|Getting Started - Canberra to Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor||Week 1 24th April 2011|
|Canberra Airport. Reading the travel pages of the Weekend Australian! Handed the keys to the car to Jennifer (eldest daughter) and all we had to do was wait for the plane.|
|Not quite in keeping with our intention for the trip. The
view from the Sunway Pyramid Towers hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Its built on
the edge of an old tin mine, the lagoon is a sort of holiday park. We
didn't even have to go outside into the heat to enter the shopping centre
- apparently what Malaysia is all about!
It was within walking distance of the shipping agent's office and about half way between Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang.
Unfortunately they only had room for us until Wednesday so we shifted hotels for one night.
Our time in KL was mainly taken up with waiting for release of the Tardis and shuffling documents around. Our shipping agent was busy thrusting trade plates at us (at US$150 per day) while we went to the AA Malaysia and purchased an "International Circulation Permit" and third party insurance which made us legal and just a tad cheaper.
We cut the seal off the container and opened the doors to a sigh of relief.
One, still in one piece, Tardis.
Assembly took most of the day, the last part in rain as the promised shade hadn't materialised. That meant a few things didn't quite get done. The humidity was stifling and there were a few mistakes, like having one leg of the bed pulling up while the other was pushing down - take it apart again and swap the legs ..... durrrrrrr.
Filling up with diesel for the first time followed by three laps of Port Klang trying to find the road North to Kuala Selangor we finally made it to our first night on the road.
|A grey heron at Tanam Alam Nature Reserve.
We arrived in the dark and simply camped outside the gate. "Camping" inside in their car park was free. Also entry to the park was free as at least one of us was considered a senior citizen. No card to show, just the grey hair.
We stayed three nights to collect our thoughts and sort little bits of truck out - like filling with water.
This was also where the solar regulator stopped working. Corrosion around the power transistors - disasterous. We are relying on charging from the engine and direct connecting the panels to the batteries (with lots of caution).
After a few days of seeking advice we will have a replacement posted by friend Dave to Tracy (Chinese Tour Organiser) for Susanna our guide to carry to the border for us. What can possibly go wrong with a plan like that?
Mildly annoyed that the BlueSky 3024Di regulator has corrosion after only 3 years. At the rather high price I expected a better build quality. Also mildly annoyed that the integrated circuits have been painted over so really can't do any testing. I'll replace it only because I know the wires all fit etc. US support really only confirmed it was dead and supplied a couple of Chinese addresses which haven't yet responded.
|Also in Tanam Alam were Silver Leaf Monkeys. A bit shy, but cute.|
|And of course Macaque Monkeys.
This tribe lay in wait on the track, really a dyke, around the central lake (where the heron colony nests).
There's a boardwalk through the mangroves to explore.
The walk is about 4km which we enjoyed after being cooped up in the city for 3 days.
|Overlooking Tanam Alam is Bukit Malawati. A 17th century
fortress that hasn't survived very well.
The hill is less than 100m high and the only high ground for a long way.
We walked up the couple of hundred steps from the nature park, humid and sweaty, and were greeted with a couple of knots of people standing round seemingly waiting for something, like a sunset, but we knew not what.
Eventually all was revealed. We realised our liking for simple exercise was not shared by all the locals. There is a tractor pulling a couple of trailers to ferry people up and down.
Segregated of course. Females in the first trailer, males in the second.
|While driving it had appeared to us that Malaysia is one
This is Kuala Selangor from the top of the hill. Its really a wide strip along the main road.
The mosque is a rather obvious landmark.
We are beginning to relax. Particularly helped by the people we meet being helpful and friendly.
|Rawai Beach Thailand||Week 2 2nd May 2011|