Friday, March 1, 2013

Straight up roughin' it

So...this past weekend, we went camping!  On a beach!  After classes were done on Friday, me and 6 other people piled in one car and headed to Pangkor Beach.  It was a little tight to say the least, but after 2+ hours in a car, a 45 minute ferry ride, an hour trek through the town, and then a half hour trek through the jungle, we finally made it.  Just before getting on the ferry, I saw the prettiest (and shortest) sunset I have ever seen. 

As we were hiking through the jungle (in the dark), we came up to a guy standing on the trail with a machete.  I’m pretty sure my heart stopped for a second until we realized our friend knew him.  We found out later he actually lived on the beach, and was nice enough to have us there.  We made it to the camp site, which was literally 10 feet from the ocean.  We set up a couple tents and our hammocks, and made a fire.  For the rest of the evening, we listened to our friend play the guitar, told funny stories, and even went for a moon lit swim.  The next morning, we woke up to monkeys ALL around us.  Supposedly one punched Hank in the butt.  That was definitely the highlight of my weekend.  

We also took a morning walk down the beach, and enjoyed what was left of the food (monkeys took most of it) the guy who lived there had delivered to us.

Then we headed into town where we rented motor bikes!  The Americans struggled a little... well, a few of us.  Hank/Jocelyn ran into a man after being on the bike for 10 seconds, Erin forgot to look BOTH ways and pulled right out in front of a car, and I looked like a wobbly, leaning tower of Pisa.  We rode around the island for a while, and then took a rest and got some food on one of the beach shores. 

Across the ocean was another island that supposedly had good snorkeling and a reggae bar, so a couple of us rented a mask and snorkel to take to the island.  Now, being cheap college students, we decided to save the 5 ringgits for a boat ride and swim.  WORST decision I have made yet.  As I was swimming, not only was my snorkel mask leaking, but I swam right into a pool of sea lice.  At the time, I had no clue what was going on, and I felt like I was getting attacked by jelly fish as my entire body started stinging.  I continued to swim though, and after about 30 minutes or so, I made it to the island.  Once I got to the island, I stepped in ants.  AND there was no reggae bar.  

To get from one point to another on the island, you also had to hike through the jungle, which was loads of fun since I was a magnet for mosquitos as my bug spray had washed off.  When we finally made it to the “snorkel spot”, it was surrounded by rocks, and I figured with the way my luck was going and the leaking mask, I didn’t want to add to it with getting cut by rocks.  So, I passed on the snorkeling.  Carson tried it, and said the water was murky and that he only saw a few fish and a jelly fish.  No reggae bar and that kind of snorkeling?  Come on now.  After Carson was gone for a little while (a little too long for my well being), we went to look for him.  As we were hiking back through the jungle, poor Meredith not only forgot her swim suit and was hiking in her see-through undies (HAH), but she got terrible chaffing, so she had to stop and wait for us to come back through.  Of course after we found Carson and were coming back through, she wasn’t in the same spot.  We looked for her for about 10 minutes (felt a lot longer than that), until we found her a few feet from the original spot as she had moved off the trail to let others through.  And in a jungle, a few feet away is like a maze to find someone!  Just as we were about to swim back to the other island, our friend and Erin came to the rescue in a kayak.  I rode on the front, belly down and feet in the air, as I was NOT going to let those sea lice get me again. I’m sure that looked HILARIOUS.  

Then, it was back to the campsite!  Once again, we just relaxed, enjoyed each other’s company, and fell asleep in our hammocks.  I could live in one of those. 

The next morning, we met these two friendly men who took us fishing!  When I say fishing, I mean watching the fishermen bring up the nets they left out the night before.  Hah. 

We caught some crabs, some poisonous stingrays, a couple conchs, a few fish, and this edible stingray...which ended up being our breakfast!  I HAD STINGRAY FOR BREAKFAST!  Surprisingly, it was quite tasty, especially with a few Ritz crackers Carson had brought.  It reminded me of when I eat oysters, as I have a little oyster with my Saltine crackers. Hehe. 

Then, we packed up our stuff and headed home!  This little guy (about 5 feet long) sent us a farewell...

As I probably could have stayed only a few more days, it was an amazing and eventful weekend, and I can’t wait for more trips like this.  



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