I left Hua Hin on wednesday morning, even though I was not really feeling completely ok yet. But the thought of another day doing nothing was a bit too much. Strange isn’t it, after 18 months on the road you would think that stopping for a while would be just what I wanted to do. That’s true to a certain extent, but not too long!
I defied fate and had a cup of coffee with my breakfast (some dry toast) which I sipped slowly and thoroughly enjoyed. Then I headed south. Again, slowly. I felt good walking and trundled along at my own pace and checked out the sights.
After about 10 km it started raining, heavily at first but then it settled into a steady drizzle. I was ready for a break anyway and did not feel like testing the backpack’s rain protector just yet so I found a bus stop beside the road and sat down to see if I could wait it out. I’ve been complaining that I don’t find enough time to write during the-walk so I broke out the computer and sat down to the background sounds of traffic and rain to see if I could find some inspiration.
I did find some but the rain stopped pretty quickly and I packed away the computer and kept walking. Managed to keep going and it was not until later in the afternoon that I again had to seek shelter from the rain. This time in a restaurant (shack) and I decided to try some fried rice. Hopefully my stomach should be able to handle that. The rain once again stopped and I headed out. I was getting tired by this stage and intended to stop at the first suitable place. That place did not materialise for quite a while. It was dark, and had been for hours before I found a place that was both open and not to expensive. It’s off season and a lot of places are only open “sometimes”, no matter what their posted opening hours are.
That night was spent alternating between the toilet and the bed again. I suppose that I should have know that a 33 km day might have been a bit much to start with, but it did feel good to walk!
I spent another 3 days taking it easy, walking along the beach and trying to do as little as possible to conserve strength. I hoped to do some serious writing now that I had the time but I didn’t. There was just no inspiration.
On the fourth day I walked back up the beach 5 km and moved to another hotel for another 4 nights. I was getting better but very slowly and it was time to do some serious thinking about how I wanted to plan the coming months.
I plan to celebrate X-mas and new year in Krabi where I am going to meet up with Anna-Maria and she is going to walk with me for about 3 weeks or so. But I am a bit early and need to get an extended visa for Thailand anyway. I had originally planed to make it to Surat Thani and then fly to Kuala Lumpur and walk to Singapore. I could get a new visa there and fly back To Surat Thani to continue to Krabi in time for X-mas. Anna-Maria and I could then continue south towards Kuala Lumpur and hopefully reach it in time for Anna-Maria to fly home.
But from where I was, it was actually easier to get back to Bangkok and fly from there. Said and done. I started looking for flights and booked one for the 16th. Some more rest and then it was time for a long hot ride back to Bangkok to catch the flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Just a short 2 hour hop and I was in Malaysia. Stayed at a hotel near the airport the first night and then set out on some serious walking at last. Another long first day were I started off by walking past the Sepang International Race Circuit.
Worse was that in a week they would be hosting the Malaysian MotoGP race. Motorcycles used to be a huge part of my life and tickets to the race were available and not very expensive. But after much deliberation I decided to give it a miss. I did not want to wait around and I have been to a MotoGP race before so I made do with a look around and a walk through the museum.
I had taken my time at the circuit and was late setting out. To make matters worse I got caught in a mother of a thunderstorm in the evening and had to seek shelter in bus stop for several hours while the sky opened up and just let everything go. When it finally stopped it was dark and I still had 15 km to go to where I had planed to stay. Not much to do but set off and walk in the dark in the grass alongside the road, keeping an eye on the traffic and hoping not to step on any snakes or anything else that might be hiding in the grass.
I arrived at Grandpa Hotel late and it turned out to be both dirty and smelly. But I was tired and did not really care, it was a place to sleep.
Next day I took it easy and only walked about 10 km down to the seaside at Port Dickson and had a lazy day trying to find a travel adaptor for my chargers.
Sunday morning I headed out and made my way to the Eagle Ranch Resort and got a accommodation in a tepee! A bit out of place here in Malaysia, but fun.
I headed out from Eagle Ranch and continued south, as always. Reached Tanjung Bidara in time for a nice rest but when it was time to move out again the next morning I had a bit of a problem. The road continued south, but for some reason it went straight through a military camp (not marked on google maps) and I was not allowed to walk through it. The cars could apparently continue through but no walking. There was not much else to do, I had to head back and inland to walk around the camp. A lot longer than I anticipated but I wash’t in any particular hurry so I quickly settled down and just kept walking.
It turned out to be a long wet day and I was happy to arrive at the outskirts of Melaka and find a place to stay.
On wednesday I took a short walk into Chinatown in Melaka and found a hotel to stay in for 2 nights. I was planing to do a little bit of sightseeing in Melaka and have a look around the markets. Seeing as I was early arriving, I had plenty of time to walk around in the afternoon and early evening. My photography has been a bit lacking for a while ( a long while) and I took out the GR and set out to see if I could find something that would inspire me to press the shutter. The results are here:
It was fun walking around playing street photographer but I realised how much photography is a skill that needs to be constantly practised, and I have not been doing enough of it lately.
I had the GR set to photograph in both colour and black and white and I feel that this sort of street/travel photography works best in colour, but I thought I would share the results in b & w as well.
What do you think?