(written by Dave)
Rumours of my demise are unfounded – it’s just a little head cold and much better this morning. Not to worry, Nancy is taking care of me. Thanks to our readers for the good wishes all the same…
There was not much at the resort for breakfast so we finished up our bread with peanut butter and jelly. We borrowed a kettle for coffee from Elaine and Ken (the other cyclists that we previously mentioned). Our chalet had a kettle but the electrical outlets were all fried – most coastal properties we stayed in had more than a few things falling apart.
Today we had about 11k of road along the ocean before heading inland. It was cooler this morning because of the rain yesterday. The route took us along a primarily flat road overlooking Jason’s Bay. There is supposed to be surfing here but clearly not this time of year as the sea was completely flat. We reached the junction to turn left/inland but, hoping to find another coffee, on the spur of the moment we turned the other way to have a quick look at the fishing village of Kuala Sedili.
Not far down the road we found the village with lots of small stalls selling food and drink. And again we bumped into Elaine and Ken. Together we watched a group of fishermen unload their boat then headed out to the stalls to see what we could rustle up. We’ve figured out one good safe option for brekkie – Roti Cinai – and soon found a stall that would make us some. Elaine and Ken joined us. While we sat eating, some very dark clouds started rolling in from the south. Not before long the stall owners around us started taking down their umbrellas and heading for cover. Locals know what serious rain looks like when it’s coming. Our stall owner motioned to us to move our bikes under cover and to sit one table further inside the shop – and good thing we did. The rain came and it was massive, lasting about 45 minutes. Local knowledge showed up again as the storm ended. All the locals were moving out while we sort of sat there shell shocked. There was no further rain all day…
We had about 40k to ride from the village. The road was more rolling and had more traffic. Everyone continue to be very polite even though there was not much shoulder in many places. At one point we had to ride up a pretty steep hill on the wrong side of the road because our side of the road was covered in thick mud from an entrance road into a palm plantation. As we are discovering here in Malaysia, traffic coming on the wrong side of the road is no big deal. Nobody seemed to mind us – oncoming traffic just pulled over and made room…
We saw our first “beware of elephants” sign – but alas, saw no actual elephants. Eventually as we worked out way towards Kota Tinggi the traffic increased quite a bit. We were both wishing for the quite coastal road once more. With only a few map checks, we made our way to a hotel, ending up at the one across the street rather than where we first intended – we are at the Rest Inn Hotel (no, not the “Westin” – I wonder if someone has a sense of humour or they were perhaps hoping to capitalise on the name?). It is the best hotel we’ve had so far in Malaysia and it is also the cheapest. It is only one year old, so nothing yet is falling apart yet (unlike the hotels on the coast).
We settled in, took showers and headed out for lunch. With the advice of the hotel clerk we tried a restaurant over the road and no prizes for guessing, we had a couple more Roti Cinai and coconut juice (fresh right out of the coconut). The Roti’s were good but we’ll need to figure out a few more dishes pretty soon. We lost Elaine and Ken riding over from the coast and thought we might have seen the last of them as Kota Tinggi is pretty big. Not so fast, as we ran into them again a the local shops – they somehow ended up in the hotel next to ours. I’m sure we’ll see them again before they head back to Singapore on the weekend.
We are going to take a day off here tomorrow. I need to get rid of this cold, plus our chains have started to rust. I think I need more than the “dry” lube I’ve been using to keep the rust at bay… Otherwise, we’ll probably just hang out.