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
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.
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.
George Town is a UNESCO world heritage site. Lots more information on Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Town,_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 ….
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 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaipusam. 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 https://www.live-less-ordinary.com/third-day-of-thaipusam-penang/
The Strava route today.