16.03. – 22.03.2013
Malaysian border – George Town:
Immigration in Malaysian side was like a “walk in the park”, I did the whole immigration sitting on top of my bike!
Getting my carnet stamped took again a bit more time because I had to walk through another immigration and pass the x-ray place (do not know why it is hidden so well). After finding the correct place, getting a stamp was a piece of cake again. Officer was really polite and interested in the whereabouts of the lonely traveller.
Now I was riding in Malaysia!
I continued along the motorway and passed several tollbooths via narrow “motorcycle” –lane.
A few short rain showers came down during the day, but I did not want to stop because temperature was nice 36C and rain was warm :).
Motorways in Malaysia were in perfect condition. Roadsides were perfectly clean and grass was short. Nice to see such a well maintained area again!
During the ride my riding gear dried, smile inside the helmet got wider while I kept the speed within speed limits.
Some time later I reached southern bridge to George Town. This time also motorcycles needed to pay toll, which was 1.4 Riggit (€0.30), not bad.
Bridge was really long and from there I noticed really dark clouds coming closer. I hoped that I could reach a hotel before heavy rain would reach me.
Unfortunately I took one wrong exit and had to ride longer route in the heavy stop-and-go traffic… Sky opened it´s watery doors just a few kilometers before the area where I was planning to find a hotel… It was not rain, it felt and looked like a river poured all it´s water to my neck. Even I was already completely soaked, I decided to stop and find a cover. Rain was just too heavy to continue any further.
Roughly 30 minutes later I continued and started searching for a place to stay.
Third hotel had free room with a reasonable price (I even got some discount). Only bad thing was that I had to park my bike next to the road.
Hotel was small and really nice. My room had a really high ceiling and also working aircon :). Best part was that I could choose if I wanted to have soft or hard pillow!
Plan for Sunday was to ride around this small island.
According to Wikipedia, this island has 700 000 habitants which felt quite amazing for such a small island.
North end of the island had a lot of high rising apartment buildings and now I started to understand where most of the people are living.
Northern road was really narrow and twisty. I had several cars in front of me, but I did not dare to pass them in this twisty section. Scooter riders passed cars in totally blind corners, but I thought that I was not in such a big hurry and kept on following these cars.
Even when I was stuck behind the cars, I still enjoyed this narrow road and nice sea view next to it.
Road started to climb up towards the hills in NW-corner of the island. Soon I passed scooter riders who earlier had passed me in those blind corners :).
I did not find anything special on this tour around the island, few nice viewing spots, but nothing spectacular. In any case, it was a nice day-ride and much better than walking around in the town :).
After the ride I decided to walk to the nearby fortress and take few photos from inside. It took me totally 20 minutes to walk there. Back of my shirt was wet due to a high temperature and humidity.
I was quite disappointed when I saw the fortress, I had expected much more than just some walls and few cannons…
I tried to get in, but it was already closing time, so after all this was just a nice afternoon walk.
Park area next to the fortress seemed to be a really popular relaxing spot among the locals. I guessed only locals came here because once again I saw huge amount of trash everywhere. Malaysia had been really clean until then so I was amazed to see all this trash everywhere…
George Town – Cameron Highlands:
Jose had small oil leak problem in his bike. Some oil was leaking between the engine and gearbox, but it could be fixed only in BMW, Kuala Lumpur.
We decided to ride together to Cameron Highlands and spend few days there.
On a motorway we decided to have something for lunch. First restaurant area was closed, but luckily second one was open.
Food in this roadside restaurant looked like it had seen better days, so I decided to have few instant noodle soups…
10km after Ipoh it was time to leave motorway behind and start riding smaller road towards Cameron Highlands.
Road #C181 was really nice after a boring motorway! Surface was good, road clean and nice rideable curves following each others.
Road #C7 towards Tanah Rata was also curvy but really dirty. Luckily we did not need to ride this road for too long until we arrived in Tanah Rata where we started to look a place for few nights.
We checked few hostels that had ok price, but rooms were quite “rough” and “basic”. We checked also one hotel, but price was way too high.
Third hostel was success, it was quite new, rooms were ok, price was a bit high (€10), but we decided to stay in this place.
