Sunday, 5 October 2014

Back to simplicity

Ye Olde Smoke House
I could have been forgiven for forgetting I was in Malaysia. As I sat in the English garden on white victorian chairs in front of the Tudor house enjoying cream tea I was transported back home. The only thing that gave it away was the fact that the sun was shinning and, well, I can't tell you the last time I had a cream tea in the UK!

"The only thing that's missing here is the red telephone box" I said to my Malaysian side kick, Keith.
He smiled and led me to the side of the building where, sure enough, stood a red telephone box.

Ye Olde Smoke House in the Cameron Highlands is a must visit if you find yourself riding this beautiful part of Malaysia.

KL here we come
Colonialism is apparent everywhere you go. Particularly in Penang where they still have British street
names like Downing Street. It's apparent in the language too as I only know one other place on earth that puts "Laaaa" after every sentence! (Liverpool). They also have the three pin plug! No adaptors required here!

The food is great with Chinese and Indian influence. The beer is cold and endless.

I have spent most of my time riding around visiting the biker clubs and believe me there are LOTS of bike clubs! The Malaysian bikers are all I was told they were - friendly and helpful. They all want to feed me, check Rhonda is OK, put a sticker on her, put a t-shirt on me and offer their phone numbers in case of problems.

Loving the back roads
I'm back on my own now and after a week of charity rides, interviews, meeting people and filming,  I must admit it is good to have some down time. Just me and Rhonda and no appointments to keep. I am a solo rider for a reason. My social side was beginning to wear thin and my body too was complaining. I have had so many offers of help and support. I even had a lady on a pink Ninja ask me if I would be her girlfriend today! I politely replied "Maybe next time around"!

The downside to Malaysia so far has been lots of downpours in the afternoon and so riding conditions are treacherous at times with surface water rising quickly under the wheels. My riding gear is constantly wet and things are beginning to smell as they never dry out properly!

The food and the people are great
There are some great riding roads here. The twisties through the jungle on route down from Frazer Hill were lovely. I had ACDC keeping me company and we rocked our way down to Kuala Lumpur!

Generally though the main roads are not great here. Western Malaysia is a pretty busy place and I must admit that so far I am struggling to fall in love with it. Despite the people - who have an amazing generosity - and the food, I am yet to really "feel" Malaysia. I am hoping my last week of riding solo again and doing what Rhonda and I do best (pottering around and stopping when we feel like it) will make me change my mind. We will be avoiding the long straight motorway that runs the entire length of W. Malaysia and pottering along the back roads towards the east coast. From there we will head for Kenyir Lake and Taman Negara Nature Reserve where I hope it will be a little less bussle and a little more nature. I believe the roads from there to Penang are great for biking.

Rhonda is doing well. Sadly I dropped her during filming and so her left hand guard is now held together with Duct tape. Otherwise she is looking good on her 16,700 miles and no work has been required.


  1. Brilliant Steph! Keep it going, you're an inspiration!

  2. A enjoyed trip over at Malaysia. Keep going on! Steph

  3. Following your journey from kalamazoo, Michigan. Ride safe!

  4. We are waiting you from Jakarta and or Bandung, from Bam
    Call to 0817 809936 when you have any chance...

    regards, take care and keep safety...


  5. Enjoy the asphalt roads over there. When you come to Sumatra, it will be a whole different story :-). Nevertheless, I am sure you will enjoy the challenge.

  6. Hope you're enjoying your chance to rest and recover. A great read as always, Steph.

  7. your doing well. great to read about your adventures. Ogi Bear

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