Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ipoh - Lenggong Ride: Part 2

The weather can be your friend or your worst enemy...

We began to move out from Ipoh after lunch.
I saw a cloud formation over the horizon and wasn't really pleased with the fact that the low-pressure was building up.
While on the road, we focused on reaching Sungai Siput, which was the next town to Kuala Kangsar.
To get there, we rode through Tambun, Tanjung Rambutan and Chemor.
As the heat started to sink in, we endured the winding road and started working on crunching our gears to progress on the gradual climb.
The journey from Ipoh to Tambun was a walk in the park. But as we gradually progressed towards from Chemor to Tanjung Rambutan, to road began to show its ugly face..

A cave temple in Tambun

We are absolutely nuts about this place..
The Mongol and his iron Mule..
At Chemor, we took a break at a coffee shop and discussed about the route to Sungai Siput.
This is the town where a dual-carriageway was built linking Ipoh to Sungai Siput via Jelapang.
The traffic was heavy as its also a popular trucking route.
We were careful not to stray too far into the busy lane and the road shoulder was wide enough for a car to squeeze through.
We began to feel the undulating terrain in the area.
Just beyond the horizon, Sungai Siput was in sight.
For the record, I have never been to this town. I've heard so much about it, but our mission was just to pass through.


Dark clouds looms ahead..
The virtue of patience...

We passed through Sungai Siput town and made a stop at a Chinese herbal drink stall.
While quenching our thirst, I told Roger that we might not be able to cheat pass the road ahead.
So far, we have been lucky in a sense that it rained before we arrived at the earlier towns.
This time, we were tested on our patience..


Refilling our water bottles in Sungai Siput

Seeking refuge at an abandoned driving test area
All we had, is time...
At this time of the year, its monsoon season.
Rain is predicted throughout the month and we were prepared to ride even if it pours.
While climbing a serious of hills away from Sungai Siput, it started to pour.
I gave chase to Pat who was ahead and managed to flag him down.
There was an abandoned shelter just 200 metres back from where he stopped.
Roger cycled slow and was way behind.
We back-tracked and linked up with Roger and told him follow us the shelter. 
At the entrance, there was a huge monitor lizard feasting on the carcass of a dog.
We ignored the reptile and sought refuge at the shelter while waiting for the rain to die down.
The goal was to reach Kuala Kangsar before nightfall.
While we were dry and away from being drenched. I took time to mount my Ay-Up lights on the Minoura Space Bar on my Dahon Speed P8's handlebar.

Soaked to the bone and soggy shoes..

After sitting it out for nearly two hours, I urged the team to push ahead. 
Kuala Kangsar is about 18km away.
With the rain cooling down our body, climbing the series of hills was not an issue.
Slowly, we progressed to the Kuala Sayong junction and saw the first bridge leading to Kuala Kangsar town.
From this point, we still had to ride a distance before reaching our hotel which was located at the fringe of town.
By 6:30pm, we arrived. 
Roger did the needful by checking us in and paying for the rooms. This accommodation facility called 'Ku-Inn' was not bad.
Its clean and has the basic amenities for travelers and was also bicycle-friendly.
After dumping our panniers in the room, we set out to town.
I had an emergency banking chore to attend and while we were cruising around, Pat asked about the makan places and was disappointed to find out that there were few Chinese restaurants in town.
So, we settled for a makan place at the end of Jalan Dato Sagor.
The fare was not bad.. 


Good food is important for the group's morale..

Steamed Giant Featherback's belly
Most of the Chinese restaurants in the area were closed.
We settled for one which was packed to the brim and ordered a set of simple dishes.
While we were at it, we discussed about the ride and braced ourselves for the daunting task of hauling our bikes and gear to the Kuala Kangsar - Grik road.
This is the most challenging ride as far as touring in Perak was concerned..


My little room in Kuala Kangsar
We set our departure time at 06:30am the next day.
This is so that we could take full advantage of the cool morning climate and tackle a series of long and gradual climb towards Tasik Raban where we have planned it as our first stop...
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