There’s nothing like being in a speedboat; with the water frothing at the sides, splashing on your arms and that refreshing breeze. At least that’s how you imagine it. When all the excitement is bursting up inside because you- bespectacled, slightly asthmatic and scared of spiders bigger than a 50p piece; you, are about to discover a fantastic island, Manukan Island that has the best snorkelling, and un-touched rainforest and a shiny white beach. It’s what you were dreaming of the whole way on the 8 hour car journey. Six border crossing later you’re finally there, stepping onto the boat.
The engine revs. And splutters. You don’t let that still your beating heart. It revs again. Splutters again. Some shouting ensues. One man (The Captain?) storms off the boat. You wait; part sitting/part crouching on the worlds’s narrowest seat, the adrenaline pumping through your veins. Man returns with huge container of petrol. Engine revs and off you go! Hurrah! Except the water is a little choppy; no matter. You hold; then grip the side of the boat and then your husband (he’s a better swimmer than you). The boat gets faster, the water choppier. It’s all good though because you can see that speck of an island in the distance and the speed this guy is going you’ll be there in no time. Only that wasn’t your island. No matter, another speck of green appears. This must be it. The water is getting choppier by the second. The boat jumps around like a kid on a bouncy castle. Still you find the strength to take a quick selfie. After all, what’s the point of going on an adventure if you can’t boast about it to your nearest and dearest?
You arrive to the tiny Island. “Let’s work up a sweat and try one of these nature trails through the jungle” you say. Flip-flops off. Trainers on. The walk starts off just fine, it’s a little bit sweaty and a few bugs about but there isn’t a centimetre of your body that isn’t covered in industrial strength mosquito repellant. You soldier on. There isn’t really a cleared path but there is a dirt trail of sorts. Hop over a water pipe (who put that there?!) and into a puddle of muddy water. Ahead, lie two logs in a perfect ‘X’ “Surely, they’ve fallen that way naturally?” husband says/hopes. You give him one of your looks. “You’re right.” He unwillingly admits. “That was no accident.” Nature trail fail.
No matter because there’s still that un-explored beach. The one littered with tourists. You find a strip of sand but before you can dip your toe in the water your tummy lurches so you lie down. You stare up at the clear, blue sky waiting for the queasy feeling in your tummy to pass thinking to yourself “Maybe it’s sea-sickness? Could it be the overbearing heat of the jungle? Or that laksa we had last night?”
Who knows but suffice to say, we caught an early ride back to the mainland. So long Manukan!