Last week I went to Jamaica for a little fun in the sun. Here are some photos I took while I was there:

Jamaica Photos on Flickr

See my Jamaica Flickr set for more.


Malaysia – Days 18 through 22

What a Nice View
I went to Tioman Island over the weekend. We hopped on a chartered bus through the night and then took a boat the next morning. It seemed a little disorganized in the heat and with the lack of sleep (it’s hard to sleep on a bumpy road through the mountains when the bus driver thinks he’s in a race). The ferry was late picking us up because the tide was too low to come in. I’ve always thought the tide comes in at about the same time (based on the lunar cycle of course) and I couldn’t help but feel like they should have known whether or not they’d be able to pick us up when they said they would. Finally they decided to deliver us to the ferry via speed boat. And then everything got a LOT better.

A Nice Little Island

Getting to the island was a nice trip. But seeing the Island? – wow! It was the most fantastic place! The beaches were truly magnificent and the jungle was gorgeous. I had a great time doing everything from snorkeling to trekking through the jungle in the rain.

On the first day we snorkeled out to a small island. The water was great, nice and warm, and full of beautiful fish. We had a great supper, especially because I had been really craving some western meals.

On Saturday Danny and I rented a scooter from some guy for the hour. It was just his private bike but we had a great time going down to the village and back. I got going about 60 km/h on the way back when I tried to see how fast I could get up to going down hill. Probably too fast for no helmets, but all’s well that ends well. Later that afternoon we went on the Jungle Trek. It rained pretty hard and my shoes were soaked. The jungle trek started half way up the mountain after walking through the golf course. I found it ironic that we just waltzed right through the same golf course that requires golfers to wear golfing shoes. I guess because we weren’t on the greens it isn’t such a big deal? Either that or it’s a case of what they don’t know won’t hurt them. On the way back the rain was really coming down and a few of the others in the group used the golf course as a gigantic slip and slide.


The next day Andrew and I headed off to the other side of the island. It was fantastic. We hired a taxi driver to take us in his 4×4 through the muddy roads over the jungle covered mountain. The beach was huge and even more beautiful than the side with the resort. I enjoyed having it all to ourselves and meeting some of the islanders. I did get a little sunburned from snorkeling for an hour in the hot sun. I didn’t notice it until it was too late.

We headed off the next morning and to our delight the guys running the show told us we’d be heading back via speedboat the whole way. The “speed boat” is a lot faster than the big ferry that brought us there, but it’s quite a bit smaller too. They stopped at another dock (to pick up more people?) but because the dock was designed for bigger boats, this one was being swished back and forth and when it hit the dock it smashed in one of the windows. I heard a loud snapping sound and then what sounded like water rushing in. I thought for sure we’d have to abandon ship. The water sound was actually broken glass spreading out over about three seats and four or five people. The dean of management was one of the ones to get hit and had a couple of tiny cuts on her arm and thumb.

After that we just headed out to sea without further incident. It was a totally perfect weekend — with exception to the fact that I got sunburned, but even that wasn’t so bad and totally worth it. I’d love to go to Tioman again. I’ve been told it’s not even the nicest island around here — which is hard to believe because this place is amazing, but that’s what they say.


Malaysia Day 2

After a long night of not really sleeping, I decided at 5:30 to go and explore. The humid scent of incense and garbage was still very much the atmosphere even in the early hours of the day. I met a couple of backpackers from the States and chatted with them for a few hours until the restaurant opened.

I was looking for a “western style” breakfast, but with all the travelling I’ve done you’d have think that I would already know that finding something I’d like would be difficult.

I ordered the “big dragon breakfast”: fried eggs, hash browns, sausage, orange juice, and tea. What I got was half cooked sunny side up eggs, a tiny hash brown pattie (like you would expect to get from McDonald’s) and some chopped up hot dogs lathered in grease and fried with onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. Well I’m being fairly critical I guess my biggest complaint was all the grease.

I met up with some of the other University of Lethbridge students and together we’re all geeking out at an Internet Cafe. I think I’m the winner for the biggest geek… checking out,, and Gmail vs. everyone else and their Hotmail accounts. :) Well that’s it for me for now. I think the plan for today is to scout out the worlds biggest mall, and you all thought that was either the West Ed, or Mall of America. There are a lot of enormous malls here.


Space and Time Are No Match

After skipping a day (Sunday’s are usually so boring anyway) and travelling half way around the world I’ve found myself an Internet cafe here in Malaysia. It’s just down the block from where we are staying. It’s pretty strange here and I’m feeling the culture shock. I’m also very tired and stuffed up with a cold. I haven’t eaten supper yet but to be honest I’m a little leary of the places to eat around here. I better get over that soon or I’ll end up starving! :)

I’m walking around with a guy from Edmonton named Dave Woods. He tells me I’m somewhat lucky to be stuffed up because the smells here are really something else.

I’ll spare you too many of the details, but needless to say it’s been a long trip. I’ve been ping-ponging in the zone somewhere between sleeping and consciousness for like the last 36 hours and though we arrived at our hotel almost five hours ago, I’ve been sleeping and just barely got up and started exploring these crazy markets.

I saw a rat scurry across the street and into a sewer grate, as well about 10 or so cockroaches running around on the sidewalk. It made me glad that I didn’t wear my sandals.

There are many street side restaurants / food vendors with aggressive hosts in the streets calling out and showing you their menus. There are CD’s, DVD’s, and VCD’s a plenty, not to mention the assortment of watches, shoes, and colognes for sale along this street. This Internet cafe is a nice sanctuary from the bustle outside.

Being so tired and sick it’s hard to give a true impression of the place but I’ll let you know (if you can keep a secret) seven weeks seems like it’s going to be an awful long time.