Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Koopa Troopa Found Holidaying in Malaysia.......

Hopefully that picture will make some of you think of the 1990s game Mario Kart! Kelly allowed me to go and pick up the scooter on my own, which means I get to choose the helmets we have. As soon as she put it on I thought of Koopa Troopa, the little turtle on the go kart!! :-)

Anyway, onto the holiday. We have spent that last few days at a really nice resort in Langkawi. We've just relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine before having to go back to reality (of sorts) when we arrive in Sydney. Job hunting, interviews (hopefully) and then back to the 9-5.......

Yesterday we went to Tanjung Rhu as Kelly liked the water there, unfortunately though we got there at the wrong time and there were a lot of waves, so Kelly did some sunbathing while I messed around doing handstands at varying degrees of water depth.

Later that night we had dinner and then went to a fish spa. For those of you that don't know what that is (I didn't either), it's where lots and lots of little fish eat the dead skin from your feet and ankles. Sounds a bit gross, but it was actually pretty fun! The woman said 'this will tickle, but only for the first couple of minutes'. She was right of course, but what a dreadful two minutes they were. I just put my feet in and tried to think of other things, and after a while it became quite a nice sensation. It feels kind of like having pins and needles in your feet. Kelly on the other hand went slightly insane for the first 5 minutes, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone squeal and giggle so much in my life!! It was really funny to watch her put her feet in the water and then take them out and squeal and then slowly put them back in. I'm not convinced by the benefits they claim about fish therapy, but it's certainly worth doing just for the experience. Here's some pictures we took during it.........

We are going to Singapore in a few hours, so at the moment we're enjoying our last few hours of Langkawi and Malaysia. I'm writing the blog from a sun lounger while giving Kelly instructions of how to get from one side of the pool to the other. So far we've had doggy paddle (very funny facial expressions on that one!), star jumps and backward running.

We have one night in Singapore and a full day, then at 8.30pm tomorrow night (that's 1.30pm your time!) we fly to Sydney. I've got a good friend from Sydney picking me up and we are staying at their house for the first night which I'm really looking forward to. Not seem them for about a year, when they stayed with me for a week in York and Edinburgh. Then on Saturday night we're going to have a night out in Sydney with as many of my friends as I can get together. I'm really looking forward to being in Sydney again, although I think Kelly would rather just lie on the beach for around another year or so! ;-)

Hope you've enjoyed the blogging from Malaysia, we've certainly enjoyed ourselves in Malaysia and met some really cool people.

Talk again soon.


P.S. Thanks for the comment on the last blog Dave, made us laugh! If anyone didn't see it, it's MAYBE worth going to have a look at it, it was mildly amusing for someone from Barnsley!! ;-)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Blog is back..........

Hello friends. Firstly, apologies for the lack of blogging of late, we’ve had a few issues with location, so to speak. So prepare yourself for a pretty long blog as we try to catch you up with what we’ve been doing in the last week or so.

Going back to last weekend…. We met a Scottish couple, Chris and Sam up in Cameron Highlands and have been bumping into them ever since, we got on really well with them and have been out together a few times. They are from Edinburgh as well and we even managed to establish some mutual acquaintances (Natalie!!). On Saturday night we went out for dinner with them and also Di and Mark from our hotel. We went to a lovely little place which served traditional Malaysian food, it was off the beaten track, and there was no way we would have found it without Di’s local knowledge. We drank beer, ate great food and played darts. I’m happy to announce that in true Scottish fashion I won darts against Malaysia. Us Scots are good at games that require limited movement and can be played while drinking beer!! ☺ After that we went to an Irish bar and played doubles pool, which Kelly and I won, although a lot of this was due to the fact that Chris was so drunk he thought he was stripes and was potting our balls for a while!! We then went dancing at the local club called Sunba until the small hours of the morning. Di thought we were all hilarious as most of the locals don’t drink that much, and here were the four of us absolutely hosed!! Sam’s dancing still had Kelly and I talking a week later, she really went for it!! Haha. We were essentially so drunk that we were busting out all sorts of moves, including an excellent running man and the like!! It was a great night but I was suffering for it the next day.

