Snaking our way to Melaka (50/6050ks)

(written by Nancy)

We had a short day today so we were in no hurry this morning. We had rolls from a local bakery and some fresh fruit for brekkie. It seems that it is always mango season in Malaysia. Dave loves fresh mangos so we picked up one at the fruit stand yesterday and had it this morning.

Getting out of town was really easy. There was only one bridge on all maps and Dave planned a good route. We rode past the meat market this morning. Wow, giant slabs of pork (or some other kind of meat) hanging and laying on everything, lots of people milling about and no refrigeration in sight. Our next egg and bacon roll could be quite a ways off now.

We only had a short ride to the Johor/Melaka state line. Of course we stopped for photos. There was a giant trishaw at the border that Dave could not resist climbing on top of (just like he and Ross did on the TDF bikes a few years ago – boys will be boys). Even with the shenanigans, it was fun to cross our first Malaysian state border. We’ve got a few more coming up quickly now as the states are smaller up north I think.

A little after the border I just about ran over a baby snake right in the shoulder. Dave was behind me and saw it, but he thought it was a piece of road debris. Dave thinks it was a cobra or at least it looked like one with its hood up posed like a cobra. It tried to strike me and missed, but I still let out a massive scream while trying to lift my feet up (which doesn’t work when you are clipped into the pedals). I’m sure the locals about wondered what the heck was going on. And no, we did not stop for a photo.

Soon after the snake we tried to take a minor secondary road. The road we were on was very quiet but Dave can’t give up on finding even smaller roads. This one turned out poorly with two dead-ends and a couple back-tracks. It was pretty hot by now and we were more than happy to go back out to the main road. The route today was very rural with us passing many more traditional Malay homes. Towards the end of the day we got close to the ocean (Straits of Melaka actually) and the villages had very fishy smells. We even passed a number of roadside stands selling mussels, with big piles of them on tables. Quite odd as there was no refrigeration or ice and in some cases the mussels were in direct sunlight. Perhaps we’ll hold off ordering a fresh plate of mussels for the short-term as well.

We had pretty easy navigation to the Old Town Guesthouse right in the middle of Melaka. Dave kind of made up for earlier navigational faux pas through some pretty heavy traffic. The guest house is nice and best of all, our room is airconditioned. We cleaned up and strolled over to a riverside cafe for lunch. It was getting really warm now and we sweltered coming back, but still managed to look at a few of the sights. For dinner we went out again to the famous Jonker Street where in spite of the heat we had our first laksa of the trip. It was super hot but tasty. We polished off the day with an iced latte for me and a Tiger beer for Dave.

There appears to be lots to do here in Melaka and much of it is within walking distance of the guesthouse. We’ll settle in here and report back on what we see. The plan is for morning exploration, afternoon resting while the heat is up and then out again in the evening. There may be more than one shower taken on some days!

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4 thoughts on “Snaking our way to Melaka (50/6050ks)

  1. In Malaysia, Melaka is relatively rich in culture due to its Dutch and then Portuguese influence as well as the settlement of straits-born Chinese resulting in the Peranakan culture. With its rich culture comes it heritage of cuisine which is as rich and diverse as it is delicious. Both of you must sample these (check with your hotel address accuracy & opening times):
    1) Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls @ Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Shop, 4 Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker St) Opens 7:30am to 4pm, closes last wed of mth.
    2) Wantan Noodle @ Kedai Makanan Wantan Mee, 40 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren St), opens 7:30am to 2:30pm, closes on wed.
    3) Try the dessert Chendol (crushed ince with Gula Melaka (sugar Melaka) syrup with coconut milk @ 88 Jonker St
    4) Satay Celup @ Capitol Satay Celup @ 41 Lorong Bukit China, opens 5:30pm, closes on mon. It is a satay steamboat with assortment of raw and semi-cooked seafood, meat & veggies on skewers dunked into a boiling pot of water and dipped in satay sauce.
    5) Local coffee @ Juat Lye Kedai Kopi, 371G Taman Peringgit Jaya (near Tesco), opens 7:30am to 2pm. Have the kopi with kaya (egg & coconut jam) on toast bread.
    6) San Pedro Restaurant @4 D’Aranjo Road, Portuguese Settlement opens 5pm for home-style food. Must try Devil’s Curry.
    7) Must try Peranakan food at Bibik Neo Nyonya Restaurant at 6 Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, opens 11am to 2:30pm/6 to 9:30pm, closes on mon.
    Wow, so much to sample, but you both must. Live to eat. Please check with your hotel staff if my recommendations are still current.

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