The cold air conditioning of the room woke me and I pulled the covers over me to try to keep warm. Getting out of bed to turn the unit off didn't appear to be an option. It had cooled the room to 23 degrees. Ian leaped out of bed and switched it off.
We deliberately avoided breakfast, as it was already 10:30, and went off for a jungle walk.
We passed through another resort and found the horses that arrived yesterday, a squirrel who stopped in his tracks and stared at me for a while and a fantastic, beautiful, extremely gracious water monitor about 3 feet in length. I saw him walk towards the path we were on, glance at Ian who hadn't seen him, and then very slowly and deliberately walk across the path and beyond by which time I had alerted Ian to his presence and he had begun filming. He was delightful! Then we decided to start walking along the 2 hour jungle trek, 'The Perhentian Trail', before lunch. It was a fairly steep ascent and the track was covered in leaves. The steps were merely tree roots. We were hot and sticky in no time at all. Then I felt something bite me inside my trousers, then again, and on Ian's instruction I dropped my trousers and there, to my disgust, was a red fire ant running rapidly over my trouser leg! I hurriedly flicked him off, pulled my trousers back up and rolled my trouser legs up to prevent any more gaining unauthorised acccess! Then we found the big soldier ants and my steps became even more cautious, if it all possible. There were some fighting so I stopped long enough to take a photograph.
After 20 minutes of climbing we had had enough and made our descent. There was too much jungle to get a scenic picture so we merely ambled back down the track avoiding ants as we went. I walked straight into a tree branch which stopped us in our tracks. And then again.
After a very quick cold shower we had lunch by the sea and then upgraded our room to one with hot water, with an additional feature of a sea view. Delightful.
Ian then took to the water to take some more photographs while I embedded my nose in his book. An hour later we had an ice-cream, very soft scoop, perhaps the freezer wasn't quite down to temperature, and a little while later I joined Ian in the water and took control of his camera. I feebly shot a dozen pictures and the battery expired. Taking photographs whilst snorkelling is incredibly difficult. The requirement to be negatively buoyant is of uttermost importance. The swell of the waves certainly didn't help! I exited the water and had a hot shower before settling down with my book again. Ian continued snorkelling without his camera. Whilst snorkelling, albeit briefly, I saw some christmas tree worms, anemone fish, sergeant majors and a stunning white and blue cuttlefish swimming past us.
Dinner was by the sea again with the same menu as for lunch and dinner, but the service was rather non existent. The waiting staff, for which there were plenty, had selective viewing skills and we were left for many moments, before and during our meal, seeking to obtain their attention. As we returned to our cabin we were greeted by some giant snails along the path.
Once Ian's camera battery had finally charged we reviewed our photographs and deleted the majority of them almost immediately.
Copyright 2003 Helen Fuller. All rights reserved.