By bike through Malaysia part 2: A lucky wrong turn

Radlerklönschnack

Chit-chat between cyclists

Country: Malaysia

From Kampung Dew to Klang

Lesson learned: Street numbers in Malaysia are not necessarily logical in Malaysia.

Laughed about: Nonsense talks with no sense at all

Most wonderful miracle: The Upin and Ipin villages

Food we ate: Seafood and fried rice

Greatest challenge: Trying to avpid rolling over all the dead animals

Days on the bike: 3

Kilometers cycled: 259.37

Average Kilometers per day: 86.46

Total Kilometers cycled till Klang: 13413.68

Total days travelled till Klang: 769

By bike through Malaysia Part 2

We had only met Beto one day ago but yet we were sad when he left us. We would have loved to cycle with him for a couple of days more. But he wanted to head north and we headed south. We waved goodbye after breakfast when Beto got back on the bike to cycle the same 30 kilometers for a third time.

Und Tschüß Beto! Weiter gehts zu zweit.

Bye Bye Beto!

I usually check the way online, write down some notes and compare them with the map, so we would not get lost along the way. But in Malaysia those preparations can be useless sometimes. We followed the road number 1 direction south and had to take a right onto the 103 that would later be called 101. That’s what the map said. My notes were different, we would have to go onto the 60 that later would turn into 103. There were plenty of right turns but none of them mentioned road number 60, 101 or 103, in fact even the name of our own road changed all the time. The road numbers were a mess. Sometimes there were even two signs directly after each other showing the same place via the same road, once straight and once to the left.

Unser kleiner Freund Putra ist der zweitgrößte Fan von Upin und Ipin - gleich nach Roberto

Our little friend Putra is the second biggest Upin and Ipin fan. I guess Roberto loves them even more

So we managed to miss our turn and cycled up a mountain instead. First I was upset but later the road turned out as one of the most beautiful parts on the way. It was thin and with little traffic, though most of the trucks chose the flat coast road. The road was limed with beautiful traditional houses with flower gardens and laughing children and Roberto could not stop pointing at them telling me how much that looks like the villages of the Malay children series Upin and Ipin, a series about two Malay twin brothers who live in the countryside.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceVV-int6fc

At night a nice family offered us their garden to pitch the tent and we spent the evening talking to the adult children who had come back home for a Muslim holiday. Jenny, the oldest daughter, was a big fan of outdoor activities and would have liked to join us on our trip.

Das weiche Gras ist gemütlicher als jede Matratze

Sweet dreams on soft grass

We had coffee and breakfast together before we hit the road again. From their home near Parit, Perak, we cycled through more Upin and Ipin-like villages onto a crossroad. We were cobfused and asked a saleswoman and her colleague for help. After some minutes of arguing, they both decided that they have chosen the way that should be most suitable for us. It was a rather long and difficult explanation, but we decided to try and follow it. Best idea this day. From now on we were nearly the only ones on the road.

Quiet cycling in Malaysia

Quiet cycling in Malaysia

To our right there was a channel, left palm oil plantages and in between a well paved road with nobody else on it. The wind blew in our backs and we enjoyed the lonely road – until we got hungry. One of the advantages of cycling through crowded places is, that there will always be food and water nearby. But eventually we stumbled upon a small streetside restaurant and ate as much fried rice as we could.

Straßenrestaurant in Malaysia

This tzpe of streetside restaurants often offer the cheapest and tastiest food. 

At night we reached another restaurant near Sabak, Selangor, with a big parking lot, and asked for the permission to pitch the tent there. Mister Zainal Abidin, the owner of the parking lot, rather invited us to spend the night inside his extra room. We had breakfast together with him and before he allowed us to continue, we needed to promise three times that if we ever were nearby again we would come to pay him another visit.

Zum Frühstück lädt Zainal Abidin uns sogar ins Haus ein

Breakfast inside our host’s house

The state of Selangor welcomed us with more traffic and more dead animals than we had ever seen. There were flat cats, big snakes, giant rats, plenty of dogs, some monitor lizards, and even a dead cow. The motorbike lane disappeared with the state boundary and I got into trouble. If I rode around a dead animal I would either be hit by a car at my right side or fall down the street on my left. If I stopped, I would provoke an accident with Roberto who was riding right behind me.

