2nd May 2015:
We decide that our first destination in Malaysia should be Georgetown about 4 hours to the north of Kuala Lumpar on the island of Penang. We plot the route we think we would like to follow in our GPS and off we go. Our GPS unfortunately has mind of its own and decide rather than the scenic route that it would be much better if we took the expressway. As none of us had much experience with the GPS we decide that after a couple of attempts to go via our scenic route (and failed miserably) that it might be better if we listened to that sweet voice that comes out of the GPS and follow her instructions. 20 toll booths later and a couple of outdated route detours we arrive on the outskirts of Georgetown.
The night before we had tried to organise accommodation in Georgetown with some success (or so we thought). Renee had arranged an apartment via a French lady (compliments of TripAdvisor). Unfortunately the lady fails to complete her part of the deal and the deal eventually falls through. We arrive in Georgetown without any accommodation. It’s is a long weekend and Georgetown is full – no room at the Inn or anywhere else. We meet a guy at the servo whose partner runs a number of backpacker hotels in Georgetown. Surely we are in luck. After a number of calls this luck runs out as we hear that all this accommodation is fully booked
We had spent Friday morning wiring up the UHF radio and the camera. We wire the UHF straight to the reserve battery believing this will overcome the problem of electrical interference with the electromagnetic coupling of the engine fan. Half way to Georgetown we find out that this has been unsuccessful and the electromagnetic fan is now kaput with a resultant loss of cooling power. I now have to rely on speed to get cooling through the radiator.
Arrive in Georgetown and the place is chockers, cars everywhere and nothing is moving. It was like Sydney on New Year’s Eve. Suffice to say it wasn’t long before the engine temperature started to reach critical. The only thing to do was to stop and wait until the engine cooled down.
Mike and I tried our best to find accommodation using a very slow connection using my personal hotspot whilst we waited it out on the side of the road. Barry and Renee went ahead to the City Centre to call on doors looking for accommodation. It is now around 7.30pm. Our forms of communication are quite strained as our phones prove quire unreliable.
Around 9.00pm Barry and Renee find a hotel owner who takes pity on us. Apparently he is quite a prominent Georgetown Lawyer. He promises to see if he can arrange something. He comes back and offers us the use of a new backpacker’s hotel he is currently refurbishing. It only has beds and a shower. No blankets etc., After getting some directions from his staff and getting ourselves lost in Georgetown we eventually find the place. After a quick Indian meal around the corner we find ourselves safely installed in our beds by 11.30pm. Whilst calling on hotels Barry and Renee came across a wedding party who were so intrigued by Barry’s car they ask whether they could have a wedding photo with it. A nice touch.
Tomorrow will be another day.