Ah, Luxury!

Day 33, Sunday 29 Jan 2012, KL and Langkawi

I was up at 6.00 after another bad night, in future I think I will stay in smaller sized dorm rooms if I have a choice, especially in these towns where there is a tendency for other travellers to stay out drinking all night. As I had no idea how long it would take for me to get from the hostel in Chinatown to the airport I wanted to leave nice and early rather than miss the flight. Yesterday I had taken the step of checking with the airport bus company as to what time they start running on a Sunday morning and what frequency they ran, so for a change, I was informed !

Even at 6.30 on a Sunday morning there were a lot of people scurrying around Chinatown, on the way to whatever business they had, no drunks though. There was a nice sense of peace around and it felt perfectly safe to stroll the streets. Near the station I came across a couple asleep – side by side, on their backs on the footpath next to their motorbike, they were sleeping with their helmets on. Must have gotten tired and just decided to sleep, it was quite bizarre.

The trip to the airport was quick, cheap and painless and I was easily there on time. For a welcome change I had my first McDonalds breakfast since I have been away, muffin and hash browns, just like at home! The flight to Langkawi was an hour long  and the plane was full and I was crammed into a middle seat with no leg room, next time I will pay Air Asia the extra two bucks and select an aisle seat so I am not so damn squashed in.

The Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort is at the lower end of the price range and is one of the older resorts on Langkawi, it is huge and my room is 476 paces away from the main area, at least I will get some exercise to balance all the eating I plan on doing! The reviews I had read online said things are expensive in the resort and they charge for everything as well, seems to be a true, a meal package of lunch and dinner with one drink was 129rm. I walked the 15 minutes to the main strip and had lunch for 6.50. People also commented on the place being tired and worn and I will disagree with that one, my room is great, especially after the 10 bed dorm! It is big and airy and has hot water and I do not have to share my loo with anyone else, and real sheets with big fluffy pillows, ahhhh luxury.

I took picture this as soon as I walked in the door, 5 minutes later it looked like my daughter, Meliesha had been living there – clothes and crap everywhere, it was very unlike me, but oh so nice to spread out.

I took a walk along the beach and had lunch at an Indian place in town and then headed back for a look around and a lie down, I really must try and spend the time I have here relaxing, I am not planning on seeing any of the sites of Langkawi, just the beach, the pool, the bar (where free wifi is) and local the cafes. I need a good couple of days to refuel with some good food and rehydrate as I have not been drinking enough water, those plus some good sleep time and I should be ready for another few weeks of travel.

The beach at the resort is very nice, lots of coconut palms and white sand. Sadly the skies are grey and not crystal blue.

Next to the resort is a small river that is the home to a number of small fishing boats. If I get a cloudless day there will be some great photos here.

After a snooze I wandered back into town to the local laundry and handed over all the clothes I had with the exception of what I was wearing. I also picked up some washing powder so I can wash what I am wearing when I get my clothes back, I also bought some really cheap beer – Langkawi is a duty free island. I had a very nice Thai chicken and cashew dinner and went back to the resort to use the internet. I had a good couple of hours on the web and four glasses of chilled Chilean red wine. Sooooooooooo nice to have a wine again, though not ‘cheap’, same as NZ bar prices so I coped 🙂  What I did not count on was the 10% service charge when I got the bill at the end of the night.

I think I am the only single person in the resort !

Some post-rock awesomeness from the now sadly defunct Aussie group, Laura – and no, it is not all melancholy ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9mfxf0mOnU

Leech cures and Petronas at night

Day 32, Saturday 28 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur, part two

Just sitting in the lobby of my resort in Langkawi, accessing the free wifi and supping my first (second, third, fourth) red in over a month. Wine – how I have missed thee ! Ok it is a chilled Chilean, but it is still red and still wine.  More on Langkiwi tomorrow, this post is all about yesterday.

OK, I am going to say I loved Batu Caves, a great mix of history, culture and monkeys, definitely something you cannot see outside of Asia, so a great morning was had.  As I was leaving the weather packed in and it started to drizzle, I made a hurried walk to the station and missed the train by about 10 seconds. Luckily this is not Auckland so the next train arrived early and left on time, also unlike Auckland it had a chicks only carriage, or maybe there are just no ladies in Auckland, so there is no need for them 🙂

I got the train back to the old Kuala Lumpur train station and walked back towards Merdaka square, which was hosting a celebration of some sorts, not too sure what for, but there was a weird mix of dragon dancers, this awesomely loud car, playing appalling Chinese dance music.

