Sunday, August 1, 2010

Perhentian Islands...

We arrived in the Perhentian Islands around 6pm Monday night. We got settled into the Kesuma Guest House in the middle of Long Beach. it only cost us 80 RM a night (about $25). It overlooked the beach and was a great location. Only problem, no electricity from 7am-7pm! It was a pretty remote area and I loved it!

Tuesday morning, we went snorkeling and were able to swim with black finned reef sharks, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, and many other exotic fish! It was a great time and was my first real time snorkelling. I got a nice sunburn that lasted the rest of the week. One time during the trip, the guide pointed to a spot and told us to swim there, where he will pick us up. Well, I swam there and no one else was around and no boat either! As it turned out, I swam about a mile too far!

That night, I played a game of volleyball with the locals. It was a great finish to an awesome day. Each day after, I just took in the serene environment and let all stress and worries float away! I then played volleyball at 5pm with others on the island until it got too dark to play. We then went into the water to cool off (although the water was warm) and get the sand off. Then, it was time for dinner and some drinks at the local watering hole. I met some great people on the island from Spain, Holland, and France. We had great conversations, photo sessions, sharing travel stories, and  just learning from the experiences that life has brought each of us. I had an unbelievable time and loved making new friends.

After leaving the islands on Friday night, we went back to Kuala Besut to catch a 9 hour bus to Kuala Lumpur. While walking around this rustic old Muslim town, I happened across a pick-up game of soccer. They noticed me watching and invited me to play. I declined and we stood around chatting about the sport for a short while. Pretty soon, I was putting on an impromptu soccer camp and helping the kids improve basic fundamentals of the game. They were very good for their ages (ranged from about 8-14) but you could tell they had never had any real coaching as they were naive to the nuances and strategies of the game. They were just adept at dribbling and trying to beat people one on one instead of working as a team.  I loved how willing to learn they were, and how receptive they were to a little coaching. It is a refreshing reminder as to why Ive enjoyed the coaching profession this long!

I had a great vacation and cant wait until my next travel to a different country... Will it be Japan? China? Cambodia?? Only time will tell...

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