[d6] batu pahat-melaka

A crisp, clear morning.

Refreshed, I'm happy and on the road again by 8 am. Federal Route 5 — the coastal road between Pontian Kechil and Melaka — gets me to Muar (about 50 km from Batu Pahat) by late morning. In the shade by Sungai Muar, I chat with the Indian woman who serves me roti snacks and lime juice from her riverside stall.

It's early afternoon when I leave Muar and the midday heat has arrived. I want to keep riding the coastal road, but I miss a turnoff not far from Muar (later, I learn it's a nondescript junction about 10 kilometres west of Muar) and I end up on a newly built dual-carriageway highway — Federal Route 19 — that arcs inland and takes me a long way from the cooler coast. It's exposed, hot riding — no dappled shade from roadside trees, no stalls or kampungs with cooling drinks, just endless oil palms and some traffic. I'm out of water and dehydrated when I reach the outskirts of Melaka and stop at a service station to replenish and drink ice-cold soy milk.

A few kilometres later I'm in central Melaka and, armed with directions from a Dutch Square tourist policeman, cross Sungai Melaka and roll down old-town Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock to my hotel for the next few days — The Baba House.

July 20 | 97.6 kilometres | 4:53 | 19.9 km/h average

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