Pai and I had our Apidura saddle packs mounted on our bikes and were out of the Tien Terrace front door at 7:45 am. We had a short ride to the Penang ferry terminal. We got there just in time for the 8:00 am ferry.
On Friday on the way to the ferry at Butterworth, I had lost one of my cleat covers. I went to look for it, after Pai and I got off the ferry. Amazingly it was still at the roadside. That was a fine start to the day.
We stopped at Persiaran Nasi Kandar Subaidah on Jalan Chain Ferry for breakfast. Then we were on our way along the same route we had taken to get to Penang.
25km later we were on Federal Route 1. Our next turn was 50km away.
At 30km, we stopped at a Petron station to refill our bottles. At 63km we did the same at a Bestari Mart. The lady at the counter there was intrigued by a Mat Salleh speaking Bahasa. I gave her a short biography in response to all her questions.
5km later we stopped to take a photograph next to paddy fields. Ala the photographs taken during the round island ride.
Simon please note that I sucked my tummy in for this photograph.
21km later we were at the Larut Matang Hawker Center in Taiping.
We had an early dinner at the Hu Jing Ge Chinese Restaurant in the Flemington hotel. The food was good and reasonably priced for a hotel restaurant. The suggestions of where to eat from the Taiping locals came in too late!
After polishing off dinner, we went for a stroll in the Taiping Lake Gardens. The gardens were established in 1880. Some of the magnificent Angsana trees may date from that time.
The morning of Day 7 was wet.
We rode in the rain for the first 20km to Terong. I must have started the ride dehydrated because I needed to refill my bottle at the BP station in Terong.
It was a struggle to get from Terong to Beruas because of the headwinds. Every flag we saw during those 34km was flapping in the wrong direction for us.
The rolling terrain did not help. I was glad to see the coffee shop at Beruas. One of the ladies working at the coffee shop asked where the rest of the R@SKLs were.
Our next stop was 36km later at a 99 Speedmart in Seri Iskandar. I thought we would find a place to stop along Federal Route 5 about 5 kilometres from Gelung Pepusu, but I was wrong. There is nothing between the Shell station 2 kilometres after the left turn onto Federal Route 5 and Seri Iskandar.
We needed that stop. It was 36ºC, and we still had that pesky headwind. The headwind seemed to change direction as we changed direction. It was our constant and unwanted companion.
We rode the remaining 34km to Taiping without stopping. We would have taken a break at D’Anjung Bali, but it was closed. For real this time!
We cycled straight to The Entertainment Hub for beers and lunch.
When we got to the Kampar Grand Hotel, we both upgraded to rooms with a bathtub. A hot soak worked wonders on our tired bodies.
We had an early dinner at The Entertainment Hub. It was lights out before 9:00 pm.
There was a thunderstorm during the night. Simon had warned us that heavy rain was forecast for the day. It was overcast at dawn, but there was no more rain.
We had the Western set breakfast at the hotel. The Flemington Hotel in Taiping beats the Grand Kampar Hotel in the breakfast stakes. The Flemington is a better hotel overall.
We were on our bikes at 8:17 am.
It quickly got sunny and hot.
We stopped at the PETRONAS station in Bidor to refill bottles. There was a staff training event there. One of the staff brought plastic chairs to us to sit on. That was very nice. We probably stayed for longer than we needed to because of those chairs.
Our next stop was at Taiwan Fructose, just north of Sungkai. The R@SKLs may remember seeing that plant on the way up to Kampar and commenting about it to Pai. He knows the plant manager and his wife.
We got a fascinating tour of the plant. Taiwan Fructose is one of two producers of fructose and maltose syrup in Malaysia. There is very little processed food and drink that does not contain fructose or maltose.
We made one more stop at the PETRONAS station in Slim River. Having enjoyed sitting in chairs in Bidor, we borrowed stools from inside the Slim River station to sit on while we had our drinks.
23km later we were in the KFC at Tanjung Malim having lunch. We had plenty of time before the 2:55 pm train.
The rain started as we approached Rawang. Pai got off the train at the Segambut station.
The rain stopped as I got to the Bank Negara station. A few kilometres later, I was at home. It was a safe ending to an epic trip to Penang and back.
Thank you R@SKLs for another most enjoyable Penang adventure.
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