Kuala Lipis, Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, Temerloh, Bentong – Evrim and Elif Yiğit Tour Journals
After our climb to Cameron Highlands, we were looking forward to begin descending with the excitement of being at an altitude of 1600m. Pedalling through east, going down to 200m altitude on a long road among forests and enjoying the view…
It was cloudy when we got up in the morning. We rapidly go to a settlement 20km away (tearooms which we took pictures of stopping by the road are memories of these 20km) and have breakfast. People we begin chatting from the table by our side show the clouds which reveal only a small part of their volume like a shark, surrounding us and say that it’ll be rainy during the day. As we know that we don’t have any other option, we quickly finish our breakfast and start descending.
Either because of the strong wind or the small climbs slow us, the descent rounds up with 19km/h. Throughout the road, the top of the hills, surrounding our both sides try to cover us with dark rainclouds but the top of the road we’ll go is clear and bright as the Milky Way. After around 60km, we complete the descent all sweaty. Resting at the top of the hill must’ve enhanced our performances that without taking a break, we arrive to Kuala Lipis as it’s about to get dark. Since we don’t feel very tired or hungry, we don’t spend time in the hotel and go for an exploration tour. We drink our teas in the evening with the accompany of Iron Man and A-Team movies and decide to move on from the shorter and seemingly more secure secondary roads for the next day.
We begin the best road of our tour next day. Since we’ll be reaching Kuala Lumpur from crowded roads, I can already say that the best road we’ve been through in Malaysia is the one between Kuala Lipis and Kuala Tahan. This road begins with a first part following the river and the railway from Lipis and lasts 45km. This first part ends in a small settlement called Tembeling. For the second part, you have to get through the river by boat to a small village across the river, called Pasir Durien. From there, Kuala Tahan (aka Taman Negara) will take 50km and surely it’s one of the best roads to ride a bike in Malaysia. Roadsides are full of palm trees – or rather palm fields which are the kind that they extract palm oil from. Interestingly road proceeds surgy as if there are giant balls under the ground. Through the end, it completes the visual feast passing through 3 different places. The first one is to pass through a zone that palm trees stop on a sudden, no trees exist, where there’s just a wide lawn like a large pasture or a golf course. After that in a trice, it composes the ambiance of a forest jammed through a mountain, dark clouds, fog and the strongest downpour so far as we ride our bikes. After this wet phase, we ride on a surgy land as the road’s ground’s flat as a carpet and reach Kuala Tahan at the end of the road. This is truly the end of the road. A river and a rain forest million years of age prevents you to proceed to the north.
We stay here for an additional day as we hike up and rest a little in the forest. Wandering inside the labyrinth formed by bridges made by ropes 50m high from the forest, watching those million-year-old trees from 50m of height was the most interesting part of our forest tour. Since we both have acrophobia and all trees, plants, leaves, all we could see was numbers of times bigger than the normal, made our height perception worse and unbearable.
We continue our journey with Jerantut, Temerloh and Bentong – where we currently are. Jerantut is a place we enjoyed. We clean the bikes’ hubs again there. Normally opening up the hubs this frequently isn’t a good thing but because of these rains, considering that Elif’s bike’s hubs couldn’t have lasted for even 1000km, we want to open them up and renew the oil every 600km. My bike’s hub appears to be quite different. Front side is an easy roller-bearing system and both sides are symmetric, it’s possible to open it up, renew the lube oil and close it up in 15m. However back hub’s one side is roller-bearing while the other has a marbled system. This means you have a lot to recall in means of the right places of every piece. The most important part is not to mess the roller-bearing with the marbled. Mine’s cassette side has roller-bearing and their covers are different than each other. Eventually as we open up the both of our bikes’ hubs, we see that our timing was quite precise.
Temerloh doesn’t seem to be a very pleasant place to us (one of the reasons is the hotel we stayed in) so we leave there in a short while and reach to our last destination after KL.
We’re currently 60-70km away from Kuala Lumpur. Tomorrow after passing over the sierra we’ll be down to KL. After spending a couple of days there, we’re planning to head for Indonesia. If nothing goes wrong, we’ll switch countries on Thursday.