Back On The Road!
30 Jul 2007
It feels like a long time since we sat in an Asian internet cafe and wrote an update for our website. Nearly 3 months in fact. As you know our last update was in May explaining that our trip was on hold and we were back in Scotland due to the fact that my Dad was very unwell in hospital. Well a lot has happened since then and I'm very sad to report that after a very tough fight my dad passed away on the 8th July in Falkirk Infirmary. So with a heavy heart but an absolute determination to continue as we know it is what Dad would have wanted, and what Mum and the rest of the family insisted on! we are back on the road and hope to more or less continue with our original itinerary although slightly condensed.
We are actually in Kota Bharu a small town in the North East of Malaysia. We flew back to Bangkok and then took a flight here yesterday as we do not have enough time to cycle the whole way down Thailand and Malaysia before our flight leaves Singapore for Perth, Australia on the 12th August.
The plan was to stay here just one night then head off on the bikes straight away as we only have 11 days to cycle to Singapore. However British Airways had other ideas.........true to form they left both of our bags and both bikes in London so we arrived in Bangkok with hand luggage only! Our flight to Malaysia was the next day but too early for our bags to catch up with us so they have assured us that they will send them on to Kota Bharu and that they will be ariving this afternoon. We have not heard yet if that is the case and it's now 4.00pm!! However, to make things worse we have heard that 3 of our lost items have been traced but one is still missing and yet to be located. So even if the 3 arrive today we are still one short. Depending on whether it is a bike or bag that is missing will determine whether we are able to leave on bikes tomorrow or not. If they have lost a bike then we really are scuppered and will not be cycling anywhere just yet! If it is a bag that is missing then we reckon we can make do and get the bag sent on to Kuala Lumpa or Singapore.
If we have to wait here longer for a bike to arrive then our plan is to go and visit the Perhentian islands just off the coast. They are meant to be very beautiful with great diving so we have to admit it wouldn't be a bad alternative. It will mean however, that we wont be able to cycle as far as originally planned and we will have to use public transport somewhere along the line to speed things up which is very disappointing, but there is not much we can do about it. Hey ho, the joys of travelling!
So watch this space and we'll let you know what happens. In the meantime we will use the time to get back in to the Asia way of life with all the fascinating sights, smells and noises. Kota Bharu has a very lively market with everything from very smelly fish to dragon fruit to kettles and kiris (Malaysian machettes). The majority of people here are Malay muslims but there is also a mix of Chinese and Indian so we are really getting thrown back in to it. Just to add to it all our room in the guest house resembles a large shoe box and the plumbing in the toilet is up to the usual quality Asian standards with water running out of the bottom of the sistern when you pull the string above that acts as the flush, and the waste water from the sink pours straight out on to the floor by your feet!!
So far the Malaysian food seems pretty good. We had egg roti and toasi (both types of pancake) for breakfast, fried rice for lunch and we are looking forward to a banana leaf curry for tea. But we haven't had a coffee as good as the one that Keith Ritchie bought us in Pitlochry yet!!!(sorry in joke, thanks Keith).
It's pretty hot but thankfully not unbearable with enough cloud to help break us in gently. We even had some rain last night.
So it's great(ish) to be back, but will be greater when we get our stuff!!!!
We'll be in touch again soon.
Vicky and Nick