And a Malay pipe band !

From Merdaka Square I wandered around little India for a while, which was pumping with lunch time crowds. I had one of these, a very thin waffle filled with crushed peanuts and sugar, very nice.

I loved these irons ! Awesome, I was sorely tempted to buy one.

After lunch of veges and rice i headed back to the hostel for a rest and got a phone call from an old friend from my London days in the eighties. Trefor had just taken a job in Kuala Lumpur and we arranged to catch up in the evening. I was planning on heading back to Petronas Towers to try for the night shot I missed last night, conveniently Trefor is now working for Petronas and has an office on the 19th floor and lives close by.

The late afternoon saw a massive downpour hit KL, possibly the heaviest rain I have seen and I was watching my night shoot disappearing down the drain.  Like all good downpours it was relatively short lived and I managed to sneak out just after 6.00. The sun obviously sets a lot later in KL than it does in Borneo as I had a longer wait at the towers than I anticipated, I took a listless half hearted walk around the mall and a very average chicken rendang for dinner – I should have asked for more chilli (what is becoming of me, more chilli !!!).  After dinner I headed out to the back of the mall area and set up the tripod and camera to await the dark. I took a lot of photos !

I then moved around to the front for a couple more. Did I say how awesomely well set out for photography this place is – OK I know I did but it really was worth mentioning again !

I was wrapping up my photo taking when I got a call from Trefor to say he had arrived at the towers.  At a very loud Irish bar in the tower mall complex, that appeared to be full of very loud expats, we caught up on a few years of each others lives over a lager or two. . I had an enjoyable couple of hours and it was good to catch up, Trefor works in the oil industry in project roles and has worked in some interesting places. When I am back in KL in a few days I am going to stay at his place, which is just awesome. As I had to be up early to find my way to the airport I left just before 11 and had a reasonably quick ride back to the hostel on the train.

I had just settled down in my bunk when there was a series of loud explosions outside, I lay there for a bit wondering what the hell was going on and finally decided to get up a for a look see, there was a massive midnight fireworks display, sadly there was a bloody great tower block between me and it so I only got to see the periphery. Damn it ! no idea what it was for and disappointed the hostel didn’t mention it to guests as it appears to have been a BIG deal, lots of big fireworks over a ten minute period.

I got back to bed and listened to some one snore for 6 hours – and no, earplugs did not work !

Play loud  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2D7uZ0LK9Y&feature=related

Batu Caves

Day 32, Saturday 28 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves

This could be my first two post day, if anything happens this afternoon it will definitely be, crikey it is all happening! I went to Batu Caves this morning and it is worth its own post, also because I am spending the afternoon  in the hostel until I go back to Petronas Towers for another crack at a night shot, weather dependant of course.

Interesting night in the ten person mixed dorm, there are nine beds with packs on them and by 11pm only two of us were in bed, I suspected it was going to be a long night, having said that, I kinda slept OK. Last person came in at 5.30 am and first people up at 5.45… I was talking to young English guys this morning, they said they were leaving KL after seven days as it was costing too much to drink. They had been to Petronas Towers and Chinatown, thats it – seven days worth of site seeing– and the hostel is in Chinat That made me feel all adventurous, as I had been further than that!

Batu Caves is a 15km train ride from thje local station and is one of KL’s key attractions. The fare was 80c and the train went all the way there, yay for KL !

The caves are the most import Hindu shrine outside of India and are dedicated to Lord Murugan. The site also has a 42metre high golden coloured statue of the lord, the temple cave is accessed via a 272 step staircase which must be ascended by devotees heading to the temple, many with their offerings.

I arrived there fairly early and missed the worst of the tourist rush, which was great. The site is also famous for its macaque monkeys, and as a poor Indian women learnt – it is advisable to not carry any food or drink…

Blessing before the climb.

Macaque peeling an orange.Lord Murugan and the famous 272 steps.

The climb.

I was looking back up stairs when I heard a woman shreak, as I turned round this monkey was undoing the screw top on this bottle of milk it had stolen from her. Milk is one of the key offerings made and is in the containers the women are carrying on their heads. The macaque didnt drink it from the bottle, just poured it on the ground.The cave temple and a shrine.