The next day we hired a car and the four of us went around the island. Firstly we went to the cable car, and after a quick bite of the most rancid fast food ever, jumped aboard. It was Horrific!! A thin wire which takes you up 770 meters above sea level. Worst experience I’ve had in a long time. Chris and I hated every minute of getting up there, while Kelly and Sam almost wet themselves laughing at the pair of us. I guess it was pretty funny looking back. We got to the first stop which was about 550m high where there is a look out. I was pretty tempted to walk back down from there, but was persuaded not to. We then got back on the death-cart and went another couple of hundred meters to the top look out. It was a great view from up there, we could see some of the islands in Thailand to one side, and loads of little Malaysian islands on the other. I got a foot massage to calm my nerves…

It was then time to come down the mountain again in the death-cart. I have to say, coming down was actually quite fun, it felt a lot more natural to be coming down than going up, and it was faster which was more enjoyable. Last time you’ll hear me say I got on a cable car on this blog.

We then took a drive to the crocodile farm to see a couple of shows. The first one was some stupid man putting his hand inside a crocs mouth while his mate stood on it like a surfboard. I was kind of hoping to see the man get his arm bitten off, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Boo Hiss!!

Last stop of the day was a lovely beach called Thanjan Rhu. Clear water and white sand beach. We all got in the water (even Kelly!) and enjoyed the warm water and sun on our backs. It was then time to head home, and this is where the fun really started!! There was a big thunderstorm when we got back and all the cats and dogs and Di’s place were huddled round our room, even the dogs from the neighbour’s house. Anyway, somehow or other our room and the one next to it got a tick infestation!! It was pretty gross. I helped Di kill as many of them as possible, we sprayed them, squashed them, burned them, but they kept coming. So I became a pyromaniac and made a little area from used egg cartons (think egg carton that holds about 80 eggs), and Di swept all the ticks into a dustpan and emptied them on the egg cartons. I then set fire to them using a lighter and can of deoderant. Ticks 0 – 1 Men. Di didn’t feel right with us sleeping there anymore, and Kelly looked a bit horrified, so he took us to a hotel down near the beach and we stayed there for a three nights. It was shit. It was called the AB Motel, and it had unfriendly staff, pretty basic rooms and it was noisy. We have come up with a few potential names for this motel based on the initials in it’s name, such as, the absolutely bollocks motel, the always burping motel (based on the member of staff that walked around belching all day) and the amazingly bad motel. Please see vote to your left where you can choose your favourite name for the motel or suggest alternatives (I’m already ruling out the Andy Bowling Motel). It was at this point that we decided that we couldn’t slum it anymore.

After 3 nights and the AB, we packed our things and headed for Koh Lipe. This is a small island in Thailand which took an hour to get to by speedboat. We looked at accommodation and finally settled on one called Castaway. There was the main beach with all the usual backpackers talking about how they wanted to get something for less than 500 Baht per night (£10). But being a bit over the whole crap hotel situation we paid 3,500 (£70) per night to stay in an amazing two-story bungalow with en suite and stairs up to a bedroom which had big double doors and a balcony overlooking the ocean. I counted and it was 17 steps from front door to water!! This was heaven compared to where we had been before. The first day we splashed around in the perfectly clear water, it was like swimming in warm tap water, Kelly even dived under the water which I never thought she would do. We also hired a pedalo and went to a little island across the water which was nice, except when we mashed and mangled millions of years of coral reef due to Kelly’s incredible navigation and steering. The water wasn’t deep and she managed to guide us onto a rock, and then ordered that we pedal backwards where we then got stuck on another rock to the point that we couldn’t move. I had to get out into the water and push the pedalo off the rock and then traipse through coral to get back on board before Kelly left me stranded at sea after I had mocked her steering. I successfully steered us back to the safety of the beach after this!

