Friday, 24 July 2020

Makanthon BPM (26 - 27 June 2020) : Day 2 - Muar to Batu Pahat

Clock tower from 1909
Mural street
Hobbit Land???
A very comfortable stay at Muo Boutique Hotel
One with the girls
Regrouping at the temple
Hao Lim Gong Temple 

Walking down the back streets of Jalan Maharani this morning, Claudine was amazed by how the same street art can evoke a different appreciation under different types of lightings. Last night, the murals illuminated by spot lights had a subtle glare whilst this morning’s natural lights had brought out the best in the wall paintings.

Arriving at Mee Bandung Abu Bakar Hanipah, Claudine immediately smelled out the prawns, the main ingredient used to give the stock a robust taste. While everyone seemed to enjoy the mee bandung which came with a choice of beef or chicken, Claudine went for their mee soup. Coupled with freshly fried chicken, she couldn’t be happier with her choice!

Midway through our breakfast, the tables in the coffee shop had filled up and a long line of waiting patrons had formed outside. Strangely run by a Chinese lady who managed the drinks, the coffee shop is a living testimony of racial harmony in Malaysia.

After our mee bandung, we proceeded to the water front, marveling at the fishing boats moored by the river bank. It felt strange to see a fishing community right next to a busy bridge and bus terminal !

Next on our agenda is Ah Teck Chwee Kueh, sold over a morning push cart; supposedly set up just outside Sports Toto on Jalan Yahya. However due to Covid 19 pandemic, all street vendors were pushed indoors. Through Claudine’s cousin, a local Muarian, we found his new location at Wang Lye Kopitiam, Jalan Bakri.

While the famous rice cakes is popular amongst locals and tourists, it is a hit or miss type of food. Unless you like steamed rice cakes served with pickled vegetables and chilies, it is actually quite bland!

We were running late. Not exactly art lovers, we skipped Cultural Walk altogether and returned to pack up.

Taking Route 5 for our return journey, the first segment to Parit Jawa was scorching hot. Right after our trademarked drink stop, it began to drizzle. The drizzle turned into rain and the rain became a heavy downpour!

Somehow, nobody called for a stop. Threading carefully, we managed to enjoy the ride in the rain, often coming across riders on the way back from Melaka. They make up a huge group of roadies heading for JB!

After our regrouping stop by a temple, the rain finally reduced to a light drizzle. Encouraged, we proceeded to Semerah to see the paddy fields. Unfortunately, unlike the yellow paddy fields in Pulau Penarek, the paddy in Semerah were already harvested. What remained were muddy fields, all prepared for planting!

It was a short ride and before long we had arrived back in Batu Pahat. Craving for beriani, we returned to Mohd Shah’s. Close to 1.30 pm, the lamb were already sold out. VT and Claudine had to content themselves with chicken beriani which tasted just as good when drowned in lamb gravy!

Mohd Shah’s to Crystal Inn is just 1.8 km distance. Somehow, Zoe could not manage the last leg, falling onto the side walk with a loud bang. Even the sound of engines from the long line of cars waiting at the traffic lights could not drown the noise!

Claudine who was ahead called out if anybody had crashed but received no response. Stopping ahead, she peered backwards. What she saw made her blood curdle. Henry was crouching by the side of the road! Riding back with eyes peeled on the scene, nobody bothered to give her the thumbs up. She was finally assured there was nothing more than a few bruises and a dropped chain when she reached the junction and could read Chooi’s and Julie’s facial expressions!

Rejoicing over the mild accident that left Zoe with a more pronounced high cheek bones besides a few bruises to her thigh and calf, we celebrated over tea at Han Kee bakery. Only Julie did not stake a claim to the kitty’s balance which was less than RM 8. She had to rush off after a quick change of clothes at Crystal Inn to finish some finals for her students at Newcastle. Well, we were more than happy to lap up her share of cakes and breads, drowned with coffee and tea which tilted the cash register further more!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Machap's Lake and Secret Island ( 18 July 2020)

On the tiny strip of land connecting to the island
During the start of the ride, approaching the chicken farm
Still quite a distance to the island...
Just a few rubber trees remaining, the land overtaken by palm oil trees
First stream
First weaver nest sighted near the stream
Strange flowers
More weaver nest around the lake
The Lake!
Long stretches of gravel with one area super loose!
Oops! We have to backtrack to find the strip of land leading to secret island
Turning off from the main trail...
Heading for the strip of land
Trail is overgrown
We are finally on that strip of land !
Weaver bird's nest on the strip of land
Secret Island with view of Lake
Running away from mosquitoes on Secret Island !
The classic 60's pose...
The dirt road to the farm
Right after the stream, we came upon this ex animal farm. The animal cages were empty but next door was a swallow condominium
This is the junction to circle the lake. As mentioned by the farmer, the place is marked by a "Restricted Area" signboard.
Chooi play acting while VT scouted the trail
A 4x4 driver told us to ride ahead instead! This led us to tarmac and totally off course!!!
Returning to Camel Trophy challenge
...and down the trail....
After we met Mr Snake, we used an alternative route instead
Passing by a farm
Back to civilization!!!
Jalan Kampung Rahmat
Murtabak Abu Hurairah is very "happening"
RM17 for Murtabak Singapore that feeds 4 pax and yet we are still able to was goooooood !

Today's epic ride to Secret Island...

We managed to get to the island despite the overgrown path. This may not be possible again as the path was almost not visible ! Along the strip of land connecting the island with mainland, we found many weaver bird nests. The place is so undisturbed, the grass grew taller than 6 feet. I have never been caned so many times in my life!!! Unfortunately, as hard as we tried, we did not manage to round the lake as intended. At the north section of the lake, a black snake the size of my arm crossed VT's path. It was only 5 feet away. We decided to take it as a cue from the spirits of the forest not to pursue further and took the longer route home via Ayer Hitam.