It's a jungle out there!

Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, March 10, 2008

Seeing as I hadn't walked enough the previous day and my feet were obviously not blistered sufficiently, Jo suggested we caught yet another bus to the Penang National park, located to the west of the Batu Farranghi (foreigners rock) beach; where lobster pink western tourists lay in the sun and played in the sea. The National Park was pretty amazing; although I was a little disconcerted when we had to give our passport numbers and next of kin addresses to the Park Warden in case we didn't come back to the park entrance before nightfall. However, I was eager to test out my new lightweight and exceptionally cheap binoculars, so we set off into the jungle, following the coast and well marked pathways towardsMonkey Beach. Within 5 minutes we had seen some beautiful birds and some white face macaquees (who looked, I am ashamed to say,  a bit like the Black and White Mintstrels from the thirties.)
The path to Monkey beach was about 1 hours from the park entrance and for the first mile the path was great, well marked and paved. The problem came about 5 minutes after this immaculately kept path finished and we were hacking our way through dense jungle following another  well worn but treacherous path which led over boulders, under 6 inch thick vines and across gullies on wooden bridges. Quite the Indian Jones adventure, I thought! I was even humming the theme tune to the movies, which became exceptionally annoying after 5 minutes!
1 hours later and we were no where near Monkey Beach, as far as we could tell; in fact, we were nowhere near anywhere! Bugger this, I thought, and conceeded to defeat, turned around and dragged Jo back the way we'd come.
"You can keep your sodding beach," I shouted into the depths of the undergrowth, where the sound of my voice was deadened by the thick air and echoed by the distant beat of Head Hunter jungle drums....
Feeling eyes in the back of our heads, and the imagined pin prick of poisoned darts in our sweat soaked backs, we climbed back over every one of those bloody boulders, under each of the sodden vines and over all of the rickety bridges we'd traversed in the last hour or so back to the safety of the park entrance.
As Sam Gamgee would have said, what a place, what an 'orrible place, and looking over my shoulder, I thought I could still feel the malice of the jungle, as though it were saying to me "yeah, you just bugger off and don't think about coming back! Pussy!!"
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