Later that night we went to bed and I imagined drifting off to sleep listening to the gentle lapping of the ocean on the beach. How wrong I was. It was a pretty rough night with thunder and lightening and the sea crashing against the beach - approximately 17 steps from our front door you may remember!!!! It was around this point that I developed my fairly unhealthy obsession with Tsunami’s which drove Kelly bonkers. It wasn’t helped the next day by the signs all over the 4km island saying ‘Tsunami safety point’. Essentially what they had done is find the highest point on the island, approximately 1 meter above sea level, and pointed a few signs to it. Marvellous.

The next day we wandered into town, and by town I mean a dusty road with shops, cafĂ©’s, massage places and tattoo parlours on each side. We were about 15 minutes into our walk when Kelly managed to get herself run over by a child on a pushbike. I saw it coming as I stepped out the way and Kelly and the kid sort of went left and then right and then met in the middle with a screeching of tires. For all those reading that are worried about Miss Whiddett, you don’t need to be, the only injury she incurred during this “horrific incident” was a slight graze to her left shin.

It wasn’t really a big deal, although she didn’t want to go in the water in case it got infected and she had to have her leg cut off. It just meant we couldn’t go on a snorkelling trip or anything, but that wasn’t really a big deal as we enjoyed just lying in the hammocks on our porch in the sun and reading books etc. It was a really nice few days away.

As a treat for our final day we headed back into town and got a Thai massage. It’s a strange experience as you don’t really get massaged rather pulled and prodded and tangled up into lots of strange positions. The best way I can think to describe it is like Yoga, but some else is moving your body for you. This time we escaped town without any further injuries….

It was Kelly’s birthday yesterday. We woke up to a lovely sunrise from our bed……..

We ate a nice breakfast on our balcony (with candle inserted in Kelly’s Banana pancake for birthday effect), while Kelly opened her birthday presents. Finally, we did some last minute sunbathing and Frisbee playing before we got the speedboat back to Malaysia.

So, we’re back now, staying in a nice resort right on the beach called Beach Garden. We have a lovely big room, swimming pool, sun loungers on the beach (where I write to you from just now) and a great restaurant. We had a really nice dinner last night as a birthday treat, where Kelly was able to wear the new dress I bought her, it included wine and a three course meal with chicken liver pate, brie, roast duck and chocolate mousse. This was a welcome change from chicken and rice/noodles and burgers!! We then went for a walk along the beach to see what was going on at the Langkawi water festival. There was some god awful Malaysian singing, lots of stands selling neon flashing items (one stand included a sleeping baby) and fire jugglers. Although all this was put in the shade by Kelly and I drunkenly Ceilidh dancing down the beach at midnight! Haha. We then got back to our room and heard fireworks going off outside. We ran back out to the beach in our pyjamas and watched the fireworks light up the beach and the water. All in all a good day which we both enjoyed. It’s certainly Kelly’s first birthday spent in two different countries!!

So, I hope that’s not been too long a blog for you. You’re caught up now on what we’ve been doing for the last week or so. The internet here is pretty slow so not sure how many photo’s I’ll have the patience to upload on this blog - we’ll see.

We have 3 more nights here in Langkawi, then on Wednesday we head to Singapore by plane, and then after one night there it’s off to Sydney.

It’s mid-afternoon on Sunday at the moment and I’m sitting here nursing my sand-fly bites, honestly, worst things ever, they make the mozzie bites seem almost fun. I’ve got one on each foot which means I can’t wear shoes or flip-flops and it’s constantly painful and itchy!! Kelly on the other hand is working hard on her tan as she’s realised that her front is more tanned than her back. Which is still better than my patchwork effort at tanning.

Hopefully back to daily blogs from now on. We hope all is well at home, the weather is picking up, and that you’ve all eaten a ludicrous amount of chocolate over Easter weekend.

Alan (with editing from Kelly).

P.S. Here are some random photos from the last week that I thought you might like to see.