47 km, 2h47min, max temp 30 degrees C
We woke up to rain, so turned over and went back to sleep. We had only a short ride into Kuantan planned for today, so we didn’t feel any urgency to move. After yesterday, we were happy for the extra time to relax. On our short ride, it rained on and off. The riding was really nice when it wasn’t raining – the rain kept the temperature down, so even riding during the hottest part of the day, we were not too hot.
We are staying with Yew Kong, whom connected with through Couchsurfing. When we got to Kuantan, we called him, and he came to pick us up, which was very nice. Fortunately, he has a small pick-up truck, so we were able to fit the bikes in the back. Unfortunately, Scott also needed to ride in the back, and just as we started driving, the heavens opened up again. Scott has never been more quickly drenched than during that 10 minute ride!
The rain which started as we drove to the house did not stop for more than 12 hours. Apparently, this much rain is common during the monsoon season, but not at all common at this time of year. Now, the weather should be hot and humid. Becky isn’t sure which she prefers, she hates riding in the rain, but the heat was doing nasty things to her skin. Scott is firmly in favour of the rain, even after the deluge he was in!
It is wonderful to get a taste of how real people in Malaysia live. In addition to staying with Yew Kong in Kuantan, we will be staying with Jon’s family in KL (Jon and Scott were roommates during university). Another advantage to staying with locals is that you can get many of your questions answered. For example, we were wondering what the multistory cement buildings with little windows were. These buildings were broadcasting a horrible bird sound – we thought maybe the sound was to scare something away. It turns out the sound was to attract swallows. The buildings are used to farm swallow’s nests, which are used to make the delicacy bird’s nest soup.
Our current plan is to leave our bikes and most of our stuff with Yew Kong for a few days and take a bus to Kuala Lumpur. We hope to get our USA Visas figured out in KL, and maybe even get our Chinese visas.