Penang back to Langkawi and around the Island
Tue 25 Apr 2017 07:46
We motored the whole way on a glassy sea – we even had time to stop and snorkel at the second island in Pulau Payer National Park where, as there is no anchoring allowed and all the mooring balls seem to have disappeared, we took it in turns to swim. The water here was very clear and surprisingly full of quite large fish including a small black tip shark (first shark sighting of the whole trip!).
We had decided to circum-navigate Langkawi and see if we could find some nice bays, the first night was spent in the middle of 2 ferry channels close to the main town of Kuah, not great. Next morning we headed North East towards the The Hole in the Wall a popular anchorage within the Kalim Geoforest Park - an amazing landscape of limestone pinnacles and towering cliffs spoiled only by the hundreds of speedboats full of trippers which charge through the otherwise tranquil passages between the cliffs and the mangroves. It is certainly another side of Langkawi which makes a dull uninteresting Island rather scenically spectacular. We spent a night in a lovely sheltered bay on the outside of Pulau Langguan, this was a beautiful peaceful and protected bay which we had totally to ourselves. Next morning we went and looked at the Hole in the Wall which was full of speedboats, from there we went round the most Northern point and into another protected bay at Tan Jong Rhu where we had a rolly night so onto our last stop at Datai Bay host to the Datai and Andaman Resorts two of Langkawi’s most exclusive luxurious 5-star hotels. The bay was picture perfect, pure white sand, lush jungle and the first clean sea we have swam in since we arrived back in Malaysia. We swam ashore and walked the perfect beach the next morning and watched the monkeys playing in the trees along the beach. Certainly the only spot on Langkawi I could recommend for a paradise style holiday – at a price!!!!
Back to reality and a nice sail back to Telaga Harbour with the afternoon wind and back to the anchorage to provision, top up internet and see when Gaviota can be hauled out for work to begin!
One final challenge before the work begins was to climb the 4,287 steps to the summit of Langkawi’s highest peak Gunnun Raya. There was a big race planned for 22nd April The BDB Climb/Run Challenge, this involved climbing the 4,287 steps all 3.1 kms in distance to a height of 787 metres above sea level then to run 16.6 kms downhill back to the start!!!!!! Sadly this event was only open to local Malaysians or permanent residents – whew sigh of relief – even more so when we learned how tough it was and actually did the climb 2 days after the event. Neither of us is at anywhere near peak fitness level and it was a lot tougher than we expected. We started at a jog and ended literally hauling ourselves up the railings to the top in the clouds but we made it. Syd timed in at 1 hour 8 minutes and I timed in at 1 hour 11 minutes. The normal time allocated for the climb was 2 hours 15 minutes and we were told by a local that the fastest time up the steps was 40 minutes which made all the pain and suffering worthwhile. Serious rain started close to the summit accompanied by the standard crashing of thunder and flashes of lightning so it was a quick descent back down to 54.4 metres above Mean Sea Level with a huge sense of achievement and seriously aching muscles!