Wowsers. For the girl that hated sport at school this is a major miracle.
I was excited last night as I headed to bed. We were staying in a pretty rough and ready hotel, in a pretty general town with a pretty exciting day ahead. Give or take a few km and a bit of estimation here and there, this was the day I had calculated we would reach our 20, 000km target. We would be on route to Kuala Lumpur and somewhere around Klang, on the Western coast, we would reach what was our km marker.
I’d tried to get a banner printed -a souvenir to mark this sense of occasion. However, with just overnight stop overs in previous days this had not been possible. At least we’d get a glass of wine tonight.
The route into Kuala Lumpur would never be easy. Heading into a big city never is. In this case Google maps only saw toll roads and we only saw routes that looked like highways and out of bounds to us. We would just have to wing it.
We set off leaving Banting at around 730am. After 10km we spotted a convenient Indian coffee stop…sweet coffee, paratha and Dahl called. Breakfast. Ah.
Relaxed we were ready to continue our journey but as we looked outside to the never altering grey sky and felt the change in the air from our food stop seats we knew we would be in for an interesting journey.
While intellectually aware we were arriving at the end of the wet season, psychologically, we had not expected rain with such a regular occurrence. We were about to be drenched again. Seriously, there was more rain coming from the sky than we had seen fall from many a shower in our cheap hotel rooms. This was not just the end of the monsoon season. This was the monsoon season.
As water built up in our shoes, swooshing around our toes with each pedal stroke and levels rose as we splashed through hot water puddles, we smiled. We were about to say we had cycled 20, 000km. Who cares if our clothes had seen more water from passing trucks so far than they ever had in a laundromat. We were living the dream. Honest.
On approaching Klang it was obvious we were going to need to ask directions. The highway really did look out of bounds and we were stuck. Pulling in to a nearby garage we not only found hot coffee but also WiFi and a guy willing to help us plan a route. Out with the iPad and we soon had a plan. The highway it seemed had a separate motorbike/scooter lane we could use and while closed in parts this certainly made our ride much easier.
Despite a few 6 lane sections where we had to pray, join the traffic and ride for our lives the journey was relatively easy. With no traffic-lights, no pedestrians and little else to concern us we really could up the tempo. I was still smiling. 20, 000km. Amazing.
After numerous stops to navigate and find our accomodation we eventually arrived at the Swiss Hotel…..not the posh one! We checked in, then moved rooms then returned this evening to find our power gone. (though quickly retrieved). Oh, the glamour of it all. We did celebrate briefly with a beer from the 7-11 and a glass of wine for dinner. All in all….not bad.
It’s interesting reflecting back. Who would have ever thought a journey with a bloke you’ve only met three times would go on so long? Crazier still, we still have many more km planned. Who knows maybe we”ll celebrate another 20, 000km yet.