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Sules & Jon’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 11 Dec 2005

Location: Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia

MapWe all went our separate ways after a hilarious first night back on land when Fred, Naomi and Frank took us out to a couple of bars, Frank finally driving us in his "car" - kind of like a Micra pick-up/ute to the Easy Rider bar. Here, among the Harleys parked inside, the photos of Angus Young, the confederate flag, and tables of old fat men sitting with young Thai girls, a Thai rock band was belting out cover songs. The lead singer's hair bore a passing resemblance to Jon Bon Jovi's (which is where the similarity ended), but the lead guitarist was surprisingly and amusingly good, pulling out all the stops: playing left handed, with his teeth, behind his head etc. You have to wonder how many years he'd spend practicing in his bedroom and just how chuffed he was to be live on stage! Just some of their varied playlist included Europe, Queen, the Stones, Pink Floyd ("we don't need no sort controw"), Debbie Harry, Motorhead and Judas Priest ("this song goes out to each and everybody one of everybody from the heart"). It was a very funny evening, which was just as well given our hangovers the next day.

With water bottles in hand the next morning, we traipsed over another dive shop to complete our Rescue Diver courses, and after that, we were on our way again. We couldn't get out of Phuket quickly enough, and with just a week left, we decided to chase some sun - not so easy given all the rains at the moment. So firstly we headed for a national park on an island in the far south of Thailand, near the border with Malaysia, and stupidly signed up for a 7 hour minibus ride down there. School boy error - after one and a half hours, the driver turned round to pick up some passengers he'd forgotten. Twice. Then he forgot to stop to drop some others off. And we finally pulled into our destination after 11 hours. We found out later that he'd also thrown in an insect infested interior, when we discovered scores of bites upon bites all over our feet and legs. So that was nice.

Given that we'd effectively lost a day, in addition to the state of the flooding in the area, we decided to sack that destination, and spent the next morning crossing into Malaysia and travelling down to an island on the west coast, called Pulau Pangkor. It's nice enough - we're at a quiet beach cove in the north west, and have been spending our time catching the few meagre rays of sun available, treating our allergic reactions to the volume of insect bites and and arranging our onward travel... only a few days left!