I have been waking up pretty much at 7-7:30 and lazing for a while before getting going. Same today, and I was out by 8:30AM. There was a chinese stall across the road which gave me a decent b’fast of toast and 4 eggs. The day seemed pleasant for the ride, but I could see the clouds were thin and it would get sunny soon anyway.
The initial bit out of Sitiawan was heading towards the ocean and I had half a mind to just head to a chalet and laze around. But, you know, once the body warms up, all thoughts of taking rest disappears and its just the bicycle and the tarmac (until the arse starts to complain). Heading out was on a bit of a hilly terrain, nothing major, but still ups were long and steep enough to get me sweating hard. I could see a lot of hills in the distance and figured its going to be a hard day on the saddle. But as it turned out, the roads were nicely designed to stick to the valleys and after the initial 20 km, it was pretty flat till the last 20.
The scenery was lush with pristine rainforest’s on either side. I spotted a lot of monkeys and the roadkill included a few small lizards and I reckon a really big python. I have seen a few small snakes, chicken and the ubiquitous water monitor lizards as road kills. Heck I even spotted a live monitor Lizard rummaging in garbage bags. But a big python was a first and it was a shame that this guy was dead. At some point, I had to do a dodge manoeuvre to avoid a lazy snake crossing the road. A few monkeys were hanging on the trees (I have been seeing monkeys pretty much every day too). Anyway, the point is that the wildlife and the forests were lush and great to spot them and ride through this part of the country.
However, the traffic was surprisingly heavy for these back roads. Lots of trucks and even buses plying made for a bit of a stressful ride. But that’s ok. People seem to give me enough room when not on major highways.
I had a couple of short stops for isotonic and milo and made my way towards Taiping. I was again in half a mind to go towards the beach, but that would be another 20-30 km more and I figured, nah, maybe tomorrow.
I walked into a hotel and the nice lady saw that I was cycling and gave me a discount on the room and sent me on to their branch in town with clear directions. Taiping is a typical malaysian town, a bit cacophonic, so the directions were helpful to get to a decent and clean room.
I walked around taiping, which incidentally boasts of the cleanest lake garden in Malaysia and the first zoo. I didn’t bother to check out the zoo, but the walk around lake was nice, it’s like a bigger version if punggol park with lots of locals running and cycling, was nice to take a gander in the twilight.
Distance: 89 km
Ascent: 650 ft
Descent: 650 ft
Time in saddle: 6:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 28.12
Comments: The hills made me go Oh No, but the road went in the valley!