And so from the perfectly groomed little airport on Tioman I head back to an orderly Singapore where even the buildings have giant numbers so they won’t lose themselves. From there I get on the 23.25 plane to London and a winters chill. I’m looking forward to it really as I have been away for long enough.
At the North end of Salang Beach the footpath winds up past an impressive abandoned bungalow complex. I say impressive becuase the bungalows cling to the steep slopes teetering on high thin legs and actually blend into the hillside quite well.
The path quickly turns to a winding jungle camino that follows the electricity cables that come from the islands capital.
My T-shirt was soon turned into a sopping rag as the humidity and the heat took their toll, but after a good hike up and down you come to the deserted white sand beach of Monkey Bay.
At Monkey Bay I stripped my sopping clothes and skinny dipped in the cooler waters of the sea, floating around I could look back at the jungle wrapped around the bay like a shawl.
Continuing on was an easier walk even if the distance was farther as the slopes became kinder. Monkeys followed me in the trees making sure I wasn’t up to no good, monitor lizards scurried out of my way and I teased tree snakes with sticks as butterflies flapped dreamily around as if in an opium den. The noise is hypnotic in the jungle, a constant rythm that has kept us entertained for all time, before the electronic rythms this was our melody and it has stayed fresh.
Eventually the path reaches habitation again and after another set of stairs and a hill reaches the long arc of a bay that the small airport sits on. I came across a fellow I knew was from Salang and hitched a ride back in his boat along with his son that he was accompanying from school. Perfect timing for the perfect day.
I love the fact that Tioman has a heart of solid jungle that can be explored, but must be respected. I spent a long time on Koh Tao in Thailand but found the fact that it had evolved from one vast coconut plantation had left it featureless in it’s interior, but Tioman still has the monkeys, monitor lizards, butterflies snakes and everything that goes with this hemisphere and location.
Here is a panorama made from the end of the new concrete pier in Tioman…
[kml_flashembed movie="http://cybergypsy.eu/flash/tioman-panorama.swf" width="496" height="240" wmode="transparent" /]
It was around 12 years ago that I saw a Norwegian feller on the beach in Tioman with a laptop. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was connected to the web via a sat phone and that he was working.
I decided that if this woas work then I wanted to get involved, so I learned how to use computers and got busy.
I am now sitting on the same beach in Tioman, with my laptop connected to the internet and I’m not working too hard.
It feels like I have come full circle, back to the source.