Finishing up in Penang/Malaysia, we cycled a total of 744 miles and were averaging 53 miles a day as it was for the majority blissfully flat.
Our first night in Penang, we were kindly chaperoned by a local Malaysian man, who apparently had had Terry Wogan and Kevin Keegan as his personal customers, to our Warmshowers host. Slight breakdown in communication meant we ended up sharing a room with him but be relieved to say separate beds. In the morning, we came to an unanimous decision to check into a hostel as despite his loveliness we didn’t want to share a room with a older Indian gentleman snoring in his boxers.
Whilst waiting for our Thailand visas to be issued, we spent a few days in Penang sampling the food which is supposed to be the best in Malaysia according to the foodies we met who had made a 150 mile trip from Kuala Lumpur just to eat. Indulged in a pedicure each, the therapist had quite a job on Ella’s size 9’s compared to the teeny tiny Asian feet she must be used to. Wandered around looking at the Banksy style street art on the old colonial Chinese buildings and took a cycling rickshaw – the guy pedalling must have been at least 70 and he was wheezing a fair bit with us full of rice and noodles.
To be considerate of the pleas from our loved ones, and also slightly scared by Malaysians imitating us being shot if we cross the Thailand land border by bicycle, we decided to take the train to just clear of the safety zone.
We have been in Thailand a week now, and we have crossed from Thung Song to Krabi, around Phuket and up to Phang-Nga and will be making our way up to North Thailand.
We have cycled through limestone cliffs, past rubber tree plantations, by the coast that 2004 tsunami devastated and has now been rebuilt, stayed with a Thai couple who taught us how to make sticky rice served with mango, fed us lots of Thai food and helped fix my bike. We’ve been chased by dogs, discovered that pineapples grow in bushes on the floor, visited rescued turtles that had lost limbs on fishing nets and boat propellers, had our bikes poked and touched by little old Thai ladies before conversing with nods, smiles and sign language.
Will try to post photos soon rather than wittering on..