Monday, October 8, 2012

Sungkai Bikepacking Adventure - Part 2

Rise and shine!
I've had no trouble catching some sleep.
On a hard concrete floor, the Thermarest scout sleeping mat that I brought along had served me well.
The campsite, it seems, was on a valley and the entire night was quite windy. Lucky for us, it didn't rain.
As for me, the first order of the day, was to clean up and get organised. We needed to pack our panniers.
Well, we brought some food supply and fuel that was not used at all, so, there is no reduction in weight.
From the campsite, there is a series of hills and long climbs to go through before we hit Slim River.
I said goodbye to the Malaysia Knife Forums people and thanked them for their hospitality before riding off to a stall near Sungai Klah village for breakfast.

Morning at the campsite
 Murphy's Law Part 2
I tumbled onto the riverbank near the campsite the night before.
Part of the embankment collapsed when I stood too near to the side.
As a result, I sprained my left ankle.
Never had any luck with the left-side! 
The real challenge here - is to cycle another 70km to Tanjung Malim.
This is the only place where we could jump onto a train and head back to Kuala Lumpur.
So, there I was, in pain and limping. 
We rode off towards Sungkai without much hassle and the place that we had our sights set was Slim River. 
Roger had to go back to the train station to claim his tent..

Parting shot: Leaving the campsite for Sungkai
No pain, no gain..
We rode out to Sungkai without much issues.
Roger had a couple of chain-slips while I struggle to keep the injured ankle working.
There's much to cover from Sungkai to Slim River and towards Tanjung Malim.
If we were to follow the train schedule, we will never make it back to Kuala Lumpur before dark.
The plan is to catch either a KTM ETS or the hourly Komuter service to KL Sentral.
Slim River is roughly over an hour from our location, so, we kept our average speed at 15km/h.
With load, that's the best we could do.
Lucky for me, Roger is a good cycling buddy. He's never in a rush to do anything. Just went with the flow.

At a political party's branch in Trolak
Relic: A petrol pump outside a sundry shop
A town lost in time..
Trolak. I've heard about this place, but have never been there.
Basically, its just a dot on the map.
This time round, we made a detour to Trolak and found out that its a dead town.
The North-South highway literally 'killed' this small place which is home to a couple of hundred of people
We took some photos to remind us of our visit and carried on..
Before noon, we reached the Slim River train station.
Roger was happy that his tent was returned back to him by the station master.
There, we met an elderly gentleman with a young boy.
He was just hanging out at the platform as Roger struck a conversation with him.
"Where are you guys from?," asked the curious stranger.
Since Roger is a friendly dude, he did most of the talking.
We learned from the man that Tanjung Malim is 20miles (33km) away from Slim River and many cyclists prefer to use the 'old road'.
I promised Roger a 'coffee break' and kind of pushed things a bit too far.
We rode past Slim Village, a small settler's area and did our water refill.
Just further down the road was the Slim Village town: a row of pre-war shops across a bridge.
That's where we decided to stop and have an ice-cold glass of coffee before pushing off to Tanjung Malim.
A couple of elderly men were having their late morning tea there.
One of them struck a conversation and told us about the natural attractions in the area.
After the refreshment, we cycled towards Ulu Behrang, which is about 10km away.

Chilling out at a coffee shop in Slim Village, Perak
 The Sun was out in its full glory.
We pushed as far as we could and the heat had really punished us.
After Slim Village, there was Ulu Behrang.
This is very near to the Proton City in Tanjung Malim and we were literally on a home-run.
The last eight kilometre was a real drag.
Tanjung Malim, as it seems, is just paved with an undulating terrain.
We were crunching our gears to reach the train station and before that, lunch was on my mind.
There are a few good makan places around Tanjung Malim, but the one place that I wanted to check out was a restaurant offering river fish and a couple of house dishes.

Our link to home: Tanjung Malim

A simple lunch
At the restaurant, we spent about 45-minutes eating while keeping watch on our bikes which was parked at the entrance of this makan place.
And as usual, some patrons would struck a conversation, asking about where we came from and where we were going.
Roger was nice enough to do the Public Relations while I took some rest and my much-needed lunch break.
We boarded the KTM Komuter to KL Sentral (I paid RM8 to get all the way to Subang Jaya) at 3:45pm and it would take another two hours to get there.
Roger and I switched train in Rawang and proceeded towards Kuala Lumpur..

The train station in Kuala Lumpur
We re-capped about the journey and was glad that no untowardly incident took place.
It was all smooth as we parted ways. 
Roger got off at KL Sentral while I switched to the Port Klang line at the old KL Railway station.
The ride was okay for me as the train was not packed like a can of sardines.
The moment I got off at Subang Jaya, I noticed that my airhorn had came off and it was stuck between the rear wheel.
Took me a while to figure it out on how to solve the problem before I got on my way back to USJ26.
I for one, am glad to be able to complete the ride and clocked-in a total distance of 129km.
This is by far, my most memorable outing with the Malaysia Knife Forums. And well, hopefully, I would be able to do the same the following year.
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