We made it back each with an awesome tan from the beautiful Tioman, with me secretly not wanting to leave. I could have easily stayed for another week or so but we must move on. Already I had that same feeling in Melaka. The location is one thing but the people and new friends we now have are what really makes it memorable.
Some guardians of the Rooney Specials while on Tioman...Bagus
Off the ferry to retrieve our bikes, knowing that Neil was having withdrawals from not having a Rooney Special to ride. He was a man with a plan. Head towards Endau Rompin National Park, described as the “last frontier” type adventure but in Neil's eyes it was dirt dirt dirt. It was said that you could only access the park through a 60 kilometre dirt road. Yep they were right it was dirt and mud and dust. Although let it be clear that thanks to the Rooney Specials it was done with no hesitation. Well maybe a bit from me considering my dirt experience was my parents house and around 30 kilometres back home in Australia. Let it be known I never doubted the bike more the hesitation on my abilities. That would soon surprise even me. “If in doubt, gas it out.”
I had a fight with some hard core mud... I think I won
So with a hard days ride under belt we had a feed and decided to settle into our dorm which by chance only had us in it. No sign of leeches yet....
We woke the next morning to enjoy a wonderfully made Malaysian breakfast, with the additional cat at our feet. This tends to happen anywhere there are people sitting. It seemed as though we were on the only visitors to the Park. Neil booked a boat to travel around 45 minutes up river to Kuala Jasin which is their base camp, from there it was a mega trek through the jungle and I mean jungle!
Our guide claimed to speak not much English but we both reckoned she did an amazing job. To think she had to go to work everyday in it and combat the leeches!!!
Now includes five river crossings
Gotta keep moving
A nice cluster of leeches
Malaysia number 1
We had left our dorm at 10am ready for the trek with a massive supply of water, Bushmans and lighters to burn off the leeches. Considering the amount of leeches they had you were better off leaving them or pulling them off. We returned at 4 pm exhausted but with a strong sense of accomplishment. We had combated the dirt and won, we had combated the leeches and won. Tomorrow it was mud and dirt to combat. Our journey back through through the way we had come.
A well earned rest
After sections like this.
WE MADE IT!!!
A very steep learning curve was learnt again that day. It was about 45kms of palm oil plantation dirt road which was good for 45km/hour. Then about 15kms of very slow going through muddy broken old dirt/tar road. Very bumpy/slow and in significant disrepair. I had made it to bitumen, now to combat the drivers. Not sure which ones I preferred the dirt and mud or the drivers that pushed you off the road. We decided to stop for an Ice Milo which seems to be one of the few drinks available everywhere, at a fish shop. (I could tell from the sign and the abundance of fish). Here we met another Singapore rider and sat for a chat and for me to catch my breath.
Neil called me over and said “look at this!”. Through our jungle trek we had not seen much wildlife except for insects and lots of noisy birds. Monkeys we had seen on the side of the road. Yet under this building was a monkey. Neil made a new friend, although it was sad he was chained up.
Although this little one put his arm through the crack and was dragging a kitten around on the floor by its head which was pretty funny.
So now we are back in Mersing for a few days while we “Pimp” out our bikes. With road conditions the way they are, modifications to the bikes including lights and reflective tape are in order. Along with personalised stamps and business cards are being made. So as I sit in our air-conditioned gem of a room, I thank you for taking the time to read and remember....