While we were enjoying the island they took really good care of our bicycles. We click all our bags on our panniers and we cycle along the east coast to the south. The first town we encounter is Kuala Terrenganu.
In the evening we make a little walk through Chinatown and we see a big lizard sitting in a well. Here we can watch the animal carefully, something we cannot manage when we are cycling. Then we hear something, but at the time we look over our shoulder the animal is already gone. Along the east coast there are many resorts. In the weekends it’s getting busy here with people from Kuala Lumpur. Besides the resorts there are many oil refineries. It’s not that beautiful to watch, but it is quiet impressive, because it goes on for a long time.
In Kuantan we leave the coast and we cycle to Kuala Lumpur. During breakfast I remember that the last part I cycled I felt something in my tire. We look at my bicycle and Steven finds a crack in my back tire. After more than 10.000 km cycling with this tire we change it and we continue the trip. We think we have some short days ahead to arrive in KL. But it goes a little bit different the moment we leave the small village of Maran. We want to go to the elephant conservation centre today in the hope we can camp there. But after 80 km of cycling we still don’t see the signs of the centre. After a while we find a small road which leads to the centre. The road goes very steep but when we see an elephant being transported on a truck we know we must be going to the right place.
Unfortunately the centre is a disappointment. It’s like a circus where you can make a ride on an elephant, where you can feed the elephants and where you can swim with the elephants. There’s no space for our tent and we are told to go to the deer centre instead. When we arrive there we are brought into the jungle where we are allowed to camp. Nice…..but the mosquitos are attacking us, there is a lot of mud and we here thunders coming our way. One look is enough and we jump on our bike and we find ourselves a shelter just at the moment the sky breaks and the rain drops down. Steven thinks he knows a shortcut and we cycle further on a small road to get somewhere before it will be dark. When we are eating some bread with peanutbutter a car stops and asks us if everything is allright. The man tells us to hurry because it will be dark soon. We tell him everything is fine and wave him goodbye. Soon we have a ride in a pick-up, our bikes are lying in the back and we are sitting in cold air from the airco. The men drop us at a crossing and tell us the next village will be in 10 km. It’s dark and with our lights on we cycle the last kilometers. We cycle to the village carefully, we eat something and soon we fall asleep.
We have to conquer a hill before we will reach the capital city of Malaysia. In the morning we climb to the top along a small river. It’s a nice and quiet road and when we go down the skyline of Kuala Lumpur appears. The twin towers are rising high in the sky above all the other buildings and we are cycling into the centre. We have to search for Chinatown where we find a hostel to sleep. We are tired and don’t search long and after a good sleep we are not very happy with our room behind the reception without a window. The next day we search for a better place and when we enter a hotel we see a western couple standing in the lobby. We are all very surprised to see each other. We met Marcel and Claudine already twice on our way. In the evening we have dinner together and afterwards we decide to climb the KL Tower together. Marcel takes us trough a dark park with a lot of stairs and bridges and after a while we are standing under the tower. The only thing we have to do is climb a fence…. An escalator brings us to the viewpoint of the tower, which is 421 meter high. The view of Kuala Lumpur by night is amazing.
There is another suprise waiting for us in Kuala Lumpur. Mario Visser, my neighbor from the time I was living with my parents arranged a day of sightseeing for us. His company has connections in KL and he asked the local manager to show us around the big city. When we call Wendy she invites us immediately for dinner. Together with her husband and their daughter we go to a Chinese restaurant. I stumble a bit with the chopsticks and drop my fish in the tea, but we have a very nice evening. After dinner we have a tour along all the important buildings of the city. The next day we visit a pewter factory where someone leads us around and afterwards we drive to the Batu Caves. Many stairs lead us into the cave, which is an important pilgrimage for Hindus. Our special day ends at a the IKEA. The IKEA? Yes the IKEA, because I think you like to eat some Swedish meatballs! Okay!
The rest of our days in KL we spend a lot in the KLCC Complex where we go by metro. The park is a good place to watch people and to look up to the highest twin towers in the world. We manage to get tickets to visit the sky bridge of the towers. An escalator brings us to the 42nd floor where we walk from one tower to the other. We enjoy the views and then we are asked to go down again because another group is waiting.
It’s time for shopping and you can succeed in that in KL. When we return in our room after a day of shopping we miss our drinking bidons. I cleaned them this morning and put them on the floor to dry. …….When I ask the cleaner if he cleaned our room he tells me proud he did. And the bidons? Weren’t they just empty bottles?????
In Kuala Lumpur our plans change a bit. After more than a year spending in Asia it is time for something different. We are both looking forward to Australia, to a more western mentality and to something different. We decide not to go to Borneo. We cycle from KL to Singapore from where we will fly to Darwin. The tickets to Australia are easy to change and on the 21st of May we will leave Asia to go Down Under!
Kuala Besut- Kuala Terrenganu: 109 km
Kuala Terrenganu – Kerteh: 123 km
Kerteh – Kuantan: 101 km
Kuantan – Maran: 79 km
Maran – Betong: 148 km
Betong – Kuala Lumpur: 76 km