(written by Nancy)
We had a nice relaxing day today, just as days at the beach should be. We slept in a bit then went for a walk along the beach while it was still a bit cool (well, okay maybe not cool, but at least not really hot). Then we had breakfast at the hotel as it is included in the room rate. A very nice breakfast with a lot of food – we were both stuffed after having eggs, plates of fresh fruit, and a breadbasket containing many different kinds of rolls and bread together with a plate of cheese and sliced meat. The meat was a bit odd so I passed on that but Dave ate everything. This place is run by a German fellow so the breakfast was reminiscent of the breakfasts we would sometimes get in the Netherlands.
After breakfast we spent several hours going over lots of Thailand information and planned our rough route for the next 2-3 weeks. We think we have planned for stops in towns where there should be accommodation but I guess we won’t know until we actually get there. Anyway, it feels good to have a bit of a plan on paper for the immediate future.
After all that planning we were getting a bit hungry so headed out to find some lunch. We had read that there was a coffee shop that sold good coffee and french pastries so we wandered way up the strip but could not located it. We eventually ended up at the Yellow Cafe, which turned out to be a nice comfortable spot to hang out. It is right on the beachfront and has a bit of a pub-like atmosphere. And while we were there they put the NZ-Japan World Rugby game on so of course we ended up staying a bit longer so Dave could watch that. Fortunately I had taken a book so we were both happy to just hang out.
We finally made our way back to the hotel along the beach, which was packed with people despite the somewhat overcast skies. The jet-ski guys were doing a booming business – it’s surprising that there aren’t more accidents with all the novice jet ski riders zooming back and forth.
Today is the day Malaysia celebrates its federation, when they formed the nation of Malaysia. It is a public holiday, which explains in part why there were so many more people out and about today. When we were out walking around earlier we saw the makings of a stage being prepared and as we sat in the Indian restaurant across the street tonight for dinner people dressed in multiple costumes and uniforms started streaming by headed down toward the stage area. We figured out a parade must be imminent so we headed down that direction. Sure enough, each of the various groups were grouped along the road waiting for the parade to begin. It finally started about 9pm and while it was short it was quite fun to watch.
We have decided to stay an extra day here to enjoy the beach – getting here on the ferry was such an ordeal that we need to make the trip worth it! We may try to see some of the local sites tomorrow or we may just laze around another day…