Monday, March 19, 2012

Chilling in Cherating

En route to KB for the balik kampung trip, we stopped over in Cherating. There was no real plan. The only plan was to hunt the turtle. If we are lucky. Since the guide that I contacted earlier already told me the hatching season just started.

Unfortunately, the guide that I contacted earlier wasn't around when we were in Cherating. But the moon was bright and full. So we tried our luck on our own.
But we weren't so lucky. After almost 2 hours of waiting, there was no turtle in sight. Then we met a patrolling ranger. He told me that there were quite a few turtle laying eggs, but not many. And they usually will be in a darker quiter area. Somewhere further up. Definitely not somewhere we dare to go alone.

OK. Tough luck. We'll definitely come back. See u next time, turtles. So the only consolation for the kids are the turtle in the sanctuary centre.
They are such an amazing creatures. Such a beauty.
So what else to do in Cherating? After breakfast on Sunday, we decided to bring the kids to visit the Beserah fishing village. Took us a while to find the place. But we found it. And it was quite nice. Very scenic and idyllic.
The beauty of simple life in a village. Fishermen chilling after a day's work.
A man fixing the net.
Fishermen came back from the sea.
Pushing the boat up to the shore.
Off to the market with the catch of the day. I read somewhere they used to use buffalo to transport the fish to the market nearby for distribution to the fishmongers. I guess not anymore? Or probably not today.
Wrapping up. Cleaning up.
The loyal lingering predator. Whom my kids adore wholeheartedly. 
And the feeling is soooo not mutual with me :P 
Kids enjoying the beach. As usual. If u r from Terengganu or Kelantan, Cherating beach is nothing to shout about. But it's good enough for beach deprived people like us. The sand. The waves. The breeze. The salty fishy smell of the sea.
The hunt for seashells.
 And crabs. 
Even the dead fishes fascinates them.  
Sand play. They can continue doing this for hours.
  Does this look like a fish?
The other thing u can do in Cherating is watch the firefly. We went to Hafiz's Activity Centre.
Hafiz was an awesome guide. So knowledgable. He's also affiliated with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).
He explained to us that Cherating river is relatively small in comparison to Kuala Selangor river. So there is naturally lesser fireflies in Cherating. The light pollution due to the growing tourism industry along the river is not helping either. There is only 1 type of firefly in Cherating. And it's the non-synchronised type. Kuala Selangor has 4 types of fireflies. And they are the synchronised type.

It was my first time watching firefly. And Medina's first boat trip. I was a bit worried. And I was not so sure whether bringing young kid into the jungle late at night was such a good idea.
 Little Missy getting ready. Mr O helping her with the life jacket. 
But thankfully, everything was okay. In fact, it was awesome. And Medina had a blast catching the fireflies. Okay...actually Medina's ummi had a blast too...hahaha ;-)

Through experience, Hafiz learned that he can summon the fireflies with light. So from time to time, we had the fireflies flying towards us. Close enough that we can hold them in our palm. Medina was so excited ;-)

Hafiz told us to be careful not to squeeze the firefly and gently release them back to the wild. I can't explain the feeling but it was quite magical.

Owl City's Firefly keeps playing in my head.
 You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

The photos will never do justice. It was pitch black. On our left and right were the fireflies blinking their lights against the darkness of the night. And above us, million of stars light up the sky. Hajar think the fireflies die and become the stars. I think so too ;-)

The centre offers other activities too. Like mangrove boat tour, snorkelling and turtle watching. Worth checking out. Their fees are really reasonable. Highly recommended. We had a really good time. This is the map just in case u r wondering where they are.

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell
But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar...;-)

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