Last day in Perhentian Kecil

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original text:

I was wrong when I arrived at Perhentian Kecil, to underestimate the power of attraction and seductive power of this tiny island ...

Latest dives at Perhentian Islands

I planned to stay here for about a week or less, and it's been almost ten days since I was scotche Long Beach !

My only concerns, Perhentian Kecil, are the choice of the swimsuit that I will put for the day, or that of the restaurant for the evening. Real holidays for the spirit!

Long beach

I feel I could easily spend the whole month here without even realizing it. In short, it is high time to leave if I want to enjoy a little bit of the island of Tioman, my next step!

On the diving side, visibility has improved significantly since the beginning of the week. I redid the site of Sugar Wreck, with great pleasure. The wreck is huge and hosts an incredible fauna and flora.

I dive one last time, Saturday, at the apt named Temple of the Sea... Since my arrival, not a day without bubbles or small fish.

Boxfish. Perhentian, Malaysia.

Above, a fish-chest, not easy to immortalize. I had to go back to it more than once before getting a neat picture!

A lionfish or lion-fish in English, bright red.

Obviously, this Sunday, I feel a little sad to leave, to leave already the few friends that I made myself these days.

In addition to Liesbeth, of whom I have already spoken and with whom I get along particularly well (between girls in mop, we really understand each other), I sympathized with a Dutch couple, Edwin and Monique, whose caustic humor like a lot, and who were most of the time in my palanquée. They intend to go to Tioman then. Maybe I'll see them there again?

At the Jerteh bus station

I booked a seat on a night bus, which should take me to Mersing, port of shipment for Tioman, all the way south of the Malaysian peninsula. I take the last boat, the one of 16 h. Then a taxi that leads me to Jerteh, city that does not appear in any of my tour guides, where is the bus station.

As always, near bus and train stations in Asia, there are night food stalls, small open-air restaurants that open in the evenings and serve local, on-site or take-away dishes. It's usually very good.

Animated and colorful show, which allows me to kill time and restore me, since I have many hours to wait before the arrival of my bus, at 22:30.

Night-food stall in Jerteh. Malaysia.
In front of the Jerteh bus station, before the rain ...

After gobbling up a nasi goreng finally very average and not very rich at a rickety table, I decided to test a restaurant "hard", just in front.

I order a roti canai, this kind of crepe typical of Malaysia, which is eaten with the fingers, and dipped in small pieces in the bowl of sauce, usually a curry well spiced, served with. Excellent. One of the best I have ever eaten. And the little family that runs the restaurant is nice like anything.

I am asked where I come from, of course. If I'm going to watch the final tonight. No, since I will be in my night bus. And how long have I been in Malaysia? Am I going to stay long? Traveling alone? Etc. etc.

I answer the now ritual litany of questions with pleasure. The girl who serves me is very pretty under her headscarf. Every time our eyes meet, she gives me a big bright smile.

I was well inspired to take refuge in this restaurant. A thundering storm suddenly falls on the night food stalls. It's a shambles ... In the pouring rain, everyone stacks up his chairs and tables, covers his stall with tarpaulins that fly away and sank already, full of water.

It thunders violently, dazzling flashes tear the dark sky and the restaurant is filled with laughing and soaked people. It will last two more hours. The rain is redoubling, it's a real deluge.

The night fell on Jerteh, and the rain too ... Malaysia.
The night fell on Jerteh, and the rain too ... Malaysia.

Around 22h, it is still raining. I resign myself to take my rain cape out of the bag, under the amused eye of the girl of the restaurant. I pay and thank, then I go back to the bus station, on the other side of the square.

The bus that never arrives

This time it's "the bus that never arrives". At this hour, I am the only Westerner among the crowd of travelers waiting for their bus. Many families with children, young couples, young women all alone, some old ladies very worthy, and, in front of me, three shy teenagers who hardly dare to look at me, but who pat with the same frenzy as me SMS on their mobile ...

Lots of buses arrive and leave, loaded with new passengers, for cities that are not Mersing. My ticket in hand, I read with anxiety the destinations displayed in the front, through the rain curtain ... It is already 23 pm. Would I miss my bus?

A bearded grandfather with his girdled sarong girdles, seeing my face tense, comes to me and reassures me in English: " Do not worry ! Bus is late, because of the rain. Do not worry… " I thank him for a "Terima kasih" warm and continues to wait.

He was right, grandpa. My bus arrived, 50 minutes late ... Whew!

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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