And It Looks Like We Might Have Made it!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
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Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Where I stayed
Mandarin Oriental

Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Last night, we'd agreed to meet in the hotel 'lobby’ (dirty area where an old lady was peeling fish) at 7.15 for breakfast (muffins bought in a shop – definitely no breakfast supplied here). Tommy was already out there raring to go despite the fact that he’d been assigned the deluxe front room and been kept awake by roaring trucks for most of the night. He’d changed into pink stripy socks today so was looking even more professional than ever. With his pimped out stickered up bike and stylish Langkawi hat he looks like a racer, with us his scruffy porters labouring behind on dirty clapped out boneshakers.

We set an incredibly fast pace today, knowing that the sooner we arrived, the sooner we could get in that infinity pool overlooking the Petronas Towers! It was once again hot and hilly, but in only two days we’ve adapted from a practised cycling duo to an elite trio, used to each other’s needs. Tommy for example requires 1 litres of water at every stop. He downs it in one go and claims it acts as petrol for him. He also works at a different pace to Mikey and I, who after 7 months have perfected fairly consistent speeds for uphill, downhill and flat. Plugged into his ipod, with his head down, Tom often speeds off ahead, but when the petrol/water starts to wear off, he drops back and we are loudly serenaded from behind!

Lunch at 50 miles was yet another fantastic Malaysian curry. Our helpful and very friendly fellow diners interrogated us about the cycle trip and informed us that we were close to our destination and at the top of the next (small) hill we should see the fabled towers. We set off enthusiastically, but after a few miles in intense heat Mikey and I admitted to each other we were starting to feel pretty tired. Having Tom with us has been such fun that we’ve almost not really taken into account the incredible number of miles the three of us have covered. His enthusiasm for the adventure has really made us remember how much we love it.

The small hill our friends had described turned out to be really quite a big descent, but bumping into a Swiss cyclist also heading into town distracted us from the burning legs. We stuck with Ben as he very sensibly had bought a map! One last fuel up at a BP garage resulted in a weird, but funny encounter with a Malaysian couple who took photos of Mikey and Tom with the cashiers, interrogated us all about where we were going and said that we were going to be in the BP newspaper – fame at last.

Mikey led the four of us for the first 5 miles of the highway to the city centre. Traffic was fast, and it was busy, but we saw none of the crazy driving we’d been warned about. The adrenalin really kicked in at this point and we were doing 17mph on the hard shoulder desperately looking for the first glimpse of the towers. They quickly emerged, gleaming in the city haze, and acted as a homing beacon for us. Ben took over at that point and we followed him and his map until we hit the junction where he headed to backpacker land and we headed for the Mandarin Oriental. We’d imagined parking the bikes at the bottom of the towers and having a quick celebratory photo shoot before checking in. However, on arrival it became clear that the incredible size of the towers in relation to our tiny mobile phone camera meant we got a rubbish shot of Tom and I and the middle section and then headed straight to the hotel.

Arrival was fabulous. The ridiculously friendly porters immediately supplied us with towels and water before whisking the bikes and luggage off to some secure location. The lift journey to the 21st floor lasted long enough to really build up our anticipation and we were so very far from disappointed. The view over the city was absolutely staggering, and the contrast between last night’s accommodation and todays hilarious.

The rest of the day went exactly as we’d planned. 3x Power shower, 3x swimming in infinity pool, followed by 2x beers by the pool and snoozing (Mikey and Tom) and 1x first bath in 3 months while watching a film for me. (Not only could you see the screen from the bath, but they had speakers in there!) Venturing outside after having worked so hard to get here seemed a bad plan so we dined on tapas in one of their very stylish bars and drank happy hour cocktails before collapsing in our feather beds to watch a film before well-earned sleep.

Three really brilliant days on the bikes will now be followed by a day off in what looks like a fantastic city.
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