited with Water Buffalo and Gibbons (amongst other things) that sometimes make an appearance and eat the plants. The surrounding land on the other side of the lake is also home to elephants! There was of course also lots of Gekko’s. As Aziz told his stories and experiences, the Gekko’s would make their unmistakable call. It sounds a bit like a squeaker on a puppet or something and sounds a bit like ‘gek-ko’. There is an old Malaysian saying that goes “The Gecko never lie”. So every time it made its call, Aziz would say “see, I am telling the truth”. Whilst staying on the Island we stayed in wooden huts consisting of a bed, a mosquito net and floor boards with gaps large enough to see the outside ground below. This didn't go down too well with Rachel as it was completely open to any insects especially spiders who may wish too also spend the night in the huts. The nights were really, really hot. Although the beds were comfy enough it was difficult to sleep. All part of the experience. During the stay we Kayaked around the Island, played Chongkak (an addictive Malaysian game that involves a board and marbles where the objective is to ‘burn’ the opponents villages by collecting their marbles), we were treated to many entertaining stories from Aziz of his time on the island and we took a trip to tour a nearby Island. The tour was fantastic. We were shown many naturally growing plants and fruits used for cooking, medicine and remedies including coarse ginger, curry leaf, tapioca, lemongrass and the cats whiskers plant of which the leaves are used in tea for arthritis and high blood pressure. The Memosa plants (shy lady) leaves bend down and close up when they are touched and so are a good tool for tracking people or animals that have recently passed by. We also came across some cotton trees containing pods of densely packed cotton. We also found elephant and Hog tracks and Aziz told us how Tigers still live in the surrounding area. We trekked our way through forests, over rocks, under trees, through bushes and through streams (trying to avoid leeches – unsuccessfully for some), to a picturesque waterfall and lagoon where we all went for a well deserved and very refreshing swim. The people of the Island are all very close and all work hard growing plants and tapping rubber from the rubber trees for income. Some work in nearby towns and the children go to school via canoe.Anyway I said there was lots to say so I better stop now. No wonder we’re behind on these blogs! I have 22 pages on the 3 days there in my Journal so we’ll tell you all about it when we get back. Basically we had a great time on the Island and I highly recommend it to anyone.Don’t forget to check out the pics and look out for the next blog about Penang. I promise it’ll be shorter.Darryl & Rachel x