Sunday, June 29, 2014

Friday, June 27 – Malacca to Cherating, Malaysia

It was time to move on so we were all up early and Ana delivered the distressing, yet predictable news that Portugal didn’t make it into the second round of World Cup.  Too bad, but like my dad says, they were playing like sausages so didn’t deserve to go any further.  Next team for me to cheer for is the Netherlands – I just love those cloggies.  Ana will probably go for Brazil.  The games are playing on televisions all over the place here, but they are all after the actual games so as long as you don’t watch the news or check internet it’s all fresh and exciting.

We took a taxi to the bus station and soon discovered that all busses heading to our next destination – Cherating – were full.  Lesson learned, book early to avoid disappointment.  But there is always a way, so we bought tickets on a bus to Kuala Lumpur as we were told there were plenty of busses to Cherating from there.  Two hours later we were in the middle of this giant city and quickly learned that the bus terminal we ended up in, though it was the cleanest, newest and most amazing bus terminal I’d ever seen, didn’t have busses to Cherating so we were told to take the underground train system to a different terminal.  So after a few mis-steps we found the right counter, bought tickets and were blasting through KL.  I think this is the part about backpacking that scares some people – not having a well defined plan.  But that really is the whole point of traveling like this, not ever knowing how your day will go, what you will do, or even where you will end up.  If we hadn’t been able to get to Cherating, we would have just found local accommodation in KL and booked an early bus for the next day, and who knows what interesting things we would have found by doing that.  But in this case, we arrived at the terminal, and as it happens there was a bus leaving to Cherating in five minutes so we bought our tickets (about thirty bucks for all four of us for a 3.5 hour trip) and were on our way.  It was a double decker bus so we grabbed the top front seats which gave us an incredible view of the lush countryside as we traveled right across the country to the east coast of Malaysia.

Along the way both Magnus and Ana had a nap while I simply enjoyed the scenery and did a little reading and Stella was just being goofy.  I don’t know exactly where she gets it from (we are thinking Ana’s brother Mark…) but she is such a funny, goofy little girl.  You can’t get her to look normal in a picture, usually she gives you the horse teeth, or squeezes her eyes shut, or does a jumping jack just as you take the picture.  I love her so much!

My high class fashionista backpacker wife booked us three nights at the Legend resort in Cherating for about sixty-five bucks a night.  It looked exactly like an all inclusive resort that you would find in the Caribbean, complete with a few hundred rooms, two pools, beach bar, kids play area, loungers, restaurants, and an expansive, pristine beach.  We arrived at about 3:30, got settled in our room then went for a walk around the resort and found ourselves practically alone in the entire resort.  We sat down for lunch and there was no other guests in site, in fact we only saw three others guests the whole time.  Felt a bit spooky actually.  We would find out later that the resort rules seem to be that everybody must nap in the afternoon, because a few hours later there were people everywhere!

After lunch we walked down to the ocean for a swim and I stepped into the warmest ocean water I believe I have ever felt.  Magnus and I strapped on our snorkeling gear, but were cut short when I heard Ana calling for me and carrying Stella back out of the water, crying.  Turns out they both suffered a jellyfish ankle attack just as they had stepped into the water.  Fortunately, after fifteen minutes the stinging stopped and she was fine, so we spent a couple hours in the pool and were happy to see that there are many, many kids staying at the resort so I’m sure the kids will make some friends.

Though I was aiming to stay awake until 9pm, but by 8 I was doing the head bobs while I drank hot tea and watched Animal Planet so was sent to bed.

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