So it seems I havent got round to updating for quite a while - sorry!
We spent 2 days in Penang, mostly exploring the rest of the island, though we did go into Georgetown for a bit. On Wednesday we hired a bike (sorry dads :P) and took a very slow and safe roadtrip. We took a trail through the national park to a turtle hatching beach. Unfortunately we didnt get to see any mummy turtles (they only come at night), but they had some very cute hatchlings in a tank at the conservation centre. In the afternoon went on a tour of a tropical fruit farm which was interesting, at least the bits we caught through our guides rather strong accent. Afterwards we got to eat as much fruit as we could, the real reason we'd signed up, though we're still not sure what half of them were! After an interesting drive through the georgetown rush hour we made it back in one piece, though Billy says we're not driving in a town ever again.
Thursday involved a wander around Georgetown in the rain : thankfully it still managed to look pretty. We caught a bus to the Cameron Highlands, a wonderful 6 hour journey despite the book maintaining it took 4. We checked into our hostel and went to a local food stall for tea. Billy decided to have a steamboat, a local speciality where you cook various items yourself in a pair of boiling hot sauce pots heated on a stove in front of you. Despite costing only six pounds and it saying 'steamboat for one' on the menu enough food turned up to feed a family of at least 5 (indeed there was such a family enjoying one right next to us!) and for once Billy was defeated.
The next day we took a half day landrover tour around the area. We went to a tea plantation, which was very cool, the mossy forest, a tea factory and a butterfly house. Billy had a go at carrying the basket and shears they use to cut the tea: all he needed was the lampshade hat to complete the look! After the obligatary tea and scones we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in the town and in the evening went to a night market for some tea.
The following day we enjoyed another interesting bus journey, followed by an equally interesting speedboat ride to the Perhentian islands. Although we only had time for a one night stop we tried to make the most of our time and booked for a fun dive for the following morning. We hoped we might be able to see reef sharks which are supposedly quite common there, but i think they must have heard us coming and hid. We did see a school of massive bump-head parrot fish which was exciting, as well as a moray eel and lots of other pretty ones! We went snorkeling off our beach and saw lots more fish in the afternoon - including a very cute family of Nemo fish (the baby was so tiny!) We had a rather wet speedboat ride back in the evening, before catching the night train down to Melaka. On the way we made friends with two nice Malaysian students who we talked to for a large part of the journey - there wasnt much chance we would sleep!
After our few hours sleep we arrived in Melaka slightly tetchy and decided to go for a spot of sightseeing in the afternoon. Our attempts at culture included Christ Church, the ruins of St Pauls church and the peoples museum (which included a rather gruesome section on beautification acts - I really dont fancy foot binding at all.). We decided we'd done enough culture for one day and spent the evening at the cinema.
Yesterday was boiling, so we took in the air conditioned Independence Museum, the spectacular Maritime Museum located inside this huge pirates ship and another film (it was too hot outside!). We had yummy indian food for tea and ran back to our hostel through yet another storm.
Have to go now - we're meant to be checking out in 5 minutes!
Our camera is now severely broken : the screen is 70% black - we think it must have got squashed on the train journey. We'll try get another asap.
Hope everythings good at home,
lots of love,
Rosie and Billy