Staycays are the new vacays Pt 3
When we left Tioman a few weeks ago and were walking down the pier we decided that we needed to come back, so we did. The main reason for this was that Rosie (Alice’s school friend and now also my friend) is planning to leave Malaysia after a solid ten year stint on Tioman Island to return back to the UK. She would have been gone in June but covid. This means she won’t be in Malaysia anymore and we had such a good time a few weeks ago we couldn’t let it go. We decided to surprise her so we didn’t tell her that we were coming back. This was the most fun we’ve had in ages because it’s not like you can turn up in a place and surprise people very easily anymore. When we got there Teo picked us up from the jetty. Teo is the woman who runs Cheers, the place we stay. She’s like a ray of sunshine, always giggling and fun. Anyway she decided to take the surprise one step further by phoning Rosie and telling her that she had a huge parcel from the ferry and she needed to come and collect it because it was melting. If you didn’t live in Malaysia you’d probably be like da fuck?! but in Malaysia random things happen all the time so of course Rosie just assumed she really did have a huge melting parcel. We waited for a while for Rosie to appear and in this time she tried to video call Alice which caused high anxiety but Alice told her she was on facetime to her mum (you can’t interfere with someone talking to their mum).After a while Rosie was still at work and couldn’t leave so in the end Teo rang again and said the parcel had melted all over the floor and she needed to get Rosie right away. We went on over to the dive centre and hid behind a tree. A few people wandered past whilst we were hiding waiting for the perfect moment and then it happened. Mission accomplished. After that we were on a high from how great our surprise was all evening.So what did we do this time in Tioman? Much of the same. We went back to Renggis to look for the sharks and turtles and we saw them. We spotted the turtle on the sea floor and we waited for it to surface. We saw some more huge sharks.Every time I see turtles and sharks it feels as exciting as the first time I ever saw them. It never gets old.We also went back to Berjaya coral to look for the eagle ray which we did not see, but we did see these cute baby squid. You may or may not know that I’m a little bit obsessed with squid. I just love them.We also saw lots of clown fish again. A fun fact about clown fish is that they are all born male. The largest clown fish transforms into a female and then if that female dies the next most dominant fish becomes the new female. Therefore this raises questions about the accuracy of Finding Nemo. Technically Marlin should have become a female and then mated with Nemo. Not really child friendly.We also saw a huge puffer fish and we named him Percy. This was the day after a huge storm and the visibility was awful. I spotted something large swimming beneath me so I shouted Alice over to investigate if it was friendly or dangerous. It goggled its huge eyes at us and we were a bit unsure because of the gloomy surroundings which make the sea instantly quite frightening so we kept a distance but it was huge. I tried to film it.One day we decided to walk to a new waterfall in Juara so we got a 4×4 over to the other side of the island. Earlier that morning a different 4×4 had exploded and completely burnt out. Luckily the driver got out. We saw the charred remains. Probably shouldn’t have included this because my mum will stress. Berjaya beach resort has also burned down since last year. Things just burn down a lot in Tioman. There’s not really a proper garage and the Bomba equipment is lacking. When we got to Juara we started the hike to the waterfall and it was steep and boiling hot. Rosie decided she was not going to carry on any further and she said she would wait on the trail whilst we went the rest of the way. We got to the waterfall, it was beautiful, refreshing and empty. On our way down Rosie had vanished and been replaced by a group of monkeys. Now we all know I don’t like monkeys. Obviously having read too many psychological thrillers and having heard too many stories about people going missing in Tioman we feared the worst. We knew logically she probably went down the trail but we also couldn’t be sure. We started walking down and then freaked out so Alice ran back up whilst I considered that I may never see either of them again. When Alice got back she told me Rosie had left us an arrow made out of sticks, pointing down the trail. Don’t know how we missed that cryptic clue but we did. The part above the arrow is a smiley face. How pleasant. Eventually we were reunited and we lolled about how we thought Rosie was lost to the jungle whilst also being so relieved that she actually wasn’t. We then went to Juara Turtle Project to watch them dig up a nest that had hatched three days previously. This is to check for any stragglers. JTP helps to protect the turtle nests by observing them and keeping them safe from predators (humans and animals). Unfortunately the outlook of the turtle population is pretty bleak. They already have a hard deal without any of the things we are doing to destroy them further. There were 123 eggs in the nest and only 52 had hatched successfully. Not the best odds. JTP open and analyse every unhatched egg to try and decipher what happened and to try and do something about it. It was a bit depressing for me but also really interesting.Other than that we just did a lot of snorkeling. I decided on the last evening that I want to get my free diving certification so now I have to wait until next time to do this. I could have come to this conclusion earlier in the week but nevermind.As ever we love Tioman and it’s been a great escape from all our anxieties about what’s going on. As soon as we left the island I felt it all come flooding back and I think it’s going to be a tough few months as we wait to find out if we can go home for Christmas. Unfortunately it’s not looking too promising but I will remain positive until told in no uncertain terms that I can’t leave in December. School is back on Monday which is weird because I haven’t been there since March and everything has completely changed. Let’s see what happens next. Here is a school of fish swimming peacefully with me tagging along until an imposter pecks one of them and they all freak out, me included. You can see from the video where I jump out of my skin. I just remembered to include the fact that our taxi driver wanted to take a photo with us for his Facebook story and then he sent it to us for the memories.Good Times.