Got Me Lazin’ On A Beach

Posted on November 12, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The last of the
let’s-drag-Rachel-through-my-scattered-childhood-memory stops in
Malaysia was in many senses the least well known place. Pulau Pangkor is
an island off the West Coast of Perak in Malaysia, famed for little
except being a jumping off point for the smaller but exclusive 5-star
resort/island of Pangkor Laut and
a small local scuffle with the Dutch many hundred years ago.

The reason I wanted to head out to the island in the first place is
that as a Boy Scout, I had camped on a quiet beach at the southern end
of the island 7 times over the course of 4 years, and had also camped
there when on an Outward Bound course. So, I had really strong
memories of heading out to the coastal town of Lumut, jumping on a
ferry to the island, hiking south through Pangkor Town and some
Kampungs (villages) for about 3 kms and then heading through jungle
for 10 minutes to head to a beach.

So, I thought I knew what I was expecting when the bus from Ipoh
pulled into Lumut station. This was not it.

I don’t mind telling you that the old ferry terminal looked more like
a wooden stall that sells cheap food of dubious parentage. Speaking of
such things, despite the changes at and in front of the ferry
terminal, I did find the KFC that used to be our haven on the way
home; air conditioning and clean bathrooms. It’s bigger than I
remember, but the Zinger burgers are mmmgood. Nothing like chicken
deep fried to make the heart race faster :->.

Once on the island itself, we got a taxi (not walking on Pangkor?
Bizarre) to the far side and picked out a nice hotel on a busy beach
full of Malays swimming, kayaking and generally having a great time.
In typical style, although the beach itself has beautiful sand, it is
full of trash. Plastic bottles, bags, cans, Twistie wrappers. Someday
soon the message of no littering (and then eventually recycling) will
trickle down, but for the moment – hey are you done with that? Just
throw it there in the big watery bin. Awesome!

The next day, we set off for the beach of my memory. We grabbed a taxi
back to the jetty, and with bags on our back started heading down the
road. It’s recently been repaved, and is an easier walk for it,
although Rachel found it *hot*. We passed the historical interest on
the island: the Dutch fort, and after that a famous rock that is now
safely under a roof to protect an old graffito and (luckily?) some new
graffiti.

I recognized the turn off the road to the trail head; the path up to
the jungle is now paved in concrete and there’s now a sign in Malay
advertising the trail and warnings to be careful.

The walk to the beach was just as I remember it – click through to the
photo stream to check out some video on more pictures. When we got to
the beach itself – sacrilege! There were *people* on *my* beach! It
looked like a party from Outward Bound, with some teachers and kids.
The presence of kayaks confirmed this, which meant I couldn’t go
wandering around the campsite as easily as I would have liked. The
creek we used to wash with and in is still there, as are the ropes
hanging down from the trees over the beach. Rachel will have some
pictures up of this soon – check her photos out in the next few days.

We stayed a few hours reading on the beach, watching the tide come up,
and then with a final good bye to a cliff that scared the crap out of
me when we were abseiling and climbing, we wandered back through the
jungle towards our final Malaysian destination.

Posted via email from dreadpiratesarcas

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