Day 960 7th March 2019
48 miles (Kuah to Thaleban National Park) Average speed 11.1 mph Top speed 34 mph
Great to be on the move.
I got up at 8 and showered, packed and waited for Pauline to have breakfast, but as she was asleep I had coffee and toast. I left at 9.55 and went to the port to buy a ferry ticket. I boarded and chained the bike to the railing as told, but as I was looking for a seat one of the boat crew asked me to move it so that it wouldn’t get covered in salt water. Then I wrote my diary and read after passing all the nearby islands and the beach resort I had bunked into yesterday. It only took about 45 minutes to reach Kuala Perlis where I disembarked. I stopped at KFC where I tried to use WiFi from a discarded receipt, but it didn’t work so I hit the road, saying hi to lots of people along the way. The road was good and followed a river; there wasn’t much traffic and despite the wind from my left I was setting a good pace.
I arrived at Kangar in no time where I had chicken rice with curry and vegetables and ice tea. There were some well dressed business men, one was even carrying a full length rain mac! I found a shop that I knew stocked snail gear and went to spend some of my Malay ringgit on a very nice polo shirt with Brian motif on the pocket for 79 ringgit. Sometimes fashion costs and I couldn’t leave Malaysia without one!!
I left knowing that I had some big climbing ahead but it took a long time to get to the first one. I had two tea ice and chatted to the staff and customers and took photos. Still no climbing as I was circumnavigating a big reservoir, but 20 mins after leaving the restaurant in the afternoon sun I found my hill!
It was tough and I think I may be two gears down since changing cassette, but I made it to the top with some support from drivers passing by. I stripped off to cool down and then took on the descent which was brilliant. At the bottom I went to a garage for 100 plus and the pump attendant gave me free water as I looked at the stickers on the window. A splash of water and I was off again.
At the security check 1 mile from the border the police asked me lots of good questions about my trip and were all impressed. I topped up with more 100 plus and went through passport control and straight through customs after filling in forms.
I was now in Thailand where the first guy I spoke to offered me drinks and I asked him for money exchange. As the grocery shop/exchange was so close to the border I carried on hoping for another that may offer better rates. There were no others, but on the way out of town I stopped at Thaleban park to ask if I could camp and although the guard didn’t speak English he took me inside to a guy who did a bit.
He offered me a bungalow and put me onto a lady on his phone speaking perfect English who offered me this wonderful place for 600 baht and as I could hear thunder and feel the rain that was a done deal. She said I could pay tomorrow after going back to exchange money! The place is amazing, I am right next to the lake where I listened to frogs, monkeys, birds of all sorts including owls and watched two women fishing from a raft.
I showered, did my washing and went in search of dinner. Back at the border which was now closed as were all the shops and restaurants, I asked at the only place open if I could eat and it turned out that it was the opening day of a new shop and they had food left over and gave me delicious noodles with fresh veg, papaya and cucumber with light curry sauce and I chatted to the owners’ son, who was the only one to speak English. I offered him money but he declined and gave me water. A great first meal in Thailand. He told me there was a village a few miles away which had a few shops and restaurants, so I went, even though it was downhill and dark. The road was of brilliant quality with wide shoulders and fresh tarmac. I found a stall selling satay stick and took two of each to eat back at my place. I realised I didn’t have as much baht as I thought but still enough to buy coke from a shop. I expected the ride back to be tough as it seemed I’d been going down all the way for 4 or 5 miles, but I think these are magic roads, as I found myself doing 16 mph even uphill!!
Back at the bungalow I tried to sit on the balcony but there were too many insects for that, so I ate inside listening to the wildlife. I gained an hour crossing into Thailand so was in bed by 9.30!! What an amazing day and another new country to add to the list!
Thaleban National Park.
19total visits,2visits today