135km Gua Musang to Tanah Rata
First, a confession. Today we were rescued by a vegetable truck. Yes, a vegetable truck. So we didn’t actually cycle all that distance. We got halfway and put up the white flag. Now that we’ve bared our souls, here’s what happened…
The day actually started quite well, with a top notch breakfast of rice, topped with a multitude of curries. Squid, chicken, mutton. Delicious! We can hear ‘eewwwww’ sounds out there at the thought of squid curry to start the day instead of cornflakes but the Malaysians do a fine squid curry and we didn’t intend to pass up a chance at another serving.
Stomachs full, we stopped at the market for emergency provisions in case we needed to camp and headed out. We knew the last part of the day would entail a few climbs but we were hoping for easier times at the beginning. It wasn’t to be and we barely got past the first junction when not one but three killer climbs presented themselves.
We weren’t even sure we were on the right road – it didn’t match our map at all – and more mountains were ahead so we stopped at a cafe for verification. “Cameron Highlands?” we said to the men sipping their tea. They burst into laughter with a look that said yes, but are you crazy? Their hands started moving in all kinds of wild up and down motions that only mean one thing: there are big hills ahead.
At least we were going the right way. “No problem,” we said confidently, smiling as we rode off. It wasn’t a problem for the first 30km or so. There was even a brief shady stretch through palm oil plantations but sometime around noon and a few dozen hills later we hit a wall. (more…)