Back on the road
26.08.2012 - 31.08.2012 30 °C
Tioman to Mersing to Singapore to Kota Kinabalu
We had left the lovely Tioman Island to make our way to Mersing which was a nightmare of a journey. A recommendation is to book your boat and bus tickets on the island, a lesson which we had learnt in Perhentian Island. The bus only had a few tickets left which meant we were tied to only one departure time....meaning we had to get the 6am ferry. We were advised the ferry may be a little late but we certainly didn't expect it to arrive at 830! We were just sat on the jetty all that time, no toilets, no cafe, nothing but a few cats craving attention and a view of the fish in the water.
Relieved we might be on our way but concerned we may now miss our 1130 bus , given the boat is a 2 hr journey, we thought we would have an hour spare.....wrong! Being first on we found the best seats and being plenty of room took up extra seats laying across them with our super fleece blankets (one of our best buys!) as they wack the air con on to freeze you and tried to drift off to sleep. I felt a tap on my toes with a girl telling me we had to get off the boat-we hadn't even been sailing half an hour. We got off to be transferred onto a jam packed boat, now we were last on.....so not many seats. They played a movie and luckily I had sat infront of me the tallest man with the biggest head.....as per usual ....so I wasn't surprised at all. We didn't leave for another hour which meant we arrived at Mersing at 1120hrs so we had ten minutes to get to the bus stop. In Asia time is irrelevant, ten minutes can be an hour, or a fifteen minute walk is actually only two minutes so fortunately for us the bus didn't come at 1130 it came about 1215 so we made it to Singapore after an immigration nightmare of exiting Malaysia. We had to change bus about four times!
Singapore.....I like this place, it's clean has a good transport package and the food in Little India is awesome. We were craving something different and being vegetarian have had the benefit of a tofu based dish which has the texture of meat....so why don't we eat meat?...well that's a different subject but you know we too like to have a good chew on something instead of veg so when we found Gokuv, a restaurant chain, we had fake chicken tikka, fake buttered chicken masala and deep fried paneer .....we were in heaven.....the best food ever!
There is so much to do in Singapore and a brilliant place to shop. I had to visit the doctor, a chinese surgery, to get some medication which I was running low on and they charged me £50 for two minutes and a months worth of tablets! I asked if he could give me more to see me to the end of the trip and he just laughed and told me to come back when they had run out....yeah right...another £50 from the Mat zali! I know the medication is dirt cheap.....so I was way overcharged considering in Langkawi I could see the doctor and get medication for £3.
The last time we were in Singapore airport we missed our flight and it wasn't going to happen again. Arriving in Kota Kinabalu we were using this as a stop over before our flight to Sandakan. We stayed in the Crown Borneo Hotel...for a bit of luxury, it wasn't too bad. We had a laugh with the sink which was more like a bath tub! The best bit was the TV! We spent far too long led in bed just watching film after film, drinking complimentary tea and coffee only to get up to eat the breakfast. We went out the following day to explore and it was like many other towns, lots of shop and restaurants. We stopped to see the harbour and it was soo hot we had two sprites..... 40 ringgit later.......shocking.....don't eat or drink at the jetty! A can of sprite in the shop is 2 ringgit at the most so you can see what a farce this was!
We decided to watch a film and went to see the remake of Jurassic Park, I think it was called the Dinosaur project. You actually book a seat....like a plane....the chairs were really comfortable. The best experience ever though as there were a few jumpy moments....although I'd say it was a very mild film....but the locals gasping and screaming really tickled me. The guy sat next to me had his knees upto his chest and was biting his fingernails and occasionally hiding his face.....ha ha ha. Brilliant.....there's innocence for you....such wonderful people.
The backpack feels like its getting heavier although I really don't have many clothes in there now. I'm down to a tacky pair of flip flops, a pair of proper decent walking shoes that I never seem to wear because they look square...lol....and a pair of trainers I don't wear because it's too hot! Clothing wise....I now have 5 dresses, 2 of which I don't wear, 3 pairs of shorts, 4 sleeveless tops, 2 t shirts, 1 jeans, 1 hoody and 2 3/4 length shorts...which I don't tend to wear and a waterproof. I've got a fleecy blanket that has been my best buy and I use it all the time on buses, planes and boats and a sarong/scarf affectionately called Geta....named after the lady in India that sold it to me....Chloe has a Geta as well. We have given away so much stuff and now it's quite easy for me to detach my self from the material things.
The worst thing is for Chloe....lugging around the guitar we bought in New Zealand! She thought she would have time to learn it but has come to a stand still with too many questions about learning and the books don't help very much.
The mosquito scars are healing up better now from Laos but still look like bullet wounds, I don't think they are going to get any better so might have to see a professional about these scars when I get back as they look awful....luckily they are only on one leg and not on my face!
I've never drank so much water in my life than on is trip, at the moment I'm going though 3 to 4 litres a day and that's just water.....thats goto be good for the body!