Monday 11th November. We decide to go up to the Cameron Highlands today. As we venture south we had the opportunity to take a detour and head into the mountains to give the boys a bit of cycling at altitude. In fact approaching 1,900m at the highest point. But before we leave Taiping there is the little matter of John’s stitches…
The hotel told us that the hospital was about 500m up the road and John and Mark walked there after breakfast leaving the boys to pack the Ford. On arrival at outpatients it was evident by the number of people sitting with numbered cards that John could be in for a wait. As it happens he sailed through signing in, paying £8 at the cashiers, having his blood pressure taken, being interviewed by the doctor and finally sat down in front of a nurse who did the necessaries and John was released stitches free by 0930. We were delighted with the courtesy and helpful service bestowed on John and he could now put the whole sorry misadventure behind him, apart from a few battle scars to remind us all of how lucky he was not to break any bones.
We set off for the Cameron Highlands, the journey taking about 4 hours including a stop for lunch and arrived at its foothills about 1430. We had hoped to find undulating countryside with quiet lanes for John and Sang to test their strength and stamina. There was a 60 mile route through the highlands from north to south which would have served the purpose well enough. What we saw on arrival and experienced for the next hour was a procession of vehicles climbing up to 1900metres and then queuing to drive along the top of the highlands hopping from one tourist town and exhibition centre to another.
And to cap it all it rained. The boys did some good mileage on the bikes but it wasn’t fun because of the traffic and the wet weather and to be fair to them after the experience of the beginning of the challenge no-one wanted to take any chances. We started our descent after about 2 hours at the summit and headed for Kampar and our hotel for the night. The rather flat day ended on a high when we found a clay pot food restaurant and we had a magnificent pot of chicken sausage and salty fish stew with rice and a large bottle of Tiger beer each sitting outside by the side of the road watching the world go by. Fab!
John doesn’t like long car journeys. He seizes up. Todays transfers were far too long and he was in a lot of pain with his back and legs and found it difficult to walk for a short while. Such a shame.