We have been in Singapore for over 5 months now. Wow!
For no reason in particular we have been putting off visiting Malaysia. Even though it is nearby (with an hour depending on the mode of transportation), we just haven’t visited yet. Perhaps “putting off” is too strong of a phrase. Instead, let us just say that de-pinking our apartment and adjusting to Singapore have been higher up on our to-do list. And the nearby country has had to wait its turn.
Well, since we’ve waited so long… we decided to finally travel to Malaysia during my brother & sister-in-law’s visit with us. We wasted no time in going to our destination once they arrived. Andrew picked up Jehiah & Selam early Saturday morning and they arrived at our no-longer-pink apartment by 7:30am. Within 2 hours we were off again, this time on our way to Malaysia! We felt bad to be dragging our jet-lagged relatives with us and prolonging their travel so immediately after their arrival. But the thought of ending our/their travels at a calm beach with nothing to do for 2 days spurred us on.
We traveled by taxi to a carpark. Then from the carpark we took a van (chartered by the resort we were headed to) into Malaysia. My goodness – our driver must have had desensitized nerves in his rear! The combination of a driver that liked to accelerate-coast-repeat, hills, a bumpy road, and ruts made for one of the bumpiest 3-hour van rides ever! The upside of our bumpy ride was that we were able to view miles and miles and miles of lush greenery.
Our van driver dropped us off at a marina where we caught a boat (again, chartered by the resort) to take us over the water to our island destination.
Though the water wasn’t that calm, we were all convinced that the boat ride was certainly smoother than our van ride.
A simple 20 minute ride filled with life jackets, laughs and ocean sprays brought us to our island.
We slowly pulled into the beach to avoid hitting the coral with the boat. Some of the resort staff came out to greet us and carry our luggage ashore. The friendly staff was accompanied by a happy site of relaxing huts situated on a beautiful beach.
Andrew and I had a fantastic hut, complete with a mosquito net (thank goodness) and a waterfront view. The chalet was the perfect blend of rustic and clean.
Jehiah & Selam were in the neighboring hut: far enough away to enjoy their jet-lag privately, but close enough for us to hear Selam yelp when she felt the cold water from the shower.
After a fantastic lunch, we decided to take it easy and explore the shore line together.
A dog from the resort scampered right up the rocks faster than we could in our flip flops. He seemed quite at home enjoying our company as if he had planned the excursion.
As we were on our way back from our adventure on the rocks, we came across a fellow guest who was shooting a string/wire device into a tree to knock coconuts down. He noticed our fascination with his motions and invited us to join him in opening up the coconuts. We followed him with wide, captivated eyes and hands filled with heavy coconuts. He showed us how to use a stake in the ground to crack the shell and the shuck the outer layer.
With his help we were able to bring back two coconuts, one fresh and one older – both delicious – for a refreshing treat.
After taking a much needed break we looked outside our chalets to realize that the tide had gone out.
We scampered along the previously submerged rocks and discovered all sorts of choral and weird blob like creatures.
Finally the trip caught up with the weary travelers. All of us took a nap before dinner. It was time to rest our bones that had been through flights (for J & S), walks, taxis, vans, and boats. As we walked back to our chalets in the dark after dinner it was easily decided that an early bed-time was required. We ended our day with a new experience: sleeping under mosquito netting for the first time 🙂