Monday, 1 June 2009
For the expense of RM125 (£22.30) I flew to Kuala Lumpur and back to the same guest house I had previously stayed in. For 3 days and nights I lounged…it was good!
On the 4th day I walked the 500m to the mono rail (with my way too heavy bag on my back) and climbed on board. After 2 stops I changed my carriage and went by train for two stops, then changed again for one more stop, got out and walked out of the station across the road to the bus station, twenty minutes later I was on my way to Banting.
The non- descript town of Banting isn’t found in any tourist guide, the reason being that there is absolutely nothing tourist here worth seeing. However it is the closest town to the launch site at Jugra Hill. Getting off at the bus station I had the choice of two hotels nearby. One was Hotel City and the other was Comfort Hotel (.com.my). The Comfort Hotel was nearer and as it had just opened it had a special offer, a standard room for only RM60 (£10.70) per night…bargain. In the evening once it had cooled down a little bit I went for a walk around the main part of town, 20 minutes later I was finished!
The next morning, with my glider on my back, I went to the bus station to get a local bus to near take off. Unfortunately there are no local buses to take off but a man with a car (notice how I didn’t use the word taxi) offered to drive the 15kms for only RM20, this price was reached after haggling!
The take off at Jugra hill is a bumpy steep but grassed and it stands 125m above sea level. It has a row of covered benches that shield you from the sun whilst the views stretch out to the sea some 10kms away. I arrived there at 10am and by 2pm I had had enough of “parawaiting” for the wind to die down. Walking down the hill I was looking forward to the 15km walk back to Banting under the hot afternoon malaysian sun. after 7kms I had stopped “looking forward” to the walk and was just trudging along one foot in front of the other when a car pulled up and offered my a lift back into town…yippee!!!!!!!
The next morning I was outside the hotel, breakfast in hand, looking at the clouds speeding across the sky…bugger! It was then I decide to cut my losses and get a bus to Melaka…I took the long way!
At the bus station in Banting I found out that I would have to travel Melaka via an interesting route.
Take the bus to the kuala lumpur international airport
As the bus approached the airport terminal an inviting image flashed across my mind…it was me standing at an airline ticket office asking for a flight to somewhere that was at least 15 degrees colder
Take the bus Nilai
No, I have no idea where this town was but it went around some interesting houses
Take the train to Seremban
It was only 3 stops on the commuter train and it took about 30 minutes. Inside the carriages the humans were packed like sardines in a tin
Take the bus to Tampin
It was a long 5 minute walk from the train station to the bus station. The only bus that went direct to Melaka wasn’t leaving for another 3 hours…so it was on the local bus to someplace nearer.
Take the bus to Melaka
Arriving at Tampin there was just enough time to have a fag before getting on another local bus to Melaka; it went the long way round via the traffic jams!
Take a taxi to the hotel
I finally arrived at the travellers lodge several hours after leaving Banting. I was tired but the cold shower was the refreshment I needed!
The town of Melaka, in the international language of trade, has been a complete whore! She has been used by the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British and various others. She sits at the narrowest point in the straits of Melaka and has a sheltered port. So now you know why!
Like Georgetown on the island of Penang Melaka is a world heritage listed town. Unlike Georgetown, I can see why. The centre of the old town is called the Dutch square. It’s not a square but there is a little windmill! Nearby is china town, little India and on the seafront just outside of the old town is Portuguese square.
In the evening I went for a walk down by the river and ended up in a little bar near the bridge. The rickshaw drivers were out in force peddling along the streets, their draped disco lights blinking on and off but never in time with the cheesy pop music that blared out of small tinny battery powered speakers.
The next morning (Sunday the 7th of June) I explored china town, the air conditioned shopping malls and then the cinema where I watched the latest terminator movie. During the heat of the late afternoon I relaxed in the “sitting room” of the hostel reading a book. Around 8pm, after a siesta, I was online via my laptop checking out the football result from the day before (nice one En-ger-land) and wondering what time the f1 race started. Leaning over the balcony I got my answer….about 10 minutes ago!! I rushed out of the hostel and headed to the street restaurant across the road.
Now its Monday and when I leave here I should be going by ferry…but as to when I leave, who knows?