Day One - Kuala Lumpur
Highlight: Michelle's magic hands. I can't wait to get back to KL for my full body massage and cupping! Great culture shock: the markets, the humidity, the smell. I'm still apprehensive about future conditions.
Day Two - Malaka
I like the mad diversity that's resulted from all and sundry taking over the strategic shipping port. Highlight: the oldest Chinese temple - so beautiful, ornate and the shaking of the sticks and asking Buddah for help or an answer. The Malay people are so lovely, very friendly and sweet. Massage and worship everywhere you look - my kind of place.
Day Three - on the road to river homestay
A day of travel - planes, trains and automobiles. (but we do boats instead of planes and add in a bus to boot). Highlight: lunch and breakfast - fried roh and nasi goring with an egg thing wrapped around it. The food is consistently great and cheap. The boat trip up the river is to die for. Love the scenery. Glorious! The homestay I am in is divine - so colourful and kitsch. Sweet family - cats and kittens with stumpy broken tails everywhere.
Day Four - jungle
Note to self: never use deet on face, or skin for that matter, ever again! Canopy walk today. First foray into the jungle and I'm very apprehensive - scared of the "s" word. Love the walk itself. Stunning beautiful views and I feel very safe.
Day Five - jungle trek
Wet, damp, sticky and sweaty! Nothing to write home about and you can't appreciate it so much because you're trying not to fall. Pass big fat elephant poo - bit of a highlight. Am in minus a star accommodation - wooden bunks, no mattresses and no animals apart from a leech on my hip and one rat above my head. I'm too scared to go toilet and my torch has died.
Day Six - back up the river
Back to the river - over the jungle - you've seen one, you've seen them all! Boat, bus train, walk, boat, bus to somewhere (a daily dose of travel for Intrepid). Village is nice to visit - very authentic. Boat, walk, train, car and the worst boat trip in the world to island. I feel uncared for, unsafe and unwell - I have hurt my back and neck. I am left without food or water or anyone to get me some voltarin rub. My back gets worse. I am thirsty and everyone is out eating dinner. It is too painful to sleep. I am emailing my agent to get me out of here - I am intrepid not stupid.
My back is worse and I'm tired and traumatized. Have dosed up with panadol and tiger balm. Can't face the boat trip out today. Will try tomorrow - there is a medical centre in Kotu Buru. My back is definitely out - it hurts to sit, stand and lie.
It is a calm boat trip back, thank god. Great private hospital. The doctor reassures me I haven't done any serious damage - just muscle spasm and inflammation which will reduce with drugs. Not allowed to carry or lift anything heavy.
Day Nine - Kotu Buru
Nice day at Kotu Buru markets. Lovely people - not at all a repressed traditional Muslim environment. Have a great feed in the carpark!
Day Ten - Kuala Kangsar
My Back is feeling a lot better. I leave for Kuala Kangsar today. The bus ride smells of diesel fumes the whole way - the air conditioning seemed to be swapped for the exhaust - ick! The island is fantastic - an idyllic retreat. I have a great Malaysian dinner and play a great game whose name I've forgotten - comfy bed - bonus!
Day Eleven - Kuala Kangsar
A stop-start day - I wait hours for a guide, the boat breaks down and I miss a tour of the mosque. Went for a lovely swim.
Day Twelve - Kuala Lumpur
Leave the idyllic island. A bit of sightseeing and then a wonderful reward of a non-Asian meal at a stunning restaurant. The best food I've eaten in memory!
Day Thirteen - Kuala Lumpur
Leaving Malaysia - eventually. They've cancelled the flight - no enough people. Seven hours in the lounge without any vego food and the internet is down. Solution - sleep night Malaysia.
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