And So It Begins
The vacation began when Ivan came a-visiting from Petaling Jaya via the ERL. I picked him up at the Arau station and he gave me an early birthday present: the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide, which will eventually be its own blog post.
Because of work, I had to spend the first day of vacation grading papers. But we did take Ivan out by the sea where we had some grilled lok ching and laksa.
With me on call for the grading work, we managed to take a trip to Gua Kelam. It was a work day so there were not many people at the park. Here are Ain and Irfan at the mouth into the dark tunnel of the shadowy realm.
Once we got to the park grounds on the far side of the cave, Ain identified the spot where Irfan, Ayah Cik, Cikma and Ciksu once had a cranial massage thanks to the fast-flowing stream.
Ain also sat and swung on the thick, ropy stalk of a beluru tree (also known as a sintok tree). Mouseover the photo above for its scientific name.
It was somewhat green out here in the park.
Even the lake is green.
A stream flowed through the park and snaked into the cave itself becoming an underground river.
Stories of Your Life the Movie
Friday night we headed for the nearest MBO Cinemas to watch Stories of Your Life the Movie starring Lois Lane, Hawkeye and Saw Gerrera. It was a non-zero sum sort of movie. Seeing that Ivan and I have read the short story by Ted Chiang, the exercise in watching the film was to watch it unfold as it was foretold.
An Island Trip
Saturday morning, we headed south on the highway toward Pulau Pinang and took the Penang Bridge to get to Georgetown on the island. Thanks to Ivan’s Waze we headed to where we could get cheap lodgings near Batu Ferringhi.
What Is This I Don’t Even
After acquiring rooms at the motel, we pressed on north and came across… something. The following photos are presented without any comments except for the mouseover text.
After the trippy trip, we retreated back to Batu Ferringhi. There was sea and sand and all at Batu Ferringhi.
It smells a bit like Teluk Batik in the 80s here. Just a bit.
That night we had dinner with Phil. A Traveller GM, Eclipse Phase GM and Star Wars GM walked into a seaside restaurant.
The next morning we checked out of the motel. Luckily we had not booked rooms online. All of the rooms offered online were at least twice the price of the ones we got here. And there were cheaper ones still.
We had one last breakfast with Phil before heading out of Batu Ferringhi.
Final Exploration of the Island
We thought we could spend a couple of hours on Bukit Bendera a.k.a. Penang Hill, but the tram was in maintenance and non-operational for a couple of days.
We found the university and explored its empty streets. It looked like it was the semester break, which meant we could not get lunch there. Everything was closed. Not one restaurant or bistro was open.
We headed out toward Balik Pulau where we had lunch, and took this photo from the restaurant on top of the hill overlooking the northwestern quadrant of the island. The restaurant was adorned with a trillion bonsai plants and wheels from wagons salvaged from Oregon Trail.
Then we headed for Bayan Lepas and headed off the island via the second bridge – the newer one that has fresh paint on it – and headed back north toward Perlis.
After Ain got a fresh supply of Jeruk Pak Ali pickled fruits at her regular place.
Last Day at the Museum
Two years living here we have never visited the museum near Kuala Perlis, so Ivan and I went exploring there.
I think this will be its own blog post some day.
One thing is for sure: the museum grounds are very pleasant and well-kept.
Later that day Ivan got on the ERL back to KL Sentral and I suppose the vacation ended there.