The view to KL

The site is also where the Thaipasum festival parade ends, I was talking to one of the devotees at the top of the stairs and he said in the day of the festival there will be 1.5million people there.  I imagine the trains will be packed…

I really enjoyed Batu Caves !

Homer reincarnated?


Apologies, some of these images are a soft, will have to give the camera a clean as I am not sure if the auto-focus is picking up some dirt on the lens.

1 month of travel completed !

Day 31, Friday 27 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur

Well if you read my last, brief, post you will know that my first completed month on the road was not a day I will remember fondly. I had a lousy sleep as the hostel is internally not very soundproof, so people noise all night long kept me awake. I will stay the next two nights in the dorm and see how it goes and then decide if I come back here when I come back for Thaipusam in Feb, this hostel is very close to the start of the procession to Batu Caves so is a good spot for it. I am going to check the caves out tomorrow if the rain stops as they will be a few hundred thousand people there during the festival.

Anyways, back to the story, good breakfast and coffees and then started getting ready to hit the streets when I discovered that most of my US cash and some Malaysian money had been stolen from my money belt that was locked in a hostel locker, probably about 500NZD worth. I wasn’t angry, the hostel were unhappy about it, realistically they cannot do anything about it. I was pretty gutted, I had had a good day yesterday and was getting into a groove with being in KL on my own but now I was just feeling alone and lonely, with no one to share my disappointment with. The sun was out as I trudged out the door and went for a walk around the area, old train station and another building that I had no idea what it was but I did like these steps !

I then caught the monorail to the Bukit Bintang shopping area.

They had a good display of friendship buddy bears, there was no NZ one, this was as close as I got to my heritage 🙂

And Moldova was my favourite.

I spent a couple of listless hours wandering the shops, very uninspired, and then headed back to the hostel. Had a great chat with my oldest son, Dom on the phone and a Skype chat with a friend and was back into it ! I have decided (and booked) to take a couple of days out and fly to Langkawi in the north east of Malaysia and hang out in a resort by the beach and recharge. I was going to do it in the next couple of weeks but needed it now, it wasn’t cheap, but certainly nowhere near the price of the expensive resorts.  I will then come back to KL via Penang.

I then headed out for a planned visit to the Petronas Towers, I intended to spend some time looking around the outside, go into the big mall inside and have dinner then get a couple of night shots in.  I was absolutely blown away by the towers, they are stunning to look at, fourth tallest buildings in the world and they look so metallic, hard to describe, but I really liked them. What has also been done well is the front of the towers is clear of trees and buildings which allows easy access to take photos, so unusual and very well done !

I managed to snap a couple of shots before the heavens opened so I went inside for a couple of hours and came out just before dark. Still raining !!!!

So I left and went back to the hostel.

Not so lovin KL now

Not KL’s fault.

last night most of my cash was stolen from my locker in the hostel, about $500 NZ. All the small denomination USD and some local currency. I am not blaming anyone but myself but I am pretty down on it 😦

Starbucks for coffee and muffin to cheer me up.


3 months later I found the money tucked inside my UK Passport for ‘safe keeping’ ! Apologies to KL for doubting that you are a lovely city !!!!

I heart KL

Day 30, Thursday 26 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur

Up at 6.15 to get the highly expensive van out to the airport, onwards and upwards ! Uneventful flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, 45 minutes – so up, shaken about by turbulence and down again. I had a much needed morning coffee fix at Kinabalu between flights.

I had not left enough time between the flights to do a free check in so had to pay 10rm ($4 NZD) for the pleasure of getting my boarding pass printed. The woman at the counter basically suggested I was an idiot for disturbing her slumber with the audacity to want to make a connecting flight. I am going to say it “Sabah – you are beautiful (apart from the friggin palms), but you need to sort your shit out, with a couple of exceptions your customer service SUCKS !”

The two and half hour flight to Kuala Lumpur was dull but also uneventful, my favourite kind of flight, I would like to add, plus we had the bonus of getting to KL early, awesome.

I caught the airport bus to KL Central, I did not realise but the airport is about 70k from town, the bus was 9rm (under $4 NZD), beats the $20 or so at Auckland ! We were less than 100metres from the airport before the palm oil plantations kicked in, a major disappointment for me. The ride to town was OK, not a lot to see and I was gagging for my first view of the city and the towers, it is a nice looking city when I got my first view.

