not so up the east coast
Georgetown Travel Blog› entry 45 of 86 › view all entries
After Singapore,riding out of Johor on a network of buisy motorways and highways in heavy tropical showers was a cal lback to the chaos that is more often than not the reality of south east asia; Trucs pushing past us whilst blasting us with black diesel fumes and water, rickshaws at nearly stand still pace obstructing everything and gaping holes allowing for an unpleasant view and smell of Johors sewagy underworld. With the drains overflowing in the heavy rain i felt a litlle vague about what it was that i had disliked so much about Singapores sterileness...
After around 80 wet and stressfull km, on the outskirts of Johor we gave upand cheked into a hotel in order to work out out new situation: The planning and research of the 2nd half of the trip had slid down to the bottom of a long to-do list over our sad summer and now,as we found ourselves in a slightly unexpected monsoon season, we felt worried. Would we have to ride in torrential rains every day? And would we even be able to make our planned distances? But in the end the only really important thing was that we were actually in a hotel. Even one with aircon and telly.I Brazil, due to high prices we had to put up with the rainy season in our tent day after day. With this in mind i figured it would be ok.
But Malaysia is not as well equipped to deal with the rainy season and we followed daily report on heavy flodding in many of the states. At the same time we worried about the bloody conflict in south of Thailand. As we made our way up the east coast we tried to find reasons for why it was a good idea to do so. On the plus side it's not so touristy, the beaches are meant to be amazing and it would be culturally more interesting. On the minus side the east coast had immense floodings and were evacuation people in many areas and we'd have to cross southern Thailand. Eventually an outbreak of cholera further up the coast decided for us and after a couple of strange and lonely days on Tiomon island we headed across malaysia towards the more touristy and less rainfull west.
I was pleased. A big sign on Tioman warning that all muslims would face heavy fines, jail or whipping if caught selling alcohol put me of the strict east coast. Furthermore crossing the peninsula towards Muar and Melacca proved to be a beautifull ride. Quiet roads wound their way through palm plantations, over long hills and past small villages. And indeed, the rains leassened and we barely got soaked after all.