84 km, 4h 45 min, max temp 42
Today began with a crash! As we were riding into Kuala Terangganu we heard a collision in the traffic right behind us. We immediately slowed down and pulled over. We could see someone’s side mirror in the middle of the road, and Scott saw the van belonging to the mirror, with a big crease in the side, but still driving. Shortly thereafter we heard another crash up ahead. We can only guess that the cause was someone staring at us and not watching the traffic. We continue to be popular attractions with both drivers and passengers – it’s especially entertaining to watch scooter drivers try to mimic our pedaling.
The road was quite busy at the time, and we were very glad for the shoulder, despite the cars frequently parked in it. After taking a deep breath and we started riding again, we got a better view of the three vehicles involved. They were a little dented, with a pile of glass on the road, but nothing too major and no one appeared injured. We were both a little rattled, so we quickly turned off the highway and found a spot to have second breakfast.
After breakfast, we jumped back on the bikes and were soon crossing the long bridge across the Terengganu River. We first noticed a couple of very pretty mosques, so we stopped to take a photo. As we progressed along the bridge, we discovered that it wasn’t two mosques, but three, no four .. at least six that we could distinguish, each with different architecture. Becky thought maybe this was the place where Mosque builders stored their templates, and as it turns out, she wasn’t too far off. According to our map, this is the “Scaled Model Mosques Complex”. It turns out this is actually the Islamic Civilisation Park with scale models of 21 famous Muslim buildings.
We continue to enjoy looking at the mosques we pass. Becky reflected that in Rome the churches are all fascinating on the inside, but often not that exciting from the outside. Mosques are the opposite, often really cool from the outside, but the inside architecture is almost always simple and clean.
We spent most of the day on the coastal road, rather than the main highway, but since it was Saturday, even the coastal road was fairly busy. When we could, we made detours today onto less busy roads. The first detour was very peaceful, and we were joined by some kids on bikes for a portion of the ride. The second one qualified as “the road less travelled” when it turned into a dirt track and then a sand and dirt track. The soft sandy bits were a little challenging, but we survived. Scott defended his directions by saying “The GPS said it was a road, it didn’t say anything about the surface!”
We are staying at the Penarik Inn, which is not an Inn at all, rather a bunch of chalets. We opted for the mid-range chalet, as the least expensive one (40 RG) would have been too small for the bikes and had a squat toilet. We chose a slightly larger chalet instead. It fit our bikes, and has a nice bathroom with two showers (cold and hot) for 70 RG. It is also brand new (we are only the second people to stay in it). The room does not have AC, rather it has a fan. This is our first experiment with ocean side accommodation without AC. Hopefully the cooling ocean breeze will mean we sleep OK. We definitely enjoyed our swim at the end of the day – just what Becky always imagined Malaysia was like!