We landed on Redang Island the day before yesterday and met Frank at Taaras Resort, a resort in a quiet little bay off of which Tahina is anchored.
It was odd getting back on board a boat that acted as our home for over half a year and settling back into our old room. It felt familiar and comfortable, yet, as I discovered while getting up to pee in the middle of the night, we seem to have forgotten a huge number of the details that were once instinctive. I fumbled around in the pitch dark for 5 minutes before finally giving up on locating the light and making do in the dark. The same happened while we washed dishes and I attempted to put them away. It’s strange how these things fade out of your mind when they were once daily routine. I wonder if details about NZ will go the same way, and I half wish I’d managed to be better about blogging about our lives there over the past few years.
Redang is a quiet place, with an ancient volcanic shoreline that looks a lot like The Baths in the British Virgin Islands, strewn with large rounded boulders, only more pinkish-orange. It’s been a nice, relaxing entry into the traveling life. We spent yesterday exploring snorkeling spots, watching a collection of green turtles grazing the grass beds and reefs, and generally lazing about. Karen and Frank had a couple of nice white wines on board, and we had those with cheese in the afternoon and a delicious stir-fry dinner Karen made in the evening.
Yesterday was the last night of Ramadan, and Malaysia being a Muslim country, we’ve been hearing fireworks and firecrackers celebrating the end of the month-long fast upon the appearance of the new moon—a celebration called Hadi Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysian. Today, families are opening their homes for open houses, which include friends (Muslim and non-Muslim alike), and traditional feasts are being had. People are shopping and feeling celebratory after “walking a month in the shoes of the poor,” as is the Ramadan tradition. In Malaysia, members of the Muslim community have been refraining from daytime meals, smoking, shopping, drinking and sex for the full lunar month. Hadi Raya Aidilfitri, the holiday celebrating the breaking of the fast, signals a time for atonement and enjoyment with friends and family. Locals wear traditional Malaysian dress called baju kurung, and everyone is generally in an effervescent and happy mood.
Today Jason and I plan to head ashore and walk along the beach where we’ve seen monkeys over the past couple of days, and possibly grab a dip in the resort pool. Taaras resort also has a great all-you-can-eat buffet for $35, which we tried the first night. They’re pretty friendly with cruisers, which is a far cry from some of the resorts in French Polynesia. We’ll be using their ferry to get off the island and over to Kuala Terengganu tomorrow about 30 miles from here on the mainland, so we can catch our flight to Kuala Lumpur, then to Kuching.
Sorry about the lack of pics. I’ll back fill these later, because we haven’t downloaded most of them to the iPad yet.