Monday, September 3, 2012

Karak > Lanchang Ride - Part 3

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
We took a short break at the Lanchang - Kg Bolok junction.
A decision was reached to ride to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary -- which is the highlight of this trip.
We have to cycle through a 10km course where the gradient averages from 3 - 20%. 
Now, the top-speed recorded here was 57.3km/h downhill.
I've been to the Wildlife Department's training centre in Lanchang on assignment when I was a feature writer in the NST.
This place is hilly and the only place I can compare it with is the Na Mueang waterfalls and elephant sanctuary in Ko Samui, Thailand.
For hill-climbing on a folding bike, this landmark is a benchmark.
Anyways, we made it km7 on the route and took a break at a grocery shop.
I took the liberty to round up some isotonic beverage and distributed it to the cyclists.
From here, there's another 3km to go.

Climbing towards Kuala Gandah
At the entrance of the Elephant sanctuary
Viewing the baby jumbo at its enclosure
Langsat, a four-year-old infant pachyderm at the centre
 It took us about 45-minutes to ride to the Elephant sanctuary's visitor's centre.
There, I registered the cyclists and we donate RM30 to the conservation and maintenance of the facility. A small token, and we hope it'll make a small difference.
The show actually starts at 1pm, but we were way too early to catch the programme.
A staff told us that a bunch of school kids were being briefed about the sanctuary's activities.
But, we were late. We only managed to catch the tail-end of the show.
The only saving grace here is an enclosure where two baby elephants were being fed with cow grass.
One of them were 'Langsat', a four-year-old baby. It was so cute, I went on capturing the little jumbo on my camera.
Later, we went to a cafeteria at the centre for a drink and decided that its best to move on to have lunch in Lanchang.

One of the ninja cats at the Elephant sanctuary
Leaving the scene
 The plan is to ride out towards Lanchang town and get some lunch there.
I suggested that we ride the last 17km on the old KL - Kuantan road to save some time so that we can freshen up and rest at Sin Poh Farm.
That's another 10km out and climbing all the way...

I must say that I was truly amazed by the prowess of Master Siang and his wife Angela.
They climbed with ease on a hill where the recorded gradient is 20%.
Most of us had struggled up the hill and since Michelle and I are riding in Penang this weekend, we don't want to run the risk or hurting ourselves.
And before we knew it, we reached Lanchang, a small town with only two rows of shoplots.
I found a nice makan stall here and suggested to the team that this is where we eat.
The bill came up to RM76 for the entire group and I must say that the fresh lime juice is the best I've had in a long time!

Mrs Samo and her lunch

Gulai Tempoyak, telur itik!
Preparing to ride back to Sin Poh Farm
We had a well-deserved break in Lanchang and just before we took off, the stall owner asked for a picture to be taken.
This cosy little place serves a decent fare and I cannot dispute the pricing.
From Lanchang, we have another 17km to clear.

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