Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 6 : Kuala Gula - Simpang Empat-Taiping -Changkat Jering-Bukit Gantang- Kuala Kangsar

Date : March 8th, 2009
Distance travelled : 80km
Time taken : 3.45 hours

After breakfast, we left around 8.40am for Ipoh (or so we thought!) The day was once again beautiful with blue skies :o)

Along the flat road, we watched little kingfishers, sitting on the telephone wire, singing to us and they were literally following us along the road! We had the opportunity to catch sight of a huge otter running for cover into the oil palm estate from the river it was playing in! Then, there was this cute little dog that wanted to follow us! It ran behind us for awhile before deciding it was way too hard to keep up with us ....poor thing! Told Mak that I wished I could take him with us!! He just grunted hehehe....

Lovely view on our way out from Kuala Gula!

Smile are on camera!!

After riding some 16km, we chanced upon a charcoal mine and took this opportunity to have a look around. There were tourists mulling around the area too. We did get some stares when we parked our bikes outside :o)

Inside the charcoal mine....

the furnace for burning mangrove trunks

and the end result charcoal!

outside the charcoal mine....

After this brief stop, we were on our bikes again, heading for Taiping :o) I told Mak that we had to make a pit stop in Taiping to try its famous koay teow soup! (that is if I can remember where the shop is!! hehehe)

Hmm...I didn't realise that dead oil palm trees can make a lovely picture too!!

Yay! Only another 11km to good food!!

Yeah...only 11km! Man, it sure seemed further than that!!!!

Wow! still so far more to go!!!!

At last, Taiping town!!! Now, where is the shop???

Found it! It's called Restoran Kakak and they also serve their special coffee brew called "Kakak" Mak, our coffee lover, found out that it was a mixture of nescafe and barley and he swears by it!

Hehehe....this was what I was looking forward too! You have to put the special sambal to get that special taste! Also behind is the "Kakak" drink

After our yummy brunch, we decided to get a move on as we still had quite a distance to go if we want to reach Ipoh before dark. It was about 12 noon and the sun was blazing its full glory on us when we left the restaurant!

Mak must be thinking..."darn, another 71km more to go in this hot, hot sun!!!"

After biking for about an hour, Mak had to stop for a cold drink as it was getting really hot! The shop where we stopped at, happened to be also a supplier of dried assam pieces. Since we have never seen how does the dried assam pieces come about, this was a good time to know more about its process :o)

This is how assam fruits look like.....

one by one, the fruit is being sliced by hand (mind you!) with this very sharp knife! I shudder to think what will happen if he accidentally slips up!! arrrghh!!! Apparently, there have been incidents!!

and you will get lovely thinly sliced assam pieces! Even the seed is not spared!

the sliced assam pieces are then distributed on top of this rack

and the drying process begins behind their house

and after drying in the hot sun for a few days, this is how the dried assam pieces will look like! Interesting, isn't it?

Well, after the educational lesson on dried assam pieces and having our thirst quenched, we were on our bikes again! We knew we had to climb a hill further up and we were not looking forward to it in the scorching hot sun! Anyway, I have to admit that the lovely sceneries along the way did make up for the climb, for me at least!

Nice road except for the narrow road shoulders!

Next to the Changkat Jering highway

The famous cement factory along Changkat Jering

One of the many hills that will be cut down, sooner or later!!

Me taking a breather under a bridge....darn, it was such a hot day!!

Under this bridge, both Mak & I decided that we probably will have to stop in Kuala Kangsar instead of Ipoh :o) I was elated because I really love this beautiful town and actually, there was a reason for this change of plans (as we found out later on!!)

We were wondering how far more was Kuala Kangsar from this bridge. The day was really blazing hot but luckily for us, it was just another 5km to our destination! We only realised this when we saw the arch in front of us hehehe....

Ahh...what a sight for sore eyes!!

The road towards the town....lovely, isn't it?

When we finally got into the town area, dark clouds have gathered and it looked like it was going to pour down anytime! We stopped at a modern kopitiam and had our late lunch there. While we were discussing about our next venue, a guy passed by and he recognised me! What to do? I admit I'm pretty famous amongst the biking community! (just kidding!!! hehehe)

Anyway, we found out that Madzli was a cyclist too and he did do a solo tour around West Malaysia recently, just a bit different route from ours. When he realised that we were planning to go to Ipoh the next day, he advised us to use the inner roads to Teluk Intan instead. He said the roads and sceneries were much better there and he even volunteered to take us up to Bota Kanan! It then dawned upon me why we were in Kuala Kangsar at that moment! It was to meet up with him hehehe....see, the law of attraction does work :o)

Since he was familiar with Kuala Kangsar, we asked him where we could stay for the night and he suggested a place nearby and we found out that downstairs, they served the best white bread, either toasted or steamed! All thanks to Mak, who is really observant about all these kind of things!

After a quick shower, we went exploring the little town but not before trying out the bread downstairs! Too bad I forgot what was the name of the hotel we stayed in! Oh well, I'm sure it will be easy to find out :o)

One of the bridges in Kuala Kangsar

View from the bridge....

Ok, ok....I will take a picture of you on this bridge!!

Nice lights but too bad the picture is not too clear!!

The hotel we stayed in with the yummy bread stall downstairs

In the end, Mak did admit that Kuala Kangsar was nice :o) Well, will keep you posted on our next destination....Teluk Intan!

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