Gransnet forums


Would you blow all your travel budget on one week in paradise?

(25 Posts)
Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 13:17:05

I don't believe in fate so it must be mere coincidence. I have been researching the island of Sipidan, Borneo with a view to stopping off there for a week on my way back from New Zealand to France next April. This morning, I was listening to Excess Baggage on Radio 4 and a travel writer was asked which was his favourite place on earth. He said that without doubt Sipidan is the most beautiful place left in the world for snorkeling/diving on coral. They have closed down all the resorts to protect the fragile ego-system but I have had a quote for staying on a nearby island and going over to Sipidan by boat, with a permit.
I put some money out of my pension each month into a deposit account for my travels and a week in Borneo on top of my trip to NZ would blow the lot for 2012/2013. I was disappointed last year in Phuket as there was no coral left around the island.
Now I have to decide whether to push the boat out (almost literally, except they always help me into the boat as I am such an old lady!) for what would be the holiday of my dreams.
I am also getting quotes for a week in The Pehrentian Islands, where I first learnt to snorkel in 1997. This would be much cheaper,so if the coral is still as good as it was then I will take the cheaper option.

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 13:50:33

Funnily enough I thought of you when I was listening to the same programme

BlueSky Sat 07-Apr-12 13:54:45

Go for it Greatnan! I would, and never regret money spent on holidays! smile

grrrranny Sat 07-Apr-12 14:37:07

greatnan I think you should go to Sipidan even if you have to live on lentils for a few months. If you went back to the Pehretian isles and the coral had beomce depleted you would be very sad and even if it was ok the chance to go somewhere new that not many people will be able to go to (I have never heard of it) just has to be the better option. Just think how the anticipation will thrill you through the dark winter.

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 14:45:34

Thank you, ladies, I think I have already made up my mind! I won't need to live on lentils, just cut down on my regular trips into Italy and other parts of France. I have looked at lots of photos on google and it is probably as close to paradise as you can get. Of course, it will be easier to get there once I am living in New Zealand, but nobody can predict the future and I want to go while I am still so fit and healthy.

shysal Sat 07-Apr-12 15:03:53

Go for it greatnan. I remember hearing a radio programme some years ago where someone described their favourite place on earth, which was the Maldives, which nobody had heard of! I think this resulted in the popularity it now has. It may be that the same fate awaits Sipidan, so I should go before it is spoilt! sunshine

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 16:20:30

Yes, I went to the Maldives some years ago and was very disappointed. The coral was bleached and grey and there was absolutely nothing to do and nowhere to go. I felt as though I was going stir-crazy! Places where the highest point is 2 metres are not really for me! I don't want to lie around a pool or on a beach all day - I like to be active on holiday. At least on Phuket, although the coral was non-existent, I was able to do the elephant trek and the jungle walk and hire a car for a tour of the island.
The Malaysian authories have taken the necessary steps to protect Sipidan - no accommodation so no pollution and only 120 permits a day are issued. One travel agent has said he could get me a permit it I book far enough ahead. Even if I can't get to Sipidan itself, the nearby islands also have great reefs and overwater bungalows on stilts.
It makes me cross when I hear of people winning millions and not knowing what to do with it! I would like to travel first class once in my life and go to the world's remotest places. (I have my eye on Nepal and parts of China once I am living in New Zealand).

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 16:35:13

greatnan envy

glammanana Sat 07-Apr-12 16:45:13

Don't hesitate greatnan go for it and enjoy

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 16:49:51

Having started to look at Borneo, I now think I will need two weeks so I can explore this wonderful island! Oh, b*ugger the budget, you are a long time dead!

Annobel Sat 07-Apr-12 17:23:54

Just do it, Greatnan, you don't want to spend years regretting not taking this trip. sunshine

ClaraB Sat 07-Apr-12 19:20:31

It sounds absolute bliss, you really must do it and enjoy every moment. I always think that when I am really old I can look back and think I went to some great places. You only get one life ...... just do it.

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 19:34:00

I agree, Clara - I wish I hadn't waited until I was 39 before I had my first trp abroad. I was married to a man who always made excuses for not travelling futher than Cornwall, Wales or Scotland - I think he just didn't like to admit he was afraid of flying. Since my divorce in 1979 I have had so much fun and excitement visiting every country in Western Europe, many Caribbean islands, Madeira, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Maldives, Thailand, the Channel Islands, Egypt and Cuba. I have lived in Monaco, Brussels and France. He is still in Bolton. I will be moving to NZ in about four years and before then I have still got many European cities to see.

BlueSky Sat 07-Apr-12 19:45:02

Well done Greatnan! I did something similar, I started to live after divorce, and just wished I didn't wait till I was 40 to do it! I haven't been to so many fantastic places like yourself but I have travelled to Europe, USA and Australia and I mean to go on travelling for as long as possible! grin

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 20:02:03

Bluesky - do you look back and wonder why you put up with him for so long? I was bored to death by my husband but I did actually like him and I couldn't bring myself to hurt him, until I just got desperate. He was remarried within the year!

Annobel Sat 07-Apr-12 20:13:13

Agreed, Blue and Greatnan. Divorce gives you wings!

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 20:28:57

I loved my husband, but, I must say I'm much freer now. We were very tied by his medical condition, so couldn't travel outside Europe!

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 21:46:41

Shall I meet you in Borneo, jeni? We could save on the single supplement!

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 21:59:27

No cant manage there I'm afraid. I can't manage long flights with my arthritis. I have to go club on short haul and it's expensive!
I've tried snorkelling once in the Caribbean, it was pleasant but not spectacular and I can only surface snorkel as I can't puff hard enough to clear the tube!
I just wish I could go though. Wistful emoticon!
At least I've been to the Caribbean, and done the panama canal.
I must say, that oh would have NEVER have considered cruising. As you may have gathered I love itgrin

Anagram Sat 07-Apr-12 22:06:01

Greatnan I agree with the others! My OH won't fly - my wings are clipped unless I fly solo sad, but in my imagination....!

Greatnan Sat 07-Apr-12 22:14:13

I don't have any health problems but I don't swim underwater - I find I can see the coral perfectly well from the surface. I have a face mask made to my spectacles prescription.
It is less than two hours to Geneva, jeni - I am still waiting for my first visitor from gransnet!
I can see why cruising is the perfect holiday for you. I fancied going on a liveabord dive boat but they don't have any cabins with private bathrooms and I didn't fancy sharing with a boat full of men.

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 22:15:51

Why not? grin

jeni Sat 07-Apr-12 22:17:26

One day, I'll tell about the holiday I had with the man I was to marry in the future!

Greatnan Sun 08-Apr-12 00:06:25

I have had to share a bathroom with two young grandsons and I have a sensitive sense of smell. I also like to be able to take my time and I can't bear the thought of some man waiting outside for me to come out!

Greatnan Sun 08-Apr-12 10:08:53

Come on , jeni, we are agog!
Having looked at lots of sites about Borneo, I am definitely going there next April. I will have to take a tour of the interior as well snorkeling - it looks fascinating.