During the evening I met one French couple who had stayed couple of years in Australia. They had some good hints for that place. They also said that it is extremely expensive place, so lot of camp nights glooming in the future.
Woke up early, so that I could see sunrise from the top of tea plantations. Humidity was really high and temperature really low (only 13 degrees), luckily plantations were close so I only needed to ride few kilometers.
I found a nice place where I had a view towards the valley where fog made scenery look really dreamy. Rising sun started to paint the sky red so it was perfect time to shoot some photos.
After taking the photos and riding higher up to the mountains I arrived at a gate, which was surrounded by a bunch of high antennas. At this point my GPS showed altitude of 2000m. I was told that this was the highest point although the nearby hill looked to be higher…
Over here I met one couple who had spent night in a tent and now they tried to get their soaking wet tent dry (humidity had been so high during the night).
After the morning tea in hostel, I, Jose and Pilar decided to go for a short day ride. Our planned route was roughly 150km, so a nice short day ride was ahead of us.
We returned to the same main road (#C181) which we had enjoyed on the previous day. This time we just continued further along this road.
Disappointment was big when I realized that this other half of the road was quite straight, nothing special and no curves…
Next we turned to a road #8 towards Padang Tengku. This road was also really boring and I started to get bored of the whole “nice” day ride…
During the day ride we saw absolutely huge areas where all the trees had been chopped down and now we saw only naked ugly hills. Extremely ugly, no jungle anywhere! I guess later they will plant palm trees over here to get palm oil.
I noticed that my right side pannier had leaked a bit and now my stuff inside that box was quite damp. Darn! Only thing that I could do was to spread everything around my little room and let them dry. I guess at some point I need to start looking for a waterproof bag for the pannier.
During our dinner we learned one interesting thing: Jose bought a beer and wanted to drink it at the same time with his pizza. It was forbidden to drink beer inside the restaurant, we had to move few meters to outside table so that he was allowed to have his beer! Funny thing was that everyone inside the restaurant could still see him drinking a beer because there was no wall between inside and outside :D.
Cameron Highlands – Kuala Lumpur:
Half past six I rode again up to the hill to get more pictures of the sunrise. This time Jose and Pilar also came to admire this view.
Unfortunately this time valley was totally covered with fog, so did not manage to get as nice pictures as previous morning.
Pity for Jose and Pilar because view in previous morning was gorgeous.
After nine we started our ride toward KL. We had two options, fast via motorway or slower by following local small roads.
We had plenty of time, so we decided to take slower route.
Roads were ok and we were able to keep speed up until we turned to a small road #55. Road surface was ok, but it was extremely curvy. I am sure that in some curves I was able to see my own tail-light! 🙂
Failing ABS did not make my riding any easier, so needed to take it easily.
In Rawang we stopped to say our farewells because I was going to northern part of KL to Sunny Cycles and Jose and Pilar continued to south side to BMW shop.
It was really nice to see them both again. At this moment it looked like we would meet next time in Indonesia.
Sunny Cycles was easy to find and as soon as I had parked my bike, Sunny the owner came outside to check who this traveller is :).
After discussing with Sunny, he promised that I could leave my bike there for three weeks and at this time they would change rear tire and seat cover. Great!
GPS guided me almost to the correct place when I was searching my hotel (it guided me to the backyard of the hotel).
I was told to park my bike in front of the main door, because it would be safer than parking garage.
For dinner I had instant noodles from 7/11. Tasty ;).
Lazy day… I washed a little laundry in my room, but besides that I did not manage to do anything…
Kuala Lumpur – Germany:
Hotel breakfast offered rice and noodles again, which are not my favorite for breakfast…
After the breakfast I packed stuff which I planned to take with me to Germany. I was laughing, because all clothes which I took with me were: two t-shirts, two underwear and few socks :D.
My luggage was totally full of camera stuff and heavy like hell… I just wished that they would not weigh carry-on luggage during check-in.
After this I packed all the rest of the stuff on top of the bike and took my bike to Sunny Cycles.
Now it was my time to start heading towards airport and fly to Germany for a short holiday :).