Monday, February 26, 2007

CUTI CUTI MALAYISA 4: June 4, 2006 (Sunday)

Kuala Terengganu - Kota Bharu

I was eager to go to the Ranger to try to warm the engine up when I woke up. It was the D day for our holiday. If it was still difficult to start like yesterday definitely I would have cut my holiday short and go home. I thought that was the outcome after I failed to get the engine running after few tries. In my last effort I jammed the switch and pumped the accelerator forcing the engine to fire up. I rammed hard and took it out for a spin. Since I need to gas it up I proceeded to the Petronas Station about 3 kilometres away. With the engine running normally I drove back to the hotel to announce to everyone that we were checking out. While I was out Tareq actually went out to buy breakfast. So with one thing out of the way we left the resort at around 1100 heading towards KB via route 84. The drive along the coast was not new to me but it was for the others so I slowed down a bit.

As we were passing Penarik my wife saw a Pasar Ikan by the road side on the right and we stopped to look and possibly buy something to BBQ that night. Well, the options were either we stop at Lata Tembakah Waterfall along the way to have a cook out or save the fish for the night. My wife decided on few Kembong and Cencaru while I went for a half of a big fish for my wife to curry. We were actually were chasing time at that point in time already but I still would want to take everyone along the coast to explore and experience it. My decision meant that I had to forego the Lata Tembakah Waterfall. I took them to explore Penarik until we reached the very end of the small ‘peninsular’ where we made our turn within a coconut plantation. There was this beautiful house that we stumbled into during our last trip there that both my wife and I admired. However, in my excitement I forgot to capture it so this time I stopped beside the road on the way out and asked Baqir to take a few shots of the house.

Back on the main road after Penarik I made a right turn to route 84 heading towards Kg Raja and eventually Jertih. This route was my first experience as well and I did not know what to expect. The road was mostly straight that was good for speeding but it being on the coast I was a bit easy on the pedal. We passed villages and places that we had till that day only new exist on the map and from our readings. We passed Kg Setiu Lama, Setiu Lama and Kg Raja. Surprisingly Kg Raja was not really a kampong but quite a decent town slightly bigger than Semenyih. We were really off schedule by the time we reached Kg Raja so I purposely missed Lata Tembakah. We reached Jertih closed to 1300 and I knew most were already hungry so I made plan to stop at Pasir Putih for lunch.

Just imagine our disappointment after cruising around Pasir Putih town when we could not find any good place to eat. In the end we had to proceed towards KB hoping to find a good place along the way to eat. We drove on passing Selising, Melor and into KB, still with no hope of finding a good place to eat. In the end when we were already in KB I saw a big mamak place on the left and straight away turned left and parked to eat. Save by mamak again :)))) The clock at the mamak’s place indicated a time of just few minutes after 1400.While eating I felt like someone or a group of people were watching us. It could be just me or indeed someone was watching us or at least watching and wondering where the hell we came from. We not being a local of course were so obvious. Also, I was trying to figure out where we were and to find our way out of KB to Pantai Cahaya Bulan (PCB). For once the map could not help me and I was not ashamed to say I was a bit lost there. The signage system in KB was not helping at all. Furthermore I did not know that the traffic in KB could be that bad. So before leaving the place I had to ask the cashier for direction. Sad to say she apparently was not a local as well and her colleagues also was not that helpful. So in the end it had to be the MacGyver in me to try to get us out of there. I followed my instinct and after passing through one traffic light before reaching another one I saw the PCB sign. As I said the signage system is horrendous in KB as when I approached another junction there wasn’t anymore PCB sign to direct us. After maneuverings through the traffic I saw the sign again. It was way out on the other side. I followed it right into a small secluded lane. I knew the road in Kelantan would be tight but it could not be that tight and small. Anyway my instinct was just to continue on where we eventually came out to a junction of what seems to be a main road. Still there was not any sign to indicate the direction to PCB. I turned left and after awhile we realized we were coming back to where we came from so we concurred it had to be the opposite direction. We were proven right when we saw the signage at the round about after we turned back. Once we were on the right track finding the place was not difficult. While passing and looking at the kampong on the way to PCB I got the impression that the place was a little bit under develop. I was right the atmosphere was not an atmosphere of a resort but more like a rented houses. We arrived at PCB Perdana Resort at around 1600, checked in and straight away unloaded our things. The chalets were big enough for all of us and it cost me RM 260 for the two of them. The lawn was also big and appropriate for our BBQ. I had planned to go to Pengkalan Kubor that evening but had to postpone it to the next day due to two reasons. Firstly it was way too late and a bit of rush and secondly the counter staff at the resort advised us not to because we had to battle the KB evening traffic to get there. Frankly I was really surprise to find KB traffic to be that heavy.

After I said my prayer I crashed for awhile and let the kids enjoyed the pool as well as the beach. Not only was I a bit tired I was also not in the mood to swim. Not after the jelly fish incident. At around 1830 we left for the town to just wonder around as I knew most shops would be closed at night in Kelantan. We parked not far away from the Pasar Khadhijah, the Central Market, and walked towards that area. There was a night bazaar taking shape on the road but we ignored it and walked straight towards Buloh Kubu Bazaar which was almost about to close. While passing the Pasar Khadijah my children kept saying to me loudly, ‘Abah, let’s buy some buah stor.’ And someone would add ‘sekilo dua cukupla.’ Well, it was a joke out of an incidence that happened there the first time we were in KB together. Upon reaching Buloh Kubu we stopped at the Kota Bharu Kasaoka to take few photographs. It was closing time at Buloh Kubu but there were still enough shops opened for us to browse through. I do not know what with the tudung with the ladies. I know it is important but the tudong buying spree was so unbelievable :)) (either my wife will smile reading this or I am not going to get to eat anything now). Since we did not have anything else to do we browsed the night bazaar from end to end. As expected mostly Thai goods and we left the place. KB as a whole is changing and developing would with several new buildings being built. Malls, offices and even private colleges despite what others going to say it is a good change that I saw. Hopefully not too fast because I feel it would kill the character of the town. One other good thing was that I did not see any rubbish dumping anymore. We set up the BBQ right in front in between our chalets. The place was sandy and convenient. Everyone was doing their own things and I decided to read while waiting for the food to be ready. Baqir and Tareq were handling the fish at the BBQ set while my wife was cooking her curry. In the middle of this a guard came over to advise us to BBQ a bit further from the chalets. I knew it was precautionary from fire hazard. So we moved the BBQ a bit further out. We had our night picnic on the balcony and the fish was magnificent.

I retired early that night and forgot to call my friends.

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