I have done this part of the trip, from the north of the east coast to Penang, twice already by car, and also by bus. Here is a blog on the car trip in the opposite direction. So, the plan was to make an early start, and make a few stops on the way to make it an easy and interesting drive.
The hotel breakfast voucher said breakfast was from 7.30 in the restaurant and we had vacated the room, packed the car and were standing outside the restaurant at 7.30. And we were alone. The restaurant was empty, with the lights off. Reception was closed and the door locked. After looking around the hotel we found one employee, who found another employee, who told us they could give us something at the pool bar. No other guests were around, but judging from the car park, only two or three other guests had stayed overnight.
I had hoped for a halfway decent breakfast, similar to the previous hotel’s, for we had a long day ahead of us. What we got was pretty appalling. Kaya toast – that’s coconut jam on toast and coffee, and a choice of noodles or rice. Some oranges were on display, so we had one each.
We drove the one minute to the local beach – not directly accessible from the hotel.
And then we got underway. Traffic wasn’t heavy, but they are only two lane roads, and some local drivers just crawl along at a speed that is not viable for long distance travel. And there are limited chances to overtake safely.
Once into the mountains, though, traffic thinned, and there were more overtaking lanes than I remembered, so we could make reasonable progress.
I like to stop at this rock by the river – it is nice, but marred by huge amounts of litter.
We came across logging lorries, and saw them coming in the opposite direction too, thus wondering if they take west coast logs to an east coast mill, and east coast logs to a west coast mill. Overtaking lanes were sufficient to enable us to overtake.
We stopped at the summit for break. And after that it was downhill. Literally, not figuratively.
We had made reasonable time, and could go to the canopy walk near Kulim and still get across Penang Bridge before rush hour. So we turned off towards the walk.
On a weekday it is very quiet. You can drive up the road to the right and park closer than the first car park you come to. So we did the canopy walk. When in the sun it was very hot.
This is perhaps the third or fourth time I have been here, but the first time in about two years. The place has deteriorated and needs some simple maintenance. Just a little work, and it would be good again.
After the walk we went for a swim / paddle in the stream. There was a lot of water this time, and it was quite rapid. It was very cool, and lovely after being in the hot sun.
Then we just headed back to Penang.
We reached home at about 4.30PM. We had left the hotel at 8.30AM, and stopped for petrol, stopped at the rock, at the mountain summit, at the canopy walk, and to fill the tank once back in Penang – probably 1 1/2 hours in total, making the driving time about 5 1/2 hours. Mr Googlemaps said 5′ 21″, so this time was quite accurate.