Malaysia - I made it!
September 27, 2005)
Sorry, I thought I wrote this on 20th Sept. I guess it didn't go through
the first time.
Email was very, very slow in Tioman. So read this while I draft the tales
Tioman Island and Taman Negara. Stay tuned...
I made it to Malaysia in one piece. The flight over from Bangkok, Thailand
really fast, as was the ride to Ampang (the town east of Kuala Lampur
contact Cathy, decided to put me up in a hotel for the weekend (to give
time to get over my jet lag) because the same day I arrived her younger
was celebrating her 15th B-day, along with her older sister, 15 of her
(who were spending the night), her dad, three dogs and three kittens.
Talk about a full house. I did go over for the celebration and to have
dinner. I later went back to the hotel and haven’t slept well ever
since (17 Sept).
My body doesn’t want to adjust to this side of the world. It also
didn’t help that
my hotel had a bit of a roach problem and pot scented incense, mixed
with roach spray, that infused the lobby and followed me up to the 10th
roaches just freak me out (sorry Jerome). I had an event the night before
(18/19 Sept) with my little friends... Since my late afternoon nap went
on a little
longer than I had wanted it to go, I popped out of bed at around 11 pm
tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I turned
on the lights to
read a book. Well, to my horror, my tiny visitors had surrounded me. To
right, there was a gathering on my water bottle where the creatures were
enjoying a drink on the condensation on the bottle. To my left, was a
sized creature just sitting on the pillow next to me, just staring at
me. A little
close for comfort for my taste. Let’s just say, I didn't get much
sleep the rest of
the night. Don't worry I got my revenge. I don't think they've figured
out here that
roach spray doesn't kill them, it just sends them away for a while (and
departed yesterday (19 Sept) to Tioman Island from this tiny airport in
middle of nowhere in a town call Subang, west of Kuala Lampur. There was
torrential down pour right before the flight so there was about an hour
stupidly got to the airport two hours before my flight, so the delay was
me. There was nothing to do there. This airport was the original airport
before they built KL Intn'l airport. Now it's barely opened and used for
the military and short flights to Tioman and such. This airport was damn
flight took about an hour and we landed on the landing strip in Tekek
main town on the west side of the island) that literally was in people’s
While I waited for someone to pick me up from my chalet, I was delighted
amused by the bats hanging in the tree behind the "airport".
this dude on a motorbike picked me up and transported me and my things
to the nearby jetty where another dude on a motor boat picked me up and
me north of Tekek to Air Batang. There is only one road on the west coast
runs the length of Tekek. All other transportation is done by boat with
schedules. So my transport to Air Batang was flying over the choppy waters
was sure I was going overboard. He just drops me off at the jetty and
had to find
my way to the chalet for another 5 or 600 meters. It doesn't sound like
a lot but
my bag seemed to be getting heavier with each step that I took (especially
after the night I had). (I'm staying in ABC as recommended by Kristina's
(Thanks!- they serve really good BBQ fish here).
settled in and then went to interrogate the owner about "jungle trekking"
area and if she had seen leeches ('Linta' for freshwater leech and 'Pacat'
jungle leech - pronounced pachat). I got the usual confused look when
about leeches, but the word is that they are not so common in the northern
but more so in the south and southwest. That's where I'm heading next.
went to bed pretty early that night so I was awake by 5:30 am (I know,
that is a
shocker for most of you). I did go to sleep around 10pm. So when the sun
came up I got myself ready, shoved a granola bar down my throat and went
short trek to Panuba Bay, north of Air Batang. It only took about 20 minutes
there, so I went alone.
the way I ran into a family of macaques, and made it through the hilly
trail to the next bay. No problem. NO! leeches though. It was a little
on the dry side
and you could still see the shore from the trail. From Panuba bay you
towards the southern mountains were still with morning cloud cover.
need to get the interior of the forest to find these leeches. I'm surprised
rained more since it's really gloomy and humid here. We'll see how it
goes in the
south. Hopefully I'll get some and hopefully there will be more rain.
I'm here until
Friday and then I go back to Ampang to stay with Cathy.
Saturday we depart for Taman Negara NP on the western side of the peninsula.
There I'll have several bodies to use as bait :)
wish me luck and hopefully the next time I write I will have some good