Note: proper pics and video will be added upon my return to the States.
Following the KLR’s break down and eventual repair in Melaka, it was time to move north.
I initiated a liesurely pace, testing several rpm ranges to see where the bike wanted to run. 68MPH seemed to be the sweetspot as I motored blissfully north on Malaysia expressway E2, now solo.
At this pace I was in Kuala Lumpur in around 2 hours. You cannot visit KL without at least snapping a few pics of the Petronas Towers–formerly the world’s tallest buildings. Attempting to navigate traffic in KL proved tricky. Just like everywhere else in Malaysia, might means right, and vehicles of all shapes and sizes can come out of nowhere in an instant. The advantages of the bike (lane sharing, etc.), are equalized by the constant threat of getting T-boned by an errant pedestrian, scooter, truck , bus or car.
All things considered, this is what makes adventure touring fun. There is so much humanity here–folks live in such a raw and unrestricted bubble. Finding ways to assimilate without becoming complacent with the apparent dangers is key.
I saw my first monkey today. He/she/it scurried up a roadside advertisement nonchalantly as I rode by, whilst shooting me the “you’re not from around here, are you?” glance.
Following a brief stopover at the Batu Caves, I pushed west accidentally (instead of north) compliments of my gps going to sleep. A 35 minute out-and-back delay and I was on my way to the Cameron Highlands. Stopping for fuel, I came across a massive group of bikers from Ipoh who had endeavored to KL for Sunday Funday. Tiger and Yew greeted me with welcoming smiles, and a brief photo shoot ensued. Very cool dudes.
I am surprised at how many large Kawasaki and Honda sport bikes there are here these days. A tangental point, but it makes sense given Malaysia’s increased wealth since my father came through in 1977, not to mention the addition of a 6-lane north-south expressway.
The tight twisty road up to Cameron is incredible. Waterfalls and creeks find their way through the thick jungle canopy adjacent to a road that I would easily compare to the Tail of The Dragon in the souheastern USA.
I arrived around 5pm at the Titiwangsa hotel near Tanah Rata-highland tea country. A traditional Chinese dinner and I was off to bed. My room, although clean, did not have a mattress–just a boxspring made up nicely with fine sheets. Nothing my sleeping pad can’t remedy. No hot water and the TV doesn’t work either, but who’s counting?
At 3,900 feet elevation, this place is the Switzerland of SE Asia.
With tropical storm Sonamu making landfall January 8 on the Thai/Malay border (thanks Luke for the heads up), I will likely burn some tarmac north to avoid the rains.