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On the Road with Rupert
Part 2 : Rupert Still in Tioman?

I didn't have enough dough to make my weekend stay happen at the Berjaya Tioman Resort, which has its own 18-hole golf course and undeniably more luxurious lodging and cuisine. I'm sure you would agree with me that if MANAGEMENT had decided that this could count as a business trip, I would have been able to sample the facilities of Berjaya Resort. Instead, I stayed in a modest chalet at the Mastura Resort(1) on the western side of the island. I picked chalet number 8 since that's a good number. I would have preferred the number 69 but they didn't have that many chalets.

Anyway, once we got there and settled into our chalets, I took a nap till about 2 in the afternoon. I needed to recharge my batteries after a night of long-distance driving but I wasn't able to sleep for long. I was too excited by the sight of crystal clear waters that didn't come from a pipe. Soon, I was jumping into my bright orange beach shorts, sprinting out across the sand, and plunging into the liquid glass. I was a child all over again and I felt the worries and stress of life slide off as the salt water washed over me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were corals a bare 30 meters out from the shore so I swam back to shore to look for a snorkel.

It was sun, sand and sea for the rest of the day and as Phoebus disappeared behind the mountains on the mainland, I laid in a dinghy that I had dragged down to the water and paddled out. I laid there as the stars opened their eyes and winked at me. I laid there as the moon rose gracefully over the treetops, trailing my toes through the water, wondering when they would feel the nibble of a fish out for supper.

I rose early on the second day. I breakfasted on a terrace facing the sea and breathed in the fresh tang of the sea air as I devoured toast and eggs, and gulped orange juice. And then we were on another speedboat that sliced across the waves to an island nearby. The skies grew dark and were soon spitting at me as I sat close to the bow of the boat. I leaned into the wind as the rain bit into my skin. I was happier than I have ever been in over a year and a little rain wasn't about to get my spirits down.

Perhaps the sky wasn't feeling up to it but the rain stopped soon afterwards. We snorkeled among schools of fishes. I saw several fish that could have fed me for an entire week. I gave chase and they fled, leaving trails of what I can only assume was either fecal in nature or some form of natural repellant against predators. I saw pike fish and I saw tiny clown fish hiding among sea anemone. There were brain corals, sea urchins and tiny fish, which had problems swimming horizontally. At times I would hold my breath and listen to the incessant nibbling sounds underwater. Rupert has a friend named Angeline who is a walking encyclopaedia of the animal kingdom but she was unfortunately unavailable for consultation. You will be coming with me the next time, won't you Angie dear?

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(1) For more information on the Mastura resort check out



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