Yup, it's me again!
I would like to share about my short tour I recently did with my new friend, Lisa. So happy that we managed to get to do this before the lockdown!
Lisa is planning to do a week's tour in New York in June with her siblings, averaging 80km a day but she needed to start training for it and she hasn't cycled for ages!
So I invited her to join me for this short tour, originally 4 days 3 nights but turned out to be 3 days 2 nights instead. I wanted to check out the inner parts of Kedah and loop back to Perlis before heading back to Langkawi.
Day 1 (6th march 2020) : Langkawi - Kuala Kedah - Langgar - Kuala Nerang (Approx 57km)
We rode to the main jetty and took the ferry to Kuala Kedah. From Kuala Kedah, we headed towards to Kuala Nerang, using the backroads as much as possible. We soon got lost! Lisa's bikemap gave us the runaround! We eventually found our way towards east and found a coffeeshop before reaching Alor Setar. I decided to stop for an early lunch since I was hungry and also because it was a Friday, most shops were closed. Lisa wasn't feeling hungry but she decided to have an early lunch too.
After our lunch, we headed towards Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah. Once we reached the busy main town, bikemap gave us the runaround again! We were going in circles in Alor Setar! After our 3rd attempt, we finally figured out our way to get out of this busy town! Phew!
Lisa with her Cannondale bike in Alor Setar :)
We were heading towards Langgar where Lisa wanted to pay her respects to her late father-in-law at the royal mausoleum but alas, it was closed when we got there! It was a Friday and everything is closed on a Friday in Kedah.
The Royal Mausoleum in Langgar...closed
So we continued our journey towards Kuala Nerang.There were many rice fields along the way, mostly golden now. We didn't stop to take many pictures though.
Golden rice fields
The road to Kuala Nerang was open, hot, rolling and busy with cars. It wasn't very interesting and it made our journey seemed even longer. Halfway through, it started to rain! Wow, we haven't had rain for the past 2 months in Langkawi and it was such a welcome sight for me! I'd rather ride in the rain anytime! Unfortunately, Lisa wasn't enjoying the rain as much as I was!
It was coming to 5pm when we finally reached Kuala Nerang. Our hotel, Hotel 89 was easy to find, It was located just outside the town. We made a good choice since it was between a minimart (which practically has everything!) and a restaurant. Next to the restaurant was a self service laundry bar.
The staff were friendly and helpful and we could store our bicycles at their storage room Yay! The room was small but cozy. The bathroom was clean and had water heater. That's all we wanted! The hotel had a no smoking in the room policy which I really liked! Kudos on their efforts to keep their hotel smoke free!
It started raining again and we were really happy that the restaurant next door was opened for dinner. No need to go anywhere in the wet weather for food! We had a lovely meal but it took awhile before our meal arrived. By then, we were both famished!
Lisa's front wheel had been making noises and we have to get it checked tomorrow morning before we leave for Changlun. Guess it'll be another late start for us tomorrow.
Day 2 (7th March 2020) : Kuala Nerang - Changlun (Approx 41km)
We woke up around 7am even though we knew it was going to be a late start since we had to wait for the bicycle shop to open. Apparently, they only open after 9.30am! I took my time getting ready while LIsa went out to look for breakfast in town. She told me where she was and after getting ready, I walked over to the food stall. They were selling roti canai and nasi lemak. Lisa said her roti canai was ok but not the gravy. It was too watery and sweet! Urgh!
I decided to have a packet of nasi lemak. It was ok. I was planning to have a second breakfast later. There was a morning market in town and while waiting for the bicycle shop to open, we wandered around and bought some apples for our journey. It was a huge morning market and many stalls were being set up when we were there.
9.30am....the bicycle shop was still closed! Darn it! We decided to walk back to our hotel to get ready and check out. We figured by the that time, the bicycle shop should be opened, hopefully! In the end, we ddin't even need to go to the bicycle shop because there was a mechanic shop near the hotel and we asked if they could help. . It turned out that Lisa's wheel only needed some lube on the bearings and it was good to go!
We thanked the guys and decided to head straight to Changlun without having my second breakfast, as planned, I asked if there were any food stalls along the way, the guys said there were but not many. I decided to take the risk and ride along the road and hopefully, there will be some food stalls!
The road turned out to be pretty nice to ride. We passed by a few village houses amidst rubber trees but still no food stalls. After cycling for about 30 minutes, we finally found a food stall near a roundabout! Yay!
