Melaka to Port Dickson 70km
I've just spent the last three days being spoilt and pampered by yet another pair of amazingly generous warmshowers hosts, May Tee Seh Kai, and Tan Lang Seng. I've been staying in their second house, being prepared for an elderly relative, just across the street from their own home.
Warmshowers is fantastic. It provides a bed, sometimes a meal, and most importantly, someone to answer all your questions. One of my big questions is always...what can I eat that is not going to be too hot? May and Tan have been amazing. They tell me a normal day in Malaysia involves eating at least five, and possibly six times. And that's what we've done.
While staying with this wonderful family, I've eaten Indian, Malay, Chinese, prawns, fish, chicken, beef, fish spaghetti, frogs, rice, many many types of vegetable, cakes, dumplings, bean curd, pineapple cakes, squid, octopus, and some stuff I couldn't even explain, and none of it was smothered in chilli. Now I just need to identify it all when I go into a restaurant.
Then they took me sight seeing, biking, and Tan sat with me for several hours one evening discussing cycling routes to Thailand. Then they go to work, and in between times, cope with bringing up their three teenage sons.
May and Tan also hosted a Chinese couple, Cindy and MJ, cycling from China to at least NZ. It was amazing spending time with them, discussing routes, gear, apps, visas, bikes, and sharing stories. I spent most of yesterday downloading maps for a new app they told me about. Let's hope it works.
So today we all went our separate ways. May and Tan to work, Cindy and MJ to Medan Indonesia, and Fiona and I, North, towards Thailand. I wasn't sure how far I would get not knowing how I might cope with the heat, the Fiona and the traffic. As it was, the traffic was rather less than Indonesia, although traveling faster, the temperature wasn't too bad, as long as you kept moving away from the hot air bubble, and it hasn't rained, yet.
Malaysia seems to be very similar to Indonesia. It has the same industries, Oil and Mineral reserves, agriculture, and climate. The only difference is, it's very obvious, that more of the money needed for developing and maintaining the country, roads, buildings, litter, environment, schools, is actually getting past all the officials and bureaucrats, and being spent where it should be spent. The people are noticeably better off financially, they have better cars and houses, the roads are in much better condition, people are even employed to pick up litter, and they are doing a reasonably good job, beaches are cleaner, shop frontages are tidier, road edges better maintained, and most people speak several languages, including English, as it seems Malaysian teachers know how to teach.
The roads were certainly pretty good today. Smooth, we'll maintained, some even had shoulders wide enough to cycle on, and the signage is obvious, and seemingly, accurate. Even with a breakfast stop, a few photo stops, and navigation checks, I got to Port Dickson by noon. I even found the camping area, exactly where Tan said it would be.
So do I stop, or head further along the road? Cycling around the sandy campsite, thinking about this, Fiona hit a soft patch, and threw me off, right into a patch of grass, with very very prickly seed heads. They went right through two layers of clothing, stuck to the clothes, and pierced the skin. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
Took my tops off....and went for a swim. Then went across the road for a feed, and a scan of the map. It's now 1.30pm. May as well stay here then. Back to the beach. Put the tent up. Another swim. A nap. It's time for dinner. Sunset. Beach walk. The day is done. So easy. Only problem is, I'm camped directly beneath the flight path to KL airport, and they're flying in two abreast every couple of minutes, Oh well.