I got a bit lost in the Central transport plaza till I found my way to the LRT (light rail) section and caught the train one stop to the Pasar Seni station near to the hostel I was recommended. I had a rather vacant walk around the neighbourhood using a totally useless map until I found the Travellers Home hostel. It was crap ! seemed to be above a prayer room and was mainly populated by men from the sub-continent, i do not want to appear racist, but it was not my kind of place. I left! Out on the street I took a wrong turn and immediately had no idea where I was. I wandered blindly around for a bit and came across the Explorers Homestay, the front door had a “Trip Advisor” recommendation sticker so I decided to check it out. Waaaaay better.  They had no dorm rooms available tonight so I have taken an expensive single and have got a dorm for the following two nights. I plan on a couple of days here and then onto Melaka, though my timing again sucks as I think this will put me in Melaka over a weekend, which is apparently as very busy time with people vactioning there from KL.

It was mid afternoon once I had sorted myself out, so I went for a walk around the area, it is sort of on the edge of Chinatown and close to little india, I had a couple of very vacant hours wandering around and realised I really do need a better map or I am going to get really lost.  I enjoyed snapping photos around here, lots to see, not just touristy things!

Reggae Mansion, the big Kahuna of hostels, there are also Reggae guesthouses 1 and 2 close by.

I have not seen much graffiti in my travels, not sure if this is good or bad, it can be a curse but good street art is great.

The flag in Merdaka Square (sorry if this is spelt wrong, it is too dark for me to see clearly 🙂 )

I did not get the name of this Chinese temple, but loved these burning incense coils, with names inside.

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple –  the oldest Hindu temple in KL

I had dinner at a local Indian, followed by a colour of beers in front of the laptop in the common room before bed.

Today I followed some very wise advice from my very experienced travelling friend Alex. He told me to take every new challenge as a series of small steps, to not look ahead too far. I am going to say I was a bit daunted when I got up this morning, I had to get two flights to a strange city, find my way via public transport to a hostel I had no idea about based on a map on a business card. A huge part of me wanted to arrive at KL airport and get a cab to a hotel, just like millions of other tourists in their forties do everyday. But that would be a cop out ! so i broke the day up into sections, each a small challenge to complete, each entirely simple in its own right, get a plane, get a bus, get a train. Easy !

I will strive to do the same tomorrow!

Sepilok – Orangutan town.

Day 29, Wednesday 25 Jan 2012, Sepilok

I took half a pill last night as I had had a couple of bad nights in Semporna, trying to sleep on the bed of rocks and was subsequently very tired. I had a good eight hours sleep and after a warm (but pathetic) shower I was feeling much perkier. I have a small sweat rash which developed a few days ago and was fine while diving but it has gotten worse again on the bus trip to Sepilok, I will have to take some care over the next few days. (is this too much info ?)

I had an omelette and loads of coffee for my included breakfast then headed over to the Seplilok Orangutan Research Centre, (SORC). The reason I stayed at the resort is due to its location next door to SORC and I can go to both feeding sessions on the one day entry – which, I will say, was four times the price of Semmengoh, near Kuching – Sepilok is a rip off !   As an aside in no way does the resort resemble what I would call a resort, I would post a picture of my room, but will save the photo upload time for more important things ! so if you think I am staying in the lap of luxury, think again.

I got to SORC just as 5 buses dumped their load of mainly bewildered, mainly elderly and mainly European tourists off. Bugger ! The walk to the feeding area was long and slow and I will say for captain impatient here, very painful, as the oldies staggered their way along the slippery boardwalk. However I did get an OK spot to take photos and now know where to go for better photo opportunities at thr afternoon session.

We saw two female orang-utans with their babies which was pretty cool, they came to the station one at a time and fed themselves. One of them also fed her baby. I took a lot of photos, most of which were rubbish, but a few keepers ! It is hard to shoot with a long lens at slow speeds in a crowd !



Once the orang-utans had left the feed station was invaded by a troop of monkeys who amused the reducing crowd with their antics, great fun.

After an hour I wandered back to the entrance, grabbed a shot of a nice sized spider and a tree viper (not its head) sitting in a tree.


As I left this little guy popped up for a wee snack.

