Rustic Serendipity at Pengerang

Spontaneity ruled Good Friday 2013 as Siow Har or I made an unplanned trip to Pengerang. It was 3 years ago (also on Good Friday) that we first discovered the Malaysian coastal town famous for its lobster dishes and had wanted to revisit ever since.

Although we’ve been to Pengerang before, what we intended to do this time round bordered on madness. We wanted to cycle from Sungai Rengit (the chief township in Pengerang) to Desaru, which is 30km away, and back. Total distance : 60km.

The distance we decided to cover may be a yawn to seasoned cyclists but for leisure paddlers like us who don’t own a bike and cycled only when the moon turned blue, 60km is a killer.

But we did it anyway without worrying thinking too much into or understanding fully what that amount of cycling can do to us. We learnt the hard (and long) way that long-distance cycling is not something to be spontaneous about but requires careful research, more so than regular holiday sightseeing.

Packed for an adventure of the unexpected. Our Pengerang trip began with an hour’s bumboat ride from Singapore Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pengelih Ferry Terminal. The bumboat’s retro imprints felt like time had stood still.

We didn’t reach our destination, missing by about another 5-6km, but it was a personal feat nonetheless. Our return cycling tour covered a total distance of about 50km and we took 7 hours due to the many photo stops we made along the way.

That’s the great thing about being the masters of our own journey, we had control over when to stop and were able to explore many places off the usual tourist track. And also discovered parts of our bodies we never knew existed if not for the strains and cramps we endured under such an extreme physical expedition.

I will post up more info, tips and details about the experience later over at Explore Life Lah!. For now, this post will capture snapshots from the rustic-scenic ride and beautiful encounters along the way!

Leaping with energy on reaching Sungai Rengit, the chief township of Pengerang, This photo was taken in front of a small sea-facing Chinese temple off the main road.

Rode warrior! Golden wheat fields and an unbroken chain of balmy coconut trees accompanied our ride on the right while to the left, sand quarrying had defaced mother nature.

Small girl with big bag against a long road and monster trucks. I take my hats off to Siow Har who completed the rigorous trip carrying a backpack that could’ve easily weighed 10kg. We were given a lot of dust facials as cars and industrial vehicles whipped up clouds of smog as they passed us by.

Saw 2 abandoned godowns and decided to check them out. Glad we did because the aura of neglect made for a splendid bask on camera.

Relishing a chance to get upclose with the padi fields carpeting Pergerang’s countryside.

Siow Har fell off her bike and while we checked for injuries (thankfully it was just a bruise), we also surveyed the surrounding burnt field and saw these dandelions ready to seed. I’ve never seen a dandelion in the wild before.

Statuesque trees lined our route with numerous picturesque moments.

Every so often while travelling in a car or coach, such beautiful sceneries sweep past in the blink of an eye. Riding a bike, I am able to savour nature at my own pace and retain its beauty in my SD card.

When we first rode past this scene, it was high tide. On our way back, the waters have receded and revealed a web of mangroves that led to a single treeling rising above the waves.

Took a rest stop at Punggai Beach and hiding in the shade to cool off my badly burnt knees and shin. My chicken legs are proof that I hardly cycle.

We didn’t reach the more popular and touristy Desaru Beach but we found our spot on the quieter Punggai Beach about 15km away. It is not about settling for the next best thing, but appreciating where we’ve arrived at for getting anywhere required a lot of effort. Often, we’re too focused on arriving at our goal and missed being grateful for the minor successes along the way.

There were 3 things against us on the road trip – the scorching sun, state of mind and our bodies. The heat was relentless and coming face-to-face with a long winding road that stretches endlessly into the horizon was a test on determination. I’ve wanted to turn back a couple of times but pressed on. Not looking ahead and just focusing on my front wheel helped keep the mind from being overwhelmed. But alas, the body has its limits. Our legs were cramping so badly, especially after conquering a slope, to the point that I can feel every part of my leg muscles. Thank goodness we had Tiger Balm!

This was the last point we got to before turning back. Desaru should be under 10km away but it was already 4pm and we were worried that our ride back may coincide with nightfall. We didn’t want to risk being roadkill as the country roads lacked street lamps. After this shot, we cycled the 24km back to Sungai Rengit. *Pant*

Pointing to where we cycled to on a map at Tanjung Pengelih Ferry Terminal. Sungai Rengit is at the lower tip of the light green map and Desaru is where the figure of a swimmer is above my finger.

It had been one tough ride from Sungai Rengit but an awesome adventure! Will definitely attempt it again and make it to Desaru the next time!

Related Post : Pengerang – A Cycling Tour from Sugai Rengit to Desaru

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eugene
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 14:08:30

    SH, falling during trips with you is a tradition!

    Reply

  2. Scot
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 04:51:05

    Lol, nice tan.
    Your bike was way to small for you–your leg should be nearly fully extended on the down swing. You were using a lot more calories per kilometer than necessary. Cool photos as always.

    Reply

  3. rogerpoh
    May 16, 2013 @ 14:38:47

    Congrats.

    Great photos.

    You should try a Tour de Penang.

    Reply

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