….and still we wait 21-30/11/10

Posted: December 1, 2010 in 8.Malaysia

We’re getting itchy feet, and not because that persistent fungal infection has flared up again. We are stuck, stuck waiting for our car that is hopefully on a ship making its way to Port Klang, Malaysia. Admittedly there are worse places to while away couple of weeks but still, we are getting to that stage where we just want to carry on with the trip. Man am I whiney, listen to me going on about having to spend a week on a tropical island with nothing to do other than sunbathe and eat just to kill time! Sorry dear reader, I will try and be more sensitive in future blogs – I heard it was –3 in London this week……..haha.

So yes, anyway, we went to the Island of Langkawi last week and spent seven delightfully, ridiculously lazy days doing nothing. And I mean nothing: eat, swim and read pretty much sums up the daily activities for the entire week. I actually think the most active we got was being chased around our hostel (yes, another hostel and £11 a night, bargain) for 10 minutes by a surprisingly large frog with a rather sinister look in his eye.

Langkawi is an island on the Thai border in north east Malaysia. It’s set up to cater entirely to the tourist trade and other than amazing beaches and the odd waterfall there are few sights to see. We did hire a scooter for the day and toured the island but frankly after 5 days on the beach it was all too much effort and we returned early afternoon for the now mandatory 4pm snooze.

The hostel was quite good actually, much better than the £11 a night price tag had lead us to believe. It was the typical back packer joint with far too much tie die, dreadlocks, cut off jeans, and phrases like ‘I really found myself on that beach, you have to go man’ being bandied about for my liking, but I could forgive all that as the beer was only 60p. Needless to say we didn’t talk to anyone but we judged them all harshly.

The week flew by and before we knew it we were back in KL (that’s what us locals call Kuala Lumpur, we’re sooo south east Asia now). We had to return not to pick up the car but to go to the Thai embassy to get a 60 day visa. You can only get 15 day visas at the border so we thought we would save ourselves a lot of bother and sort it all out before we got there. Look at us being pro active! It should have been a fairly straight forward procedure; go there, hand in the form, pay and go back the next day to collect our stamped passports. I won’t bore you with the exact details but what should have been a 20 minute exercise turned into a two and a 1/2 hour slog after we assumed that I had lost our cash to pay for the visa. Not an unfair assumption as I frequently ‘misplace’ cash and other items (I left my laptop on the train the other day). So I had to wonder around for well over an hour in the middle of nowhere in the heat getting very, very sweaty trying to change dollars into ringits, only to return, triumphant I might add, to a sheepish looking Megan who it turned out had the money in her back pocket all along. I haven’t paid for dinner since. (Don’t know how long I can dine out on this though…I’m going to try for the month.)

We left our passports with the Thais and headed off to kill the last few days before the car turned up in the World Heritage town of Malacca where we are at the moment. Getting here involved three trains, a long walk, a bus, a taxi and 4 pints of sweat. How people can back pack around the world for over a year I don’t know. It made us realise just how much freedom a Land Rover gives us. We don’t have to wait for public transport or work out the times of trains and buses, one can just pack up and go whenever ready. Plus, when don’t have your camping stove and can’t cook your own food the daily budget takes a bit of a pounding.

I can’t put any pictures of Harriet the car up this time as we haven’t seen her, a disappointment to all you Land Rover fans I’m sure, but checking the website the ship should be docking today (the 1st) and fingers crossed we get her back by the end of the week. Then begins the inevitable three days trying to get her started. ‘You never know it might actually start first time’ I said. Megan, ever the realist, has still not stopped laughing at that one….

  1. Paul and Cathy says:

    South east asia sounds ‘orrible. All that sitting around doing nothing, but drinking and eating! Very jealous as always!

    Paul and Cath 🙂

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