Monday, October 22, 2012

I love the feel of wet cycle shorts in the morning. Not.

The hunchback of the Crystal Mosque - Karina put the provided robe over her rucksack.

Not sure why the shorts didn't dry - aircon a bit warm and blowing the wrong way, I suppose. Luckily it soon rained and made them wetter so it didn't matter any more. It rained a lot. Last night Karina spotted a page in the paper about the top 10 mosques in the world to visit. It's funny how 5 were in Malaysia, and didn't seem quite as splendid as the worldwide ones - but one was called the crystal mosque, looked interesting, and whaddyaknow, is in Kuala Terengganu, the town we had to pass today. So Wal informed the gps that we wanted to have a look, and eventually, after a few mud roads, villages and dead-ends, it duly brought us there. In torrential rain. The thing is made largely of bronze-tinted glass and is rather small, for a world top 10 mosque, and would perhaps have looked better on a sunny day, which this resoundingly wasn't.

Had a pretty dodgy lunch in the pilgrim's canteen and were going strong again - the sun had even come out for a bit - when something clattered round Al's front wheel. A smallish key, with a ring and another key attached, was firmly embedded in the tyre. We have spare tubes in the luggage but not with us on the bikes, and no spare tyres at all, so were a bit worried about the size of the hole in tyre and tube. But when we got the tube out, the hole in it was tiny, so a quick patch later we were back on the road to the next adventure....

....which involved the bags again. We got to the Seri Malaysia Marang hotel with ease after only 60odd kms, but the bags had found it more of a challenge. We weren't getting far explaining the situation to the Malay-speaking fellow, so he called the manager, who was terrific, and discovered that the wretched taxi man, who spoke English and was explicitly told to come to Marang, and had charged accordingly, then decided to misunderstand and go to the Seri Malaysia Kuala Terengganu instead, which was only 2/3 the distance. So we had to pay another taxi to bring them the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the kindly manager sat us down - in our wet shorts - and plied us with milo and teh tarik while we waited, and once the luggage finally arrived and we scuttled off to shower and change, invited us to join him for dinner, which we did, for a very good buffet, with specially-provided fish crackers which are a local delicacy.

This place will - finally - do for our rest day. Plans are being laid for a boat trip to an island......

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