“hey Nick… how’s you going?”
“…I’m running on auto-pilot…”
Around 160km per day seems to be a limit we reach before weird things begin to happen.
Time slows down, your body starts to spasm, the bike shorts feel tighter than normal, your hands are now more numb than ever. And you can’t stop thinking about what weird fizzy drink you are going to buy when you arrive at the destination.
After a previous day of loafing around Georgetown eating everything to be seen we left Georgetown bright and early.
Crossing the bridge to Butterworth on the mainland was pretty simple. We’d heard you had to pay a toll to get onto the E1 but that doesn’t seem to happen until you get out of Butterworth.
We stopped for a quick Nasi Lemak and checked the map. The E1 was the most direct route, but tolls are for sissies, there are lots of trucks, oh yeah and bikes aren’t allowed on the E1.
That solved that problem.
So we took Highway 1 all the way.
It worked out much better anyway as we were able to stop when ever we wanted.
The ride was pretty great. After passing Butterworth there was a bit of a strong wind in our face as a storm seemed to brew above us. But we powered on, out rode the storm and then spent the rest of the day in bright sunshine with a nice cool breeze blowing from the side. Very lucky! This whole rainy season idea hasn’t really hit us, or if it has, it hasn’t been bad like everyone said it would be.
So far in Malaysia we have had food at places where it’s a bit of a “choose your own adventure” style place. Lots of curries and things to choose from. Prices seem to range between 4-8RM per plate.
We pressed on and passed through a mountain range that reminded me a little of what we road through back in Thailand just before getting to Nakhon Si Thammarat. It was now pretty hot and I was sweating heavy. So when I noticed nice stream falling from the mountains and running under a bridge I figured we should stop. Well it looked nice, there was a waterfall and cascading pools of water.
Unfortunately the good swimming hole had a bunch of fishing lines dangling in it, and the other ones were deep enough to get your feet wet. Ahh and the one at the bottom had a family that had stopped to clean up their baby – leaving it’s shat-in nappy nicely positioned on a rock in the middle of the creek. Why do people litter?
We reached Kuala Kangar – the point where the E1 toll-way goes directly to Ipoh, and Highway 1 splits and does a long detour around a mountain to eventually get to Ipoh. We stopped for a snack in Sungai Siput at a small outside Chinese cafe/restaurant. I managed to order 2 ‘dung lai cha’ (all that time in hong kong is really paying off…) and Nick somehow managed to order us a chicken-rice dish.
I don’t know if it’s just the bike pants, but we are getting a lot of laughs and attention in Malaysia!
After the snack, which I think was around the 160km mark for us today, we slugged on for another hour or so and pulled into iPoh.
On the ouskirts of iPoh are some rocky outcrop/hills (can’t think of the right words to describe them – similar to what you get in Krabbi in Thailand) with some Chinese temples of some sort at the bottom with smaller temple-type buildings on the top.
At this point we went to the closest cheapest place we could find (the Hotel Tokyo – 43RM/night) and crashed out.
Since checking in we have discovered that Ipoh is quite massive and there was probably much better deals to be had for 43RM. It’s a pretty run down old place – the toilet doesn’t flush and the “hot” shower dribbles.
Malaysia is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. The Indian, Muslim, Chinese and Malay cultures all mixing in someway together is very cool to say the least.
It’s great to hear different language being spoken at the same time, and Malaysia definitely has a lot of different food to try out.
Total KM: 185km