I went back to my room for a lie down and to wait for the three pm feeding, which I will go to early to secure a better spot!

Just as I was about to head off at two for the feeding the heavens opened ! with umbrella in hand I walked over anyway and secured a reasonable spot, much nearer to the platform. There were significantly less people this afternoon which was great as the orang-utans didn’t really play ball to start with and hid away from my perfect possie. The rain stopped for a brief minute as the first two came out and then started again for the remainder of my time there. It is quite hard to take photos while
holding an umbrella, the light was pretty bad so lots of noise in the afternoon shots. The two orang-utans from this morning were back again this afternoon along with a young male. They were a lot less active this afternoon and I am putting it down to the rain. Just before I left I knocked my glasses from my pocket over the edge and had to get one of the guides to go down and get them , Doh !

As in humans, the young male was impatient for his food…

I had to skip lunch today as I am running out of cash. Last night I was told the fare to the airport is 18rm, but….. I was told this morning there is a two person minimum and as I am the only one it will be 36rm – I call rort, AGAIN !

After my dissatisfaction I still ended up drinking three beers, eating a plate of chips and then a calamari curry and having to use the credit card. But at least I got to use heaps of free wi-fi, it doesn’t work in my hovel room.


Off to Sepilok

Day 28, Tuesday 24 Jan 2012, Semporna –  Sepilok

It was pouring with rain again when I woke up so decided to stick with my plan from yesterday and move on up to Sepilok on the 7.30 bus. Jay (Jerome) and I said our farewells and he went back to bed. I enjoyed travelling with Jay, nice to have some company for a few days even though his English was not good. I think he appreciated having me listen to the instructions from the dive masters and then repeat to him more slowly, we have swapped emails and he has offered me a bed in Toulouse if I make it there. I now hope to pick up someone else to travel with, though have been disappointed on my first day in Sepilok.

I used the same Dyana bus company to catch the bus to Sandakan, Sepilok is nearby and just off the main road. The bus was full again, but I secured a window seat on the right hand side, for some reason the right hand seats have significantly more leg room ! It makes a huge difference after five hours with no stop.

The bus dropped me at the end of Sepilok Rd and I got a “pirate” (unlicensed) taxi down to the “resort” I chose to stay at. The Sepilok Jungle Resort. It is pretty run down, the staff, of which there seem to be dozens are not the happiest or helpful bunch, service is crap ! I was going to make this a base for some day trips around the place, but everything is expensive, tours, water, beer, food everything and I have little cash. I was told the wi-fi cost 5rm for 30 mins so was not going to use it much, but subsequently found out it is free and unlocked, frustrating.

Anyway, I have had enough of Borneo so have decided to move on, I am going to take the expensive option, (about twice the price of the bus) and fly from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu and an hour later to Kuala Lumpur. I get to KL a week earlier than planned so will head to Melaka and maybe the Cameron Highlands for a couple of days each, not sure will see what the haps is when I get to KL, maybe I will meet someone to travel with again as I am enjoying things a lot more with company.

Boom boom, diving Semporna, day 2

Day 27, Monday 23 Jan 2012, Semporna

Day two of diving started off with a massive downpour ! fortunately we were waiting for a hungover graduate from the day before school to turn up, which she never did, so we left late and the worst of the rain had subsided so we didn’t get soaked walking to the boat. It was probably good to have a cloudy day as I have a wee bit of sunburn from yesterday.

Today we are diving Mantabuan Island, again about a 45 minute boat road from Semporna town. This island is inside the marine reserve and normally has a resident guard on it to watch for illegal fishing, however the island was in between guards and there had been reports of dynamite fishing on the reef (also known as reef bombing), so Kyle our English dive master took the camera to photograph and damage. There was three divers and three snorkelers today. Mantabuan is surrounded by a reef so we will be doing three boat dives today as our boat is too deep to get to the beach.

