Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pahang : Taman Negara Day 1 - Road Trip PJ to Jerantut

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Pahang : Taman Negara Day 1 - Road Trip PJ to Jerantut
Day 1 - Road Trip From Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut : 20th June 2014
Small Convoy Drive : Petaling Jaya>Temerloh>Jerantut
Distance covered : 205 km.
Time : not relevant as this is a road trip.
Time Taken : not relevant as this is a road trip.

Drive Route Recommendations :
1. The relatively new East Coast Highway is pleasant to drive on but note that there not many rest stops for toilet duties.
2. The rest stop at Lentang do not have toilets, but there is a nice forest nursery there. It's a restricted area, so ask permission before going in.
3. Temerloh is famous for it's Patin (river Cat fish) but for a change one could try their ikan bakar (grilled fish).
4. We stayed in Jerantut overnight as the bike ride starts early the following day. There are many hotels at Jerantut, do choose one to suit your budget and comfort level.
5. Wau Hotel where we stayed in is reasonably priced. Booking via the phone did not include breakfast. A friend booked on-line and it include breakfast; but note that breakfast is only starts from 7:30 am.
6. We chose 
Wau Hotel as it was only a twenty to thirty minutes drive to Kuala Tembeling, where our following day's ride will commence.
7. Note there are no accommodations at Kuala Tembeling.

This is a three page blog, click on the following to go to the other pages:
Taman Negara Day 2 : Dragonslayers!
- Taman Negara Day 3 : Rolling Down The River

I have note done much bike-packing this year. Other than my regular trips to Penang (where are had a nice morning ride to Gertak Sanggul), my only over-night biking trip was down to Malacca (see Peranakan Bikers).

Ride route map posted by Wong Kt
So when Wong Kt (... see his blogs at "The Great Outdoors") organized a ride to Taman Negara, I was of course keen to join him. Afterall it has been ages since I had been to Taman Negara. Wong and Chris Ng had earlier done a recce of the area and found a nice rustic route to ride on; how nice and considerate of them.
The bike ride would include an overnight stay at Taman Negara; but as we will start early on ride day, many of us opted to go up a day earlier and stay a night at Jerantutt. This Day 1 blog is on our road trip to Jerantut.


View Taman Negara Bike-Packing Day 1 (205 km) in a larger map
Drive Route : Petaling Jaya>Temerloh>Jerantut 
Starting from Petaling Jaya in three cars, we will drive to Jerantut to stay a night there. En-route we will stop by at Temerloh for dinner.

The girls at the Lentang nursery park.
We met up at the Gombak Toll Plaza in mid-afternoon and our convoy of three cars proceeded on with our journey along the Karak Highway. At Lentang we decided to make a quick stop at the rest area and was quite disappointed, it was just that a rest area - an open tarmac area without even proper drawn parking bays. And NOTE, there are no toilets there, so any toilet duty would mean embracing nature and doing it in the wild.

But fret not, for just round the corner is a nursery connected to Lentang Forest Reserve. The nursery seems to be a government run nursery and is a restricted area. Request for permission before going in. In a inner section that is fenced off is a large nursery. Pity that we could not go in there as there were lots of plants, mainly flowering ones being grown there. It would have been a nice place to visit.

Somewhere near Karak town, the Karak Highway merges into and becomes the East Coast Highway. Traffic on this Saturday afternoon was surprisingly light and we drove with ease along this four-lane (dual carriageway per side).
This highway is definitely a boon for the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia as without it driving on the old trunk road was a nightmare, especially if one happens to tail on of many slow Balak logging trailers.

Exiting at the Temerloh Toll Plaza, we were pleasantly surprise to find mangoes growing on trees nearby. The fruits were too tempting and a resourceful Nash borrowed a cleaners mop to pluck some mangoes.

The girls showing off the fruits of our harvest.

After the toll plaza is at T-junction; on the left the road leads to Jerantut while the right leads to Temerloh town. We decided to drive the 11km into Temerloh and have dinner there, afterall it's one of the girls' hometown and she recommended we try some ikan bakar (grilled fish) and other barbecued seafood.

As we will probably be back to eat again around here, it was a change eating at seafood restaurants. The stall that we stopped at is the Ikan Bakar Abc, where we had these attractively grilled prawns ....

.... and this nicely grilled fish cake. Mmmmmm..... YummY!
(... see more at Ikan Bakar Abc blog).

Happy with that nice dinner, we drove to Jerantut and checked into the Wau Hotel. It's a small hotel located at a row of shop houses along Jalan Sungai Jan. The hotel is very clean although the air-conditioning for some rooms were not up to par. The reception staff was very courteous, answering our curious questions patiently and told us that it was only 20-30 minutes drive to the Kuala Tembeling Jetty. Thank goodness, we don't have to wake up too early then.

Here are the girls, emulating the Three Monkeys.
This will be what we hope will be happening on the following day's ride:
Speak No Evil - no cussing and using of foul language.
Hear No Evil - pray that none will hear any unwelcomed whisperings.
See No Evil - let's hope we do not see anything apparitions.
We will be riding along a road surrounded by the jungle and it's best not to disturb any spirits that could be lurking there.
I went to bed, dreaming of tomorrow's ride, dreaming of cycling through a jungle area; hopefully we may catch sight of some wild animals - a tiger perhaps?


This is a three page blog, click on the following to go to the other pages:
Taman Negara Day 2 : Dragonslayers!
Taman Negara Day 3 : Rolling Down The River

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