35 km, 2 hr
Our fatigue yesterday clearly showed this morning, when we sauntered down to breakfast at 9 am. We managed to get packed up and on our bikes for 11 am – a really late start to the day. We knew we only had a short ride to the ferry that would bring us to Georgetown on Pulau Penang.
We followed the signs to the ferry, and were quickly let to a large elevated roadway that had a “no bicycles sign”. Given that we did not see any other clear option, we followed the loop road, and stuck to the scooter and motorcycle lane. This brought us to the ticket booth with no troubles. We stayed with the scooters, and paid the 1.4 RG fee to take the ferry to the island. It was a remarkably painless experience and with 20 minutes we were cycling along the streets of Georgetown.
Our first impressions of the town are that is it pretty neat. There is lots of colonial architecture – not all of it nicely restored. We did not feel the immediate chaos that others reported but that might be because we arrived on a Saturday afternoon just in time for a lot of shops to close for siesta. (Or it might be because we’re used to Malaysian city traffic by now, it’s really not too bad…)
We are staying at the Cathay Hotel. It is a basic upper level budget hotel with huge rooms (great for cycle tourists). We are on the main floor, so we did not need to bring our bikes up any stairs, which is another nice bonus. For 75 RG a night (about $25 CAD), there are many cheaper budget places in town, but they are generally tiny windowless boxes, and we like having some natural light and plenty of room for the bikes.
We will chill here for a couple of days – do some sight-seeing, get our laundry done, and rest up a bit before heading to Langkawi for a little beach time!