Today, 23 May, Andy and I celebrate our 1 year anniversary of dating! And what better way to celebrate, than on a quaint little island in Malaysia. After breakfast this morning we went for a relaxing dive at a nearby reef. We then treated ourselves to a couple’s massage at a water bungalow spa, overlooking the tropical waters. (A fancy wooden house on stilts.) And we are currently lazing next to the pool, before sunset drinks and a romantic dinner later. It will be hard for future anniversaries to live up to this!
With tour days dwindeling, I am acutely aware of how precious these moments are, for me personally, and for us as a couple. Though there will be future travels, and future holidays, there will only be one ‘World Tour of 2011’. And I couldn’t have imagined doing this with anyone else.
Our exact location is the island of Mabul, just off the coast of Borneo, Malaysia. The attraction: neighbouring Sipadan island. It is labeled as one of the top dive spots in the world. Jacques Cousteau came across this place in the late 80’s, and rated the diving like no other. Today the island and surrounding reef is a protected marine, with only 120 divers allowed to dive there per day. We had a fantastic day there yesterday. The diving is really spectacular, with reef sharks and turtles in abundance. As permits are limited and thus sought after, we are grateful for every day’s diving. And we get to go there again tomorrow. Yay!
And this isn’t the easiest place to get to. To give you an idea of our 24 hours’ travel to get here from our previous stop, this was our transportation itinerary for the segment:
1. Hotel van (Hotel to island jetty)
2. Ferry boat (Island jetty to mainland jetty)
3. Motorised tricycle (Mainland Jetty to Caticlan airport)
4. Flight #1 (Caticlan to Manila, Philippines)
5. Flight #2 (Manila to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia)
6. Flight #3 (Kota Kinabalu to Tawau)
7. Van transfer (Tawau City to Sempornan Village)
8. Overnight in Semporna Motel
9. Boat trip (Seporna to Mabul island)
All in 24 hours! The joys of travelling.