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Pengerang Cycling Trip

Monday, June 19, 2006

Last weekend my friend invited me to join their group to a cycling trip to Pengerang, Malaysia and I joined them. Came back and with body aching over and bit of sun burnt feeling at the skin.

On Sat, the group of us are to meet at Changi Food/Market centre at 9 am, but my bus trip was a long one and took me late of 20 mins to meet them. Reaching there, I saw my poly classmate at the jetty with the rented. Boy, the wait at the jetty for the boat was long. It took us an hour wait before it was our turn to board the bum boat and on we go the 11 of us, 4 girls and 7 guys.

The bumboat space was half-filled with our bicycle, and the rest of us seated at the remaining space or stand at the rear enjoying the sea breeze. Towards the end of the ride it was pretty bumpy, a nauseous feeling was eating into me. Thank goodness, it was a short 1 hour journey and we reach there shortly.

Pengarang jetty is a simple jetty some sort of like Pulau Ubin jetty, and operates with a small custom office. Taxis parked outside the jetty waiting to pick up customers who did not have any pre-arrangement transports to the town. Interestingly, people visits Pengarang for a variety of reasons - cycling, eat sea food, stay over at kelong, fishing, etc. There was another cycling group that I saw were there for cycling and seafood as well as we saw them at different locations for stop over. At the custom, we also saw one of our classmate who went over with her sister for a nite stay over at the kelong.

Cycling at Pengarang is a different experience than at Ubin. The road are a bit bumpy, gentle slopes up and down and mostly importantly the scenery. I get to enjoy the slow pace of the kampong life, the attap houses, family rearing chickens, cows. From time to time, rooster would crow away. Along the way we stop by the mango farm to check out if it is the season for tango mango fiesta. Unfortunately it wasn't the season yet.

As soon as we got to the hotel, we put our bags at the room and came down for a late lunch at the coffee shop around the corner. The previous cycling group that I mentioned, I saw them having lunch here as well. Lunch was a simple affair as the group wanted to have a good and better meal at the sumptuous seafood dinner. Following that we went on cycling along the coast line to Teluk Punggai Beach (六湾).

The steep slope down to Teluk Punggai Beach was breezing. From the Punggai Beach, we continue cycled along a small path. The sides of the path were grown with golden lalang, and completed with the sunset scenery, you can imagine the path to be blenched in a warm atmosphere. A different experience it is that you can never find in Singapore is the vast land that you can cycle on, and you don't see any high rise building.

Dinner was right up after that, and was decided to go to the Good Luck Seafood restaurant as most of the others have tried before and finds the
Channel U recommended seafood restaurant was expensive. Dinner was a bit of a long wait with the business at the restaurant fully filled.

Since World Cup is around the corner, the night activity was of course watching world cup matches. The group of football fans gathered to watch the match between Czech and Ghana while the other smaller group watch the Saturday's featured movie - "Black Hawk Down". I haven't watch the movie and most of the time I'm not a fan of such military show, but this movie was exceptional as it was more real-life and realistic. It was adapted from the true story that's why. After the show I get to watch the last goal by Ghana, and they really deserved the winning for their hardwork at play.

If the world is that big, then I would say it's also a small world that the next day morning at the breakfast table I met one of my air force officer from the other section during my NS time. He was with his family for a breakaway from Singapore. Other than himself, there was another old timer air force officer retiree at the breakfast coffee shop which he introduced me. He was the one who setup the ostrich farm on the way back from the Teluk Punggai beach where my friend tried to peek into the ostrich farm gate to see if there is any tall big bird.

After the breakfast, we proceed to cycle back to the journey back to Singapore. We detour into a different route and my friend brought us to a hill. On top of the hill, there was this pyramid like structure which we think it might be used to absorb lightning strikes. From there we can see the coast lines of Singapore and Bintam. Subsequently the rest of the journey cycling back, I can see from the road markings which bears the numbering xxxx as we go and that we have cycled at least 10km to the jetty since from the first visible marking.

Journey back at the bumboat wasn't as rough as the departing trip. At Changi jetty, we ate our lunch and soon we departed separate ways home. Photo links courtesy of Juon

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