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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 1.5059, 103.382I had decided to cross the Woodlands Bridge from Singapore straight into Johor Bahru and although I wouldn't stay here it was nice to cycle through and be back in Malaysia.
It took a couple of days for me to cycle back up to Melaka as I had planned to stop in coastal places on route. The journey takes me though lovely scenery, beaches, farming areas and plantations, many Mosques and traditional Malay villages, fishing ports and I even met a couple of cyclist heading to Singapore on route. I had decided to camp on the way and I was fortunate to stay with a local family the first night who let me put my tent up under their garage area at their home, and gave me access to their toilet and wash room which was kind. I was right at a fishing village and the local methods used are interesting with stilt platforms with nets hanging off them which they lower into the sea at high tide. They mainly catch prawn, shrimp etc. although sometime they land fish too, a few are also fishing and my host tells me where to eat some fresh catch.
A number of local
kids were my companions for the night with their questions and practicing English which I enjoyed, they are always so keen to learn and talk to you, even in the more rural non tourist areas. Thankfully I had a restful night, feeling safe that I had the security of camping with a local family which really makes a difference... beats the fear of elephants in the middle of the night!
The following night I had asked to sleep at a home stay place although I was refused as I wasn't Muslim, this was a first, thankfully the owners son allowed me to camp up behind the building under cover which I was relieved about. He then returned however and said I could use the facilities in a house behind the home stay but when I entered it was basically an empty house and I asked if I could just sleep there which he agreed, so a free night accommodation with facilities again although this time I ended up with the dreaded 'bed bugs' having a feast on my skin overnight, oh well not a lot I could do about it.
On my return to Melaka I paid Joe a visit at Honky
Tonk who gave me a beer on the house before once again checking into Discovery Cafe, I received a warm welcome from Wendy and Mr Fang as well as Alan, and was bought a few beers from the boss, seems like they were glad to see me. Some friends are still here although Craig will leave soon, he has provided me with fantastic information about Indonesia as well as my friend Peter who just arrived back.
I have a few jobs to do on the bike before I leave which is all luggage related and I get the bicycle shop I used before to service my gears which are now back in working order. I bought a front rack which they fitted as I am trying to bring the weight of the luggage lower and I even spend a couple of days re-designing my panniers so the back one sit lower too. This was quite a complex job (for me) although I was extremely happy with the result and the input from Alan as well as Craig who put me on the right track of how to proceed.
So tickets booked for Sumatra it's time to leave and enter Indonesia and I
can't believe that I'm actually going, although who knows what route or path I will take. My initial thoughts were to bus up to Banda Aceh in the north and cycle south to Jakarta but we'll see what it brings. So my bicycle is loaded onto the ferry and once again I'm off to a new country, lets see what the ‘Ring of Fire' will throw at me! Scared, me... Yep!
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