Sungai Besar to Sitiawan 94km
Sitiawan to Georgetown Pedang 175km
Was I dreaming? Every hour or so there was a light knocking at the door to 107. I was in 108. And then there was an offer of "Jam", to which a female voice answered "okay". It wasn't until I was checking out at 6.45am, and saw a young lady in very skimpy shorts, boob tube, and messed up make up, that I twigged. Should have realised earlier when I saw the sign outside another hotel.."No unmarried couples". Guess you and I wouldn't be able to share a room Graham A. And the "Jam"? Translates to "times up".
I'd had a reasonably quiet, short day, 94km and it was just after lunchtime. However, I had been feeling a bit blocked up, and grotty. I'm sure it was the gorging of the cheesy pizza last night. But there was not really anywhere else to go that wouldn't take me to after dark, so Sitiawan and it's seedy hotels was it.
The cycling had been pretty flat and easy, but I had seen a Swedish cyclist going the other way. He was a cruise ships engineer. Works two months, then cycles to the next port over his two months off. Carrying hardly any gear. At first I didn't think he was touring, with only one pannier and a bum bag. Big, strong, fit and handsome, as only Scandinavians can be, I was glad Janie and Ju weren't with me, or they might have chosen to head south with him.
Wandered around the food stalls in the evening, and I'm reminded that the Chinese eat everything that walks, flys, swims or crawls. And they treat them all as delicacies. I'm surprised they don't eat swallow nests, as there are very very many swallow houses.....oh yes...they do eat them. Swallow nest soup.
So heading towards Georgetown, Penang, and I'm expecting to ride about 120km, and finding a hotel. Nothing from 100km to 140km. May as well keep on going. A bit of tricky navigation avoiding motorways, and I'm lining up for the ferry to Penang. 170km. Woohoo. My biggest day ever, and I'm feeling good. Mind you there had only been 12 hills.....eight of them motorway overpasses, two over big rivers, and two over railway lines, and the rest of the day had been flat as the Canterbury plains.
It took a bit to find the Pedal Inn, a cyclists hostel, but it was really worth the search. Comfortable, understanding, helpful, and close to everything I need. Thanks Steven and John. Cyclists coming this way, look it up. Lots of eating places, and lots of tourists. More white faces than I've seen in months. Met an Aussie family, traveling overland to the UK on public transport, with three young girls. There has to be a book in that. Courageous and inspiring.
Today I've applied for my Thai visa, taken Fiona in for her 10,000km overhall, and put all my clothes through a wash. Spoken to Ju twice, and am very excited that Janie and Ju are meeting me in Ho Chi Minh City on 1st January. Better get my skates on.