Thursday, April 23, 2009
Back To The Mainland
My stay at Riverview Lodge was drawing to an end - seemed like I had been there for a long time, and at the same time it seemed like I just got there! Funny how that often is when you travel!
It was a beautiful morning and I went for a paddle up the river one last time - and then took a quick swim, before I packed up my stuff, so I could be ready to take the 4-wheeler back over to Tekek with the Swiss couple, Barbara and Lukas, who were on a flight a couple of hours before me. We had talked about sharing the ride at dinner the night before, and after checking with Richard - the manager at Riverview - we made the final plans. It would give me an opportunity to check out Tekek, before leaving, so I thought that would be a good opportunity, not to mention saving some money for all of us.
I had a nice chat with Richard about his organisation Little Planet - www.ourlittleplanet.org and we discussed possibly adding an art workshop of some sort to his array of customized outdoor education programs for international schools throughout South East Asia. Food for thought for sure!
We said Goodbye to Richard and set out with the same driver I drove over with - and Barbara and Lucas opted to sit with the luggage in the back of the pickup, so they could enjoy the ride in the open air - I opted for the more comfy front seat! It was the same routine - changing vehicle at the top where they were still working on repairing the road, and soon we were at the Tekek airport, we said "Auf Wiedersehen" and "Safe Travels" - we had already exchanged emails - and I set out on foot along the shore toward ABC beach which I was told was about 1/2 hours walk. There was construction going on of a big, very fancy-looking new promenade and pier - looked to me like they had just ruined a nice long stretch of beach!
It was pretty hot walking mid-day, so when I reached the beach on the other side of a rocky outcropping I stopped and had a nice, cold mango smoothie, before heading back. When I got to the new pier I got a ride in a rickety old van with a chinese couple, and I was dropped off at the airport. The airport is tiny, no services, so I just walked around a bit, checked on my backpack which I had dropped off earlier at one of the offices - it had company of a few more backpacks, but was safe and sound.
In general it seemed like theft was not something one had to worry about much at all on Tioman Island - that's what Richard had told me previously, when I inquired as to the safety of leaving things.
Finally it was time to check in, and soon I was on my way back to Kuala Lumpur, and I was excited to see Annabelle, Marianne and John again and hear what they had been up to while I was gone and tell them about my Tioman adventures!