Location: Perenthian Islands, Malaysia

Our second day on the Perenthian Islands, Malaysia proved more active. We had decided to hire a Kayak, braving the open seas for more secluded beaches. It was an overcast day, with a cool gentle breeze; perfect for Kayaking. Our journey to the first two beaches was without incident. The sea was kind to us and Anna and I had finally learnt the art of co-ordination. The beaches themselves were incredible and we were literally the only people there. It felt as though we were the first people to have set foot on the white sands as it appeared totally un-spoilt. Our time was spent navigating the incredible coral reefs and feeling total relaxation. That was until we heard the distant thundering of an engine and our privacy was invaded by an incoming German couple. Upset by the sight of Speedos I decided it was time to move on. We had traveled quite a distance and had a Forest Gump moment. Basically because we had gone so far we decided that we might as well just keep on going and maybe go the full length of the Island; not realizing how far this actually was. The next few beaches were occupied so we decided to carry on as far as Long Beach before stopping again. This turned out to be a total error in which we are both to blame. We approached every cove thinking we had arrived at long beach, but as we turned the corner there was nothing but rocks and jungle. Hope faded, the sea became rough and the Great white sharks and Salt water crocodiles became hungry (albeit in other parts of the world). Fatigue was a real danger however and when we passed yet another cove which wasn't long beach, my arms felt as if they could work no more. We had become weary and needed a well earned rest but the sea wouldn’t allow it and dragged us further out. Anna started to fade, thoughts of evil stirring within the brain. Arms weary and shadow approaching; I could not allow the sea to claim two more stricken travelers. My sheer muscle and tremendous will power allowed me to carry on and fight against the seas onslaught. Sensing hope (or perhaps death) Anna found strength of her own and together we battled against the sea and found our way to the shores of long beach - crashing into someone’s boat on the way. That’s when it hit me! I arrived on long beach to two Chinese girls taking pictures of me. This is not abnormal so I thought nothing of it; that was until somebody approached me and asked me if I had been sun burnt. Baffled by such a strange question, I examined my body and couldn’t believe what I saw. I was completely red, I felt like a ginger person. Having been overcast I had decided against sun cream, ignoring past warnings from parents on childhood holidays. The next few days were going to be brutal for both of us.

M Bell

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