After my second breakfast, we started off again. The road became more rolling and we knew there was a hill waiting for us. We took our time and stopped for some pictures too. What's the use of touring without pictures?
The ever chirpy Lisa!
Beautiful scenery along the way
Ok....a breather before the big hill!!
The lonely road ahead.....
After riding for awhile, the weather was getting too hot and I needed to eat (again!). I saw a side food stall and decided to stop. I had to call out to Lisa who was in front to stop. I'm sure she must thinking "What? We are stopping again!" but she took it all in good spirits, There wans't many choices for lunch so we opted for roti telur. At least, it will be fresh and hot. The dhall gravy was tasty and Lisa enjoyed her meal much more this round.
We chatted with the locals who were curious about us. Two female cyclists riding in the hot weather! Lisa even did a video interview with one of them. He owned the orchard across the road and he told us to come back during the fruit season....hmm...
Right, back on the saddle! We only have another 11km to go but there were more rolling hills to conquer! I poured some water over my head and wet my face mask and arm socks with water. I'm going to need to stay cool in this scroching weather!
We finally arrived Changlun around 2.30pm. My, what a busy town it was with lots of big trailers zooming past along the main highway. We found out later that the main highway led to Bukit Kayu Hitam, the border town between Malaysia and Thailand.which was only 9km away No wonder it was so busy!
Our hotel, T Hotel was by the mainroad and once again, it was very easy for us to find. The room was much bigger and so was the toilet. We could store our bicycles inside the hotel, near the reception area and our room was on the ground floor. They had a water dispenser just outside our toom too. Perfect!
I was my normal self again after my much needed shower! Lisa felt like going for a massage but I just wanted to relax in our room. I told her to go and have fun. We agreed to meet for dinner and discuss our plans for the next day. It was also nice to be able to do our laundry and put our washing out in the sun. At least, they'll dry off this time, unlike last night where our clothes were still a bit damp this morning.
I rode out to meet Lisa for dinner near the town area. Boy, I could feel the hot air blowing at my face even though it was around 6pm! We went to a Chinese/Thai restaurang for dinner and discussed about our plans for tomorrow. It will be an early start for us. We plan to leave by 8am and try to catch the 2.30pm ferry back to Langkawi.
The good thing about our hotel was that they do provide breakfast for us! Yay! No need to crack our heads to find food tomorrow morning!
Day 3 (8th March 2020) : Changlun - Kodiang - Kuala Perlis - Langkawi (Approx 55km)
Last day of touring!
We woke up early and got ready. After our simple breakfast, we took some pictures in front of the hotel and took off! We were heading towards Kodiang. The road was really nice, flat and had a lot of kampung houses along the way. There were many food stalls too. hehe
Kodiang is the border town between Kedah and Perlis.
Welcome to Perlis!
Yay! We are back in Perlis :)
We took a break after riding for about 2 hours. While having a break, we asked for directions to Kuala Perlis from the locals. They were very helpful and gave us directions. At one point, we were riding along this beautiful road with trees lined up on both sides. It provided us some shade and had a nice view. We had to stop for some pictures!
Nice & shady!
Unfortunately, this nice and shady road had to end and we were riding on the smaller road, along the main highway and it was scorching hot and long! The road wasn't well maintained and we had to look out for potholes from time to time.
The small road finally ended and we had to ride along the mainroad. We tried to find some smaller roads since riding along the mainroad wasn't our preference. Luckily, we found one and decided to try it out. Hopefully, it will lead us to the jetty. Upon checking my map, I knew we were on the right track.
We managed to reach the jetty before 12 noon. Ample time to spare since the ferry wss leaving at 2.30pm. So we just chilled by a cafe until it was time to board the ferry. The ferry ride will take about 2 hours and then, we will have to ride back home through some rolling hills in the hot, hot sun! I wasn't looking forward to that!
True enough, it was scorching hot and dry back in Langkawi! I was just lucky that my house was much nearer than Lisa's!
All in all, we had fun and Lisa did very well for her first touring adventure. Met a lot of nice local folks who were ever willing to help us, if needed, Just sad that it was a short tour. Would have loved to do a longer tour but because of work commitment, it wasn't possible for me.
But not to worry.....I'll be planning for a longer tour in the near future!
Until my next post! :)