Weather- Hot, then heavy rain, then dry, then rain...
Rode the final 30kms in the rain.
As we walked through the door, across the broken concrete pavement, gingerly lifting our heavy bikes from the high curb we noticed two cats hissing at each other. Presumably they were feral ones, and it wasn't unusual to see two cats in Malaysia so thinking nothing of the occurrence we got on our bikes and began pedaling.
The Malaysian countryside changed quickly from the urban industrial coastal province of Banting with its thriving mostly Indian population into the sparsely populated rural countryside, occasionally littered with Warung's (outdoor roadside eating places), dilapidated tiny villages with small motosikal repair shops and massive palm tree plantations (Malaysia is the worlds biggest exporter of palm oil, an oil that is rich in saturated fats giving it a delicious artery clogging taste. Most of these exports go to India and China).
We continued riding and along the roadside we saw a few more cats, which was still no big deal, and we stopped for lunch at a small warung selling a selection of hot fish, mutton, and chicken curries. It looked like a delicious Indian affair so we loaded our plates up with chicken curry, rice and a bean and vegetable mix. But as we took our first bites we realised it wasn't actually Indian but the original local cuisine, littered with hot spicy chillies and no other discernible taste. Whilst we have gotten more used to hot foods here the taste of Chili permeating everything must be an acquired taste (one the Indonesians also enjoy). We forced down less than half, looked down at our feet, saw a few more cats, and then left.
An hour later the storm which had been threatening began to speak to us, primarily with angry thunder and short sharp burst's of lighting flashing across the sky. The sky ahead of us looked clear so we began to push the pedals round and round as hard as we could, vainly hoping we could beat the storm. And for a moment it seemed we had, and I began to think in my mind that maybe this time we had won.
But I was soon laughing at my silly self belief when without a minutes notice the heavens opened up and hammered us with a torrential downpour, and through the haze of rain that was clouding my vision I saw them scatter into the bushes, just a couple more feral cats and I thought to myself, I wonder what those guys do when it rains. I'm still not sure what they did, but we kept riding, soaked to the bone, the headwind trying to blast us off the road, and amazingly after a little while, we felt refreshingly cold for the first time in Malaysia...