Day 16: Ipoh to Tanah Rata (Cameron Highlands)

Incline is my decline.

What started out as a seemingly cruisy ride up into the Cameron Highlands soon turned into some serious hard yakka.

10km south of Ipoh down Highway 1, after a great breakfast of roti and curry, we headed east along the A181.

After about 10-15km east or so I’d say we hit our first serious incline, dwarfing anything we had previously

rode up.

Unfortunately the problem of having to keep on pedalling up the mountains just didn’t go away.

For hours we battled those mountains with the hope that the next corner would reveal the “highlands” and some nice flat riding once again.

Well it didn’t. We eventually ran out of water and the heat was strangling.

Some guys were selling bamboo on the side of the street and were cool enough to go grab us some water from their supply up the road (i think from the water that was running off the mountain). I would have gone for that water earlier but after seeing the dead nappies in the creek the other day I decided against it.

The water powered us on a few more kilometres but it was just too hot.
I think by this point we’d made it about 2/3 of the way up the mountain – 30km from Kampung Raja.
Nick and I decided we’d best to try hitch a ride. So i stuck the thumb out and managed to get us onto the first truck that past.

Mr S (unfortunately I have forgot his name), was kind enough to tie up our bikes in the back of his truck and take us the 30km Kg Raja.

Mr S delivers the fresh produce from the farms in Cameron Highlands down to the markets in Ipoh. A great man who sounds like he’s had a pretty hard life – moved from India in the 1960’s to pick fruit for $1.20/day back then!

He even shouted us food at Kg Raja and wouldn’t let us pay – it nearly came down to a fisticuffs!

In Kg Raja the clouds opened up and bucketed down. For hours.

The place to stay in town was way out of our budget so we decided to brave the rain and cold (it’s very fresh up here!) and pedal on for 20-30 more km to Tanah Rata.

It’s very beautiful up here and another place in Malaysia that must be experience.
It almost feels like being in the alps up here.

Total KM: 90KM

6 thoughts on “Day 16: Ipoh to Tanah Rata (Cameron Highlands)”

  1. It looks very beautiful indeed! Good thing you went for the hitchhike, you don’t want to get a heatstroke in the middle of nowhere.

    One thing makes me wonder, you guys are really living on a diet of dong lai cha and roti, isn’t it? 🙂
    Tell me something more about the food, my experience in Penang was very good on that part. But I’m wondering how that is in the rest of Malaysia.

  2. Nick and Adam, thanks for keeping up the consistent effort with the blogging, probably the last thing you want to do after riding is to jump on the computer and wait for photos to upload. Champs.

    Tour de France just finished on tele, made me think of you guys pushing through the mountains.

    Keep the fluids and electrolytes up fellas. Stay safe.

  3. Thanks for the comments folks!
    Yes maybe a bit of cheating, but we were going to melt in the heat!

    @Luke – man those guys on the tour de france do something like 40km/h up hill! We can’t even get up to that on the flat road on a good day 🙂 Thanks man!

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