Sunday 19 August 2012

Malaysia: Pulau Besar

The journey to Mersing took almost three hours due to some rather meticulous passport checking by immigration staff on both sides of the causeway.

Aseania - Pulau BesarThe car park in Mersing was completely full due to the Eid holiday, but we found a space at the back before waiting in the Aseania Beach Resort  office with a couple who later became known as Mrs and Mrs Chatty due to their economic use of the spoken word.

The speedboat skipped across a calm sea to Pulau Besar where the jetty is being replaced by something a little more substantial, which explained the rather ugly pile-driving barge parked in front of the resort. Many of the Aseania staff were wearing Expedition Robinson tee-shirts as filming had taken place on the island a few months ago after a break last year.

Once our cabins had been located, we ate lunch in the cool, dappled shade overlooking the beach. Every table was occupied with different nationalities taking advantage of the holiday weekend - we had never seen Aseania so full.

Aseania - beach front hut panorama

Tracy and Dave wound down on the beach in the afternoon and Mrs M turned a little crispy at the edges due to sun cream malfunction. After sleeping through a few units of Pimsleur’s Mandarin course, I strolled along the beach at the northern end of the island to take pictures of rocks and bits of old wood until the sun began to set around 7 o’clock. It was wonderfully peaceful.

Pulau Besar sunsetSmelling fresh and lemony with hints of insect repellent after showers, we sipped cold drinks and watched the bats swoop against the remaining light as the sun disappeared. Barbeque smoke wafted gently towards our table. Sweet cats nuzzled our ankles. Mr and Mrs Chatty sat almost motionless.

The conversation somehow turned to toilet brushes. Dave wanted more in their house, Tracy wanted none. Although Mrs M and I brokered a deal whereby more brushes could be purchased but replaced on a six-month cycle, we were sceptical that both parties would stick to the agreement.

Thankfully, the buffet brought an end to negotiations. We did not hold back. Dave realised he’d over-achieved on the meat front. He would sleep well. We would all sleep well.

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