I guess the third installment of IS09 for day 3 is due and should conclude this annual event for us.
The night at Gunung Ledang Resort saw us in high spirits as we anticipate our last ride in the morning.
With nothing much within the vicinity to venture to except the jungle, most of us saw fit then to congregate in the hall where our bikes are stored.
It turned out to be a mini bike exhibition when everyone started to peek into those bikes which we each took to our fancy. You tend to admire those expensive ones, much to the delight of it's proud owners, who happily demonstrated the reason why they cost what they cost
If they have made an impact on you, you will find yourself going to bed pondering on the prospects of acquiring what is now the object of your desire, no matter the price. For me, I'll just stick to my old faithful for the time being.
This resort where we were is by no means temperature cool. Vegetation cool was more what it was. There's a waterfall here which seems to have drawn the whole of these Southerners there. Zaba recalled how as a teenager, he came here on a camping trip and witnessed an accident where a boy got swept during heavy downpour and smashed his head against some rocks. So no waterfall trip for us just now.
The promising morning came. Today we started out a little later than the previous day as we were told that this was to be a rather easy 100km ride. The third day IS moved out as one big clump of a group till as usual, after 20km started to disintegrate into many tiny groups. What began as a fairly flat route, transformed into rolling hills till km 80 where the Malacca coast begins. No, today was not to be as tough as yesterday.
Point to note is, not for lack of capacity that we fell back on completing the route in no time. To some it may be about competing to finish first. But to most of us, for the usual suspects at least( four of us minus Amir), it is an oppurtunity to venture and palate the peculiar taste that these countryside can offer. I doubt if we will ever again pass thru some of these places.
Apart from food and country air, day 3 somehow offered a slight twist to our ecotourism agenda. This was to be our lucky day as we managed to have literally snared Amanda (the yogi) to ride along with us....yes, the entire length of the remaining 80km. We baited her with food and drinks at a stall on km20.(pray she don't bump into this mailing group, for that matter...my wife too!)
As you would know by now, she has been the talk of PCC, all 200 of them, inclusive of women on women.(and PCC has plenty). Our ride turned to being mostly about accompanying the toast of the party. I'll leave the worthwhile imagination, if any, to the rest of the gang to fill in. ( Razak can furnish the intrigues that ensued during the ride)
To some of us,with this sweetener, the day should last as long as possible. It wasn't until we began to feel the sea breeze in our faces that we realised we had a route to complete.
We have then hit the coastal road to Malacca and the sun was already beaming on top of us. Coastal routes, by nature are always pleasant. This was the day when the Straits of Malacca was at it's bluest......but on the contrary, it is only so coz the sky is cloudless! So the intensity of the baking sun on your head along with the heat from the tarmac, dispells all sense of 'feel good' factors you might have.....no amount of Amanda can help keep a straight head.
We are now passing thru Serkam, Umbai then Alai and into scenic Padang Temu, a kampong sprawled with swaying coconut trees. One should get a heightened poetic sense whenever the sea breeze brushes thru your face. I make no pretenses here. It wasn't just the face, it was more of the whole bike and body that the wind was trying to blow off the road!
It was big time drag all the way till we reached our reserved lunch in the Portugese Quarters. Fendi, ever the resourceful guy, had apparently called in earlier to book us at his favorite Mee Rebus stall. With Fendi, you can book any roadside cendol mamak. We are now in Malacca and exhausted.
Next time check with Fendi if you plan to visit M'ka, he knows his M'ka like the back of his palm. Not sure if Amanda was impressed with the mee rebus but later on she did mentioned how much she enjoyed being with, as she puts it........ hanging with the 'Chill Out Bkt Jelutong' boys!
We had one last snapshot together in front of the giant Ferries Wheel before heading on to our hotel destination. The Baba Hotel turned out to be a really hip and cool hotel right smack in the middle of Jonkers. Again with the ever illustrious Fendi chaperoning us around, we had one heck of a memorable time here. I will no doubt come again to the very places that I've been shown to. ( but Zaba beat me to it by being back there just last weekend, secret training and all!)
There couldn't be any better place than Malacca to bring the tour to a closure. I will end this posting with the anxiety of expecting what IS10 would then be compared to the one we've just concluded. One thing I bet, we can double the fun if we can double the group.... and with our jerseys too...Cheerio!
Sham A Wahab