 Our first dive was on a reef called black coral garden and you could easily see why, the water was clearer here and I think if we had a sunny day the visibility would have been incredible, as it was it was still 15-20 metres (much better than the 1.5 in Lake Pupuke!).  About twenty minutes into the dive there was a loud BOOM under water, we all instantly knew what it was, reef bombing ! Kyle made sure we were all calm and we carried on our dive as it was not the close, soon after there was a second BOOM, a bit further away but still a wee bit scary. Kyle, was fairly cool with it all so we trusted him and carried on with the dive. We soon started to come across the odd dead fish and then more and more, culminating in an area that must have had thousands of small fish, all dead, surrounding damaged coral. This was probably the epicentre of the explosions. As we were running low on air we surfaced here. Kyle and Egdar, the Malay snorkel guide were incensed at the reef bombing. Not so much for our safety, though the bombers knew we were down and dint care less, but because of the damage to the reef system. They tried to call the army out but we had no cell reception, but soon after we saw an army patrol vessel and managed to hail them over and point out the offending vessel.

The army went after them, but as their boat was too deep to go through the reef, they had to catch a ride in a local canoe !

 The second dive on Sham Sham and the third on The Channel were a lot less exciting than the first, no one was trying to kill anything ! We saw a lot of marine life, three great turtles a couple of snakes, one very close up. We also saw a lot of damage, huge swathes of destroyed coral and I found a dead turtle, its shell had been split, it was so sad. Just as we were wrapping up the dive, a school of 100 or so barracuda swam past, awesome !

Kyle our dive master and Jay

Apart from the obvious the dives were great, good visibility, plenty to look at, both good and bad. Another good day.

A passing storm

I spent an interesting couple of hours chatting with Kyle when we got back on shore, he has been in Semporna for 18 months now and is very passionate about the reefs and the water that surrounds them.

In our dorm are two guys who I met at the Pinnacles walk at Mulu, they did the walk the day before I did. At the local Indian tonight they introduced us to banana roti, my God, they are absolutely delicious ! The roti’s not the two guys, I have not crossed over!

Diving Semporna, day 1

Day 26, Sunday 22 Jan 2012, Semporna

 I am going to start by saying today was pretty awesome !

Very warm dorm room in Semporna,  but I slept OK,  I must be getting the hang of hostel living. Up at 7.00 for what must be one of the better hostel “free” breakfasts, as well as the normal fruit and toast we had boiled eggs, yum. Bread in Borneo – and I am kinda guessing all SE Asia, is white and has as much body as a size zero super model. Unlike NZ, you cannot have a meal based around toast…

The Scuba Junkies shop was full of keen divers and snorkelers when we arrived at 7.45, along with the shop guys, the group going out Sibuan Island had three snorkelers, three dive trainees and Jay and I. It was a 45 minute fast boat to the island and it was beautiful, if the day had been sunny and still you would have said a tropical paradise ! The island is inhabited by twenty families of sea gypsies and they pretty much ignored us when we wandered about between dives taking photos. Our boat

The island is quite narrow.

Soon after we arrived a number of other tour operators turned, including this Malay group,  I was surprised the muslim women swam in their clothes and headdress, I guess it is obvious when you think about it, but it must be dangerous !

From what the dive guys said the sea gypsies are primarily of Philippine origin, but have been in local waters for a long time. As they are not Malay they are not allowed to set foot on the mainland so mainly live on stilt houses off shore. About 10 years ago they were allowed to live on some of the small islands and apply for citizenship, so there are a number of families living on the smaller islands.

We did three dives, all on different reefs around the island, one from shore (left shoulder) and two from the boat (Froggies Blvd) and Hawksbill Highway) . The dives were all around fifty minutes and each dive had a slightly different seascape, therefore some variation in sea life. The highlight was the second dive where we saw two turtles up close and quite a large sea snake swimming in the other direction. Seeing turtles swimming was pretty damn cool ! Along with some pretty awesome coral and a few moray eels, we saw an abundance of fish – too many to remember all the varieties we saw, but at least a tropical fish shop worth. We had a Malay dive master with us and he could spot fish and other life amazingly well, far better than the English guy we would have tomorrow.

We dived till about 3.30 and then had a quick ride back to town for a beer or two and a bit of story telling. Saw this awesome bit of transport on the way back.

I went for an late afternoon walk and saw this guy frantically paddling while sucking down a ciggie. I am (not really) amazed at how many people smoke, ciggies are cheap, 20 for NZD$4 and the majority of men and a lot of boys smoke constantly.

The water is foul here, I cannot believe they swim in it, there is a lot of garbage plus all the garbage. I heard that when they built the fixed jetty here, they started at low tide and then carried on. The boys are sitting on top of it at high tide !

Great day, night not so good, the mattress is made from two pieces of shaved paper I think. I can feel every slat.