On the beach on our first day Axel and Elka were playing aroumd in the sand not too far from a little girl. I could see Axel circling around in his customary way, walking past and pretending to be doing something, hoping something would happen to that would enable them to have first contact and break the ice. I asked him could I introduce him to her and he said ‘no way, I don’t want to make friends with her’. This lasted all afternoon. Meanwhile Elka was digging in the wet sand with the little girl helping. The next morning we were on the same patch of beach with the same suspects but it only took them a couple of minutes to get over their shyness and initiate their new friendship. I got talking to the girl’s mother Jackie and found out her daughter was called Samantha. They were five or six weeks into a year or eitheen months traveling around the world and had a similar story to ourselves. Jackie was a journalist now working in business development and was sick of making pitches to companies, being told they were great but could she come back again in three, six, twelve months and pitch again when things were better. Well she had decided that she couldn’t hang around waiting and had decided to go and see the world with her daughter. They were slowly getting into the groove of traveliing and being in each other’s company twenty four hours a day and had gotten over the initial stresses and strains that are thrown up by suddenly finding your only friends and companions are your immediate family. We had gone through this at the start of our trip and it took about five or six weeks before we stopped trying to kill each other, I thought it must have been harder for just the two of them .
I think when you are traveling you become very in tune with like minded people you meet. You know the hassles they have, you know how tough it can be to be sort of alone with the people you are traveling with and I think this makes you emphatise more with them. If you have a feeling you like the person or person’s you meet who are doing the same type of travel as you are you are more likely to spend some time with them. I know myself and Lisa felt this way about Jackie and Sam, not that they were strays that needed minding or anything like that, we just felt they were the sort of people we would like to be around. So we invited them to have dinner with us and they were delighted. Jackie for the diversion a group would give them and I think Sam for the diversion Axel would supply. And of couse us , we are always open to diversion .
We got on so well we arranged to meet them at breakfast the next day and take a boat to some of the bigger islands best beach’s and sights. Our first port of call was called Coral Bay where we did some exploratory snorkling amid the as it say ‘s on the tin, lots of beautiful coral’s. After we went to Shark Point where Axel and I saw a shark. From there to Tuna Bay Resort for a lovely lunch. After we went to a small beach with a fresh water pool where we had a lovely cool wash and from there to the most beautiful beach we had been on, Turtle Beach. This beach is a breeding ground for turtles and is one of the quietest most beautiful beaches we have been on in Asia. Very few people, clear blue green water, soft white sand and no buildings or infrastucture whatsoever, bliss.
We had dinner that night together and must admit I was enjoying the quiet created by the fact that the mini adults wanted to eat without us olden goldies. So kids on one table and us on the other ....it made mealtime’s far less stressful than normal. We were all heading away from Perenthian the next day on the four pm ferry. This would give us all at least a couple of hours in the morning before hand on the beach of our choice so we arrange it that we would all go back to Turtle Beach. The next morning after breakfast we took our launch across and enjoyed a chilled out couple of hours of snorkelling and reading before it was time to go then it was back to long beach . We were all very tempted to stay longer here .
Back on Long beach we got our speedboats to the mainland . Jackie and Sam were travelling on a different company so we arranged to see them at the pier in Kota Bharu. I think they were traveling on to Penang we were heading over to Tanah Merah to catch the jungle line train down to Kluang and eventually get to Mersing and the ferry to Tioman island.
We said our goodbyes in the little ticket office, Axel and Sam shaking hands like british officers on remembrance day, Elka screaming ‘see ya laderrrrr’, myself manfully struggling with the portage and Lisa and Jackie like long lost sisters who may never again see each other, both of them trying desperately not to cry.
We were all quite for a few hours after our friends had left and it took us some time to get used the void left from their absence.
To Jackie and Samatha , we hope you have a great trip and enjoyed your company immensely and look forward to crossing paths again .