George Town, Penang Tuesday 22nd January

Our room included a breakfast, mostly local food with toast and jam, we still managed a good portion and left feeling full, ready for cycling! But first a couple of bird pictures.

A kingfisher’s back

A kingfisher’s front

A crane hunts for fish

It was another mixture today, very busy main roads (busy with lorries as well) plus some gravel tracks. We even managed to find a dead end just for added excitement (and distance). A few scenes from the journey today.

Many roadside food sellers

The “drive through” with scooter

Fishing from a disused railway bridge

A new mosque to go with the new housing estates

Lots of kingfishers on this river

The small roads followed the edges of rice fields and occasionally a plantation of palms. We did get to see our first live snake, around 4 feet long and rapidly slithered into the undergrowth at the side of the track. There were also a lot of monitor lizards rushing around today, all still alive! But best of all along a riverside there were a number of kingfishers, they have the most vivid blue backs and wings.

As we approached the ferry terminal there were a few kilometres of cycling where we passed housing estates with huge palatial buildings with new cars on the drive and estates with shacks and a scooter outside, large industrial zones making all manner of things, and shops retail and commercial. Here there were more lorries than we have seen in a long time.

A final road section took us past Butterworth to the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal, we just followed the scooter signs through the ticket office where it cost RM 2.80 for the two of us then we waited in queue with the scooters. Around 10 minutes later we departed making for George Town around 1.5 miles away. We met a couple of other cyclists on their way to Singapore as well (but a lot faster than us!) Chatted a little before they raced away, well pedaled slowly away.

Colourful ferries

Our ferry

Looking through the ferry towards George Town

George Town

The piers of George Town

George Town is a UNESCO world heritage site. Lots more information on Wikipedia,_Penang

Then it was a final battle through very heavy traffic, moving very slowly to get to the Magpie Residence where we have two nights booked. We did ring ahead making sure they had somewhere to store our bicycles. Again nice room ….

Lots of lovely old buildings here

There are also Chinese New Year preparations going on everywhere

Walking around we saw preparations for Thaipusam, a festival celebrated by Tamil and Malayali communities on the full moon in January / February, it is a national holiday in Malaysia. Lots more information on Wikipedia We also noticed great piles of coconuts dropped on the roadside, these are smashed as the silver chariot passes, each one symbolises “the breaking of one’s ego to reveal purity inside” more information here

Ready for the early hours when the chariot passes

Each pile is labelled, as coconuts are very difficult to smash they are pre cracked to make it easier

The Strava route today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.