Cherating - 28th - 30th July
Next stop was Cherating. After a long day travelling we eventually arrived in Cherating at 5pm. We ended up staying 3 nights, it would've been longer but all will become clearer why it was only 3 nights soon!
The best thing about Cherating was our last night when we went Turtle watching. The turtles come up onto the beach between April and September to lay their eggs, this is known as a landing. There is no guarantee you will see any, you ahve to go along to the Turtle Sanctuary and wait for the rangers to radio in that they have spotted them. We waited 3 hours but none were spotted, Iwas gutted as we were meant to have gone the night before but cancelled as my warm clothes were in the laundry and they had seen a landing that night!
Anyway as we got there, they brought over a batch of turtles that had only hatched an hour ago. They were so cute and adorable and were scambling all over each other. There were about 60 of them and we were allowed to hold them. I desperatley wanted to keep one!
Our guide explained that the female green turtle lays between 70 - 140 eggs in each landing and lays 1000 in one season. They know which sex the female wants each time she makes a landing from where she lays her eggs. If she lays them under a tree she ants male and if she wants femle she lays them in the sand. This is because it takes 40 - 60 days for the eggs to hatch. 40 days for female and 50+ for male. If she lays them under a tree in the shade they will take longer to hatch and therefore more likely to be males.
The rangers at the sanctuary have to vigilant as local communities still raid the nests to eat the eggs as they are a local delicacy. They are very clever at disgusing the tracks of a turtle landing and therefore the sanctuary was started to try and protect all turtles. The leather back is very rare now and they have not had a landing from one since 1991. The guide also explained that for every 1000 baby turtles released only one would survive.
We were then all asked to take 2 turtles each, name them and then we released them into the sea. I named mine after my grandparents and Si named his after Mike and Dom. We also held a 10 month old gorgeous green turtle that the sanctuary has not released.
That was the only highlight of Cherating as our accomodation was absolutely appalling. It was so appalling that Si ended up taking photos, it wasn't cheap either. We had had a look at all different bungalows but they were all awful so ended up settling for a room with a/c and a bathroom - which sounded alright until we moved in.....
The place was teeming with termites and the furniture was disintergrating as a result and we are sure that about 4 new species not known to man were being cultivated and nurtured in the bahtroom. To get to the toilet you ahd to wade through two inches of stagnant water , which just made your skin crawleach time you attempted it. The electrics were hilarious as you will see from the photo, you had to be careful when you attempted a shower (wasn't sure if you were doing yourself a favour by having one!) that you didn't touch anything for fear of being electrocuted.
I think it was our first night I got a whiff of pee, so we both went in search of the culprit that ended up being my pillow! God the place was horrific, so we got out of Cherating as quick as possible. (the reason we didnt check out the very next day was because we had paid up front for 3 nights!)
We did find one bar in Cherating called the Chill and Surf Cafe run by Zack and Naz who were originally from Kuala Lumpur. We ended up there one night and got invited to play a drinking game with cards. I declined the invitation as the forfeit was to down Malaysian tequila...enough said. We had never palyed the game they were palying either but Si decided to give it a shot (excuse the pun)...7 shots later he started to get the hang of it, needless to say he slept soundly that night in our invested room.
We quickly left Cherating the morning of the 31st for the amazing Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city.