Wir zeigen Zainal Abidin die Fotos von zu Hause und spontan gibt er uns zum Abschied ein Foto von sich mit. Das steckt nun in unserem Fotoalbum.

 Zainal Abidin likes our photo almums and gives us a picture of himself so we can show it to our friends back home.

I was highly concentrated all the time, until I spotted a motorbike rider somewhere in the fields to my left. There must be a small road through the fields again! We took a left at a random street and – voila – there it was: a narrow street between fields, trees and the channels. We had a wonderful day on our countryside road, met plenty of people and were even able to cycle side by side.

Na also! Auf der Nebenstraße fährt es sich gleich viel gemütlicher.

Much better than fumes and dead animals

Usually we have to go behind each other and our conversations sound like this:

“Careful, there’s a big hole”

“Sorry?”

“A big hole!”

“What?” (rides right through the hole) “Shit!”

“What?”

“Ah, just a hole. What did you say?”

“What? Ah, nothing..”

“Whaaaaaaaat?”

“I TOLD YOU THAT THERE WAS A BIG HOLE BUT IT IS TOO LATE NOW!” (yelling)

“A big what?”

“HOOOOLEEEE!”

“Where?”

Robertos Sumo-Hupe

Roberto’s Sumo

That is why we rather do not talk too much. We would just both end up confused and angry. In fact we have developed a body language communicate while on the bike. I can hear Roberto’s voice easier because he usually rides behind be, but he can’t understand a thing of the words that I yell into the wind. So now any hole, animal, glass, rocks or tree on the street is just called “Aguas” (careful in Mexican Spanish), directions are pointed with the finger, and ringing the bell or squeezing the sumo means “I need to stop”.

Unterwegs treffen wir Kinder, die den Feiertag zum Baden ausnutzen

It was a public hiliday and the kids used the free time for a bath in one of the canals

But riding side by side is a whole different thing. We finally had a real conversation, laughed, planned the route together and just enjoyed each other’s company.

In Kuala Selangor our small country road was over and we went back into the chaos. We were really tired when we arrived in Klang. It was a Muslim holiday and all guesthouses, hotels and homestay had raised their prices. Nevertheless we needed a place to spend the night and checked into a hotel with hot shower. I killed 18 mosquitos, Roberto killed 21, but at soon as the lights were off, the remaining 29887 came out of their stash to annoy us.

 

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  1. Carolyn in Nashville, TN says:

    Idea! I often see motorcycle rider and passenger with small microphones attached to their helmets so they can talk while riding. Think how much more time you could spend together if you could talk on the way. Why not google and find a manufacturer who might sponsor free headsets in return for testing and mention in your blog. Or maybe they are easy to find in Australia and not super expensive.

    • admin admin says:

      Hey hey Carolyn,
      wow, that’s an idea! I had never thought about that. But hopefully soon we will get onto bike roads so we won’t have to worry too much about the traffic. Anyway I’ll keep my eyes open in Australia 🙂 Thanks so much for the idea and for thinking about us. All the best,
      Annika

  2. sarah says:

    Hye Annika, where are your whereabouts right now? if you are still in Malaysia, i have a friend that own a bike shop and you can stay for awhile there to fix your bike and rest maybe.. His shop is located in Serdang, Selangor and you can reach him by Facebook: The Basikal :).. just sharing some friendly information .. have a good and safe journey 🙂

    • admin admin says:

      Hello Sarah!
      Thanks for the comment! We are in Indonesia now, but we will be back to Malaysia in some days. If we come back to Selangor we might stop at your friend’s pöace, that’s a great idea. Thanks so much! All the best,
      Annika

  3. Hector says:

    I can perfectly imagine your “hole conversation”!

    • admin admin says:

      Hello Héctor,
      just a few days ago we had the pleasure to cycle a daytrip in a group of other cyclists. We learned a lot more hand signs from them and I think we will adapt quite some of them. That will make it easier to communicate and to sustain peace 😉
      Annika

  4. Pingback: The highest point in five years – Cycling the Central Mexican mountains - Tasting Travels

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