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Blog 126 Dabong to Kuala Lipis

31st January

Dabong to Kuala Lipis. I'm in Malaysia

Really steady start from the Rose Cottage in Dabong afterwhich I followed the train line out the town. So wished it was standing there, the East Coast line (even though it hardly reaches the coast) instead the sweetest smallest of Malaysian back roads.

Shifting from the coastal region of Thailand to the centrally mountainous jungle area of Malaysia created a geographical counterpoint for the ride. Coast to jungle was instant. Even dropping into Dabong was of added interest; I could have jumped on that train and be in Singapore in time for an evening cocktail instead I let the heat slowly cook my body and my senses as I inch my way towards the Equator.

Bit of Information

The Jungle Train

The Jungle Railway is 526 km long and runs between Gemas on the Butterworth-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore trunk line and Tumpat in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Despite it being called the East Coast Line, it only goes near the coast at its terminus in Tumpat: it goes through the centre of Peninsular Malaysia. There are no large cities along its route. Most stations are in remote, jungle-surrounded villages and many stops are nothing more than a platform in the middle of the jungle. Although not an epic train journey like the Trans-Siberian Railway, it nevertheless offers an insight into life in the hinterland of the more rural East Coast states. Until a programme of road building in approximately the 1980s, most of the towns and villages along the line had no other means of accessing the larger world. While the name evokes a journey through thick rainforest, the reality is that the forests of Peninsular Malaysia are disappearing to be replaced with oil palm and rubber plantations.

The Jungle Railway

Signs for the Cameron Highlands reminded me of a wish to visit but I was nervous I’d find it too difficult to leave. The long days of loneliness would not end soon nor would I be released from daily bouts of uncomfortable mile eating which was now exceeding 100 miles each day. 

On a journey like this you want it to end and when it does wish it hadn’t. On a ride I have only to eat, sleep, cycle and record the event. I have more to do at home but sometimes I’m scared of slipping away, of disappearing from view.

Slipping Away

And just when I thought it was a quiet road and then loads of bikers pass me with their racket!

Map of the Day

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Nina Plumbe
Nina Plumbe
31 de jan.

Looks good. You are nearly through Asia...

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