(written by Nancy)
A bit more wandering around Georgetown today, with more fun things to be discovered. First things first though, we spent a good part of the morning working on our taxes – arrgh. Not fun but the world goes on even when you are riding your bike.
We finally got out and headed in a different direction from our hotel to do a bit of exploring. We ended up near the hotel we will be staying at when my sister arrives so we went by to look at it – it looks very nice from the outside, certainly much higher quality place than we would normally pick! Right near the hotel is another gem, a great coffee shop called siTegun that we heard about from some other touring cyclists Gary and Rose (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/RoseandGary2010) who passed through this way a few months ago on their own epic bicycle tour. The coffee shop is run by Tigun, a touring cyclist himself, and his wife Sandra with a bit of help from their little boy. Tigun roasts his own beans and actually learned from one of the owners of Stumptown Coffee in Portland so between bicycles and Portland we had a bit to chat about. Dave was enamoured with an old 1957 Hetchins bike Tigun had up on the wall in the cafe. The motto for his coffee shop is ‘a bicycle pit-stop café, where good life begins’ (www.sitigun.com) – it was really a nice spot with great coffee and food and I expect we will make several visits to the cafe during our visit here with Gretchen & Steve.
After wandering around a bit more and doing a bit of shopping we headed to the Red Garden Food Market for dinner. The food market is a big food court full of hawker stalls – almost any kind of food you can imagine. We each chose something different – Dave tried a Thai dish and I had chicken biryani, a great rice dish served in a clay pot. We also had a cendol – one of the worlds best tasting, bad looking deserts – see photo below for proof. Red Garden is another place where I am sure we will be back to with Gretchen and Steve.
On our walk back to our hotel we watched a car that was full of bikes pull over to park. Of course Dave had to stop and talk to the folks. Turns out it is a Dutch fellow (Arjan) and his wife (Els) and their 4 year old son (Simeon) who are on a 5 month cycling holiday. They are doing a few bits by car (it’s not easy bike with a 4-year old) and had just returned from a trip up to the Cameron Highlands. We didn’t have much time to chat as they were trying to get all their gear unpacked but have plans to meet up with them in the morning for a chat before we check out of our hotel (they are just a block away).
We also happened upon a beautiful temple on the way home, the Hainan Temple. Lovely ornate front in grey stone with carved pillars – very scenic spot. We found it by accident and later learned from our LP guide that we again violated Gretchen’s order of not seeing all the sites before she arrives. Hainan Temple is also featured in LP guide to Penang. Whoops – but we’ll go back.
Thankfully, Gretchen finally arrives tomorrow – it will be great to see family after all this time. We are both looking forward to just hanging out with them a bit and seeing a bit more of Georgetown (no holding back then). We will probably be a bit light on the posts for a bit while they are here but will try to post some pictures to let you know what we are up to.