Saturday, July 23, 2011

Escaping the 'Net

Or - Stretching the Weekend!

We have noticed how a weekend can quickly vanish if we just sit down at the computer (or TV), a few blinks and it's gone!

We woke up Friday morning, and said "Let's go to Kapas Island - oh, why not!" It's much closer than Redang Island - the ferry is only a 20 min drive away and the ferry ride is only 15 mins or so. We went there once before when we were leading a workshop with some of our colleagues from the IPG.

So we packed a few things in a back pack, left the computers (and iPad!) behind and drove down to the jetty at Marang. The boat man phoned a few of the resorts on the island, but said no, everything is full. Oh well, we thought we would just take a day trip anyway.

When we got to the island, we found one "resort" that still had a spare room.

Definitely nothing flash, and way over-priced (the woman recognised that we were maybe desperate) ... but there was a bed, and a toilet and shower, and even a washing line outside. The windows had no glass - who needs it, there was shade cloth which kept some of the large mozzies at bay. There was a curtain stapled over the window, and a second curtain on a stretchy line that fell down if we touched it.

So we dropped our bags, changed into our bathers, and set off down the beach. At the end of the island there is part of the marine park with lots of coral and stuff, so we set off in that direction.

The little bays are separated by rocky outcrops, and each one has a walkway and stairs built into it for simple access. This particular one had very steep stairs - for one section we turned and climbed down backwards - and by the time we reached this lovely little bay we were hot and sweaty and more than ready for a bit of a dip. So we donned our snorkels and masks and waded out ...

Stinging Water??

Moments later we both came charging back in going "Ow! Ow! Ow!" with pin-pricks of pain all over our arms and legs. Asking around over the next few hours we heard various theories about miniscule sea lice or the invisible discarded ends of jellyfish tentacles - nobody seemed to really know, because whatever it is you can't see it. Anyway, they seemed to be only near the water's edge, and mostly on the high tide ... and the pain stops as soon as you get out, so no lasting damage.

And the local girls with their full covering had no problems at all.

We relaxed at a beach-front cafe for some lunch, and then settled into the tree-house at our resort for the hottest part of the early afternoon.

Everything on the island moves sooooo slowly, and you have no choice but to relax.

Snorkels back on, we investigated the coral on our little beach several times in the course of our stay.

As soon as you get into the water, you are surrounded by these little stripey chaps. But there always seems to be one in particular who stations himself in front of your face, and you can see his eyes watching you carefully.

Then there are all sorts of other brightly coloured fish, rummaging around for food. (We didn't have bread to feed them.)

A lot of them seem to be in pairs. And these black ones with a white spot were most agitated, coming right up into my face every time I came near to them - I guess they had a bunch of eggs or babies somewhere.

Here and there we found special delights tucked in among the coral - these clams were a delicious treat back in Murray Island days!

So it was only one night, but it made it seem like a week. The weekend has been well and truly stretched.

And we have actually booked a night (in a different resort!) for next weekend.

This is going to be our Island Home, for weekends and relaxing times! Every few weeks at least we intend to get back out there and relax. Might bring at least the iPad though!

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