After picking up the essentials for Malaysia in the train station (Ringgit and a sim card – oh how things have changed) we jumped into a taxi to Sal & Ais’ place. They live in a great house with a carport big enough for Lara, even with the tent up, and it is super secure with suburb guards. The perfect place to get Lara ready for the trip
But, most importantly, we got to catch up with Sal & Ais again after many, many years and meet Savannah, Amber, Elliot, Lia (their helper) and Gloria (the hamster).
Picking up Lara probably couldn’t have been a smoother process. We handed over our passports to receive a visitor’s pass , waited for the others to arrive and then took the shuttle bus to meet Ms Pangas at the unloading zone. I don’t know how she knew, but the second we got out of the bus she emerged out of nowhere. She was super organised!
I think we were all anxious to see if the cars had survived the trip ok. Guy & Cheryl’s container was opened first and their truck was fine. Rob & Robyn’s truck had rubbed against the door as their straps had also gone slack, which made us worry about Lara behind it…
Turned out our worries were in vain as Lara’s straps were still tight and the chocks had kept the truck in place. She even started on the first try.
Wheels were swapped and mirrors added (on the trucks) whilst we waited for the paper work to be finalised by Mr Zul. This took a bit longer as he had to go back to customs to stamp our carnets correctly, luckily Jon noticed they had only done half the stamps before we drove out!
But soon after we were negotiating traffic ourselves for the first time, one of many ‘firsts’ for the next few days.
Shopping was done, stickers added and even some more catching up with other friends (Phil, Mary-Anne and Ezran) before we headed off into the unknown on our own. Destination: fire flies at Selangor.
Even with the gps we managed to take 3 wrong turns before leaving KL. I am sure that was not the last time we heard “recalculating” from the friendly Garmin lady. She is still without name but I am sure we’ll come up with one for her soon.
For our first night we found a car park next to a conservation park where the security guard came over for a chat and told us he could let us into the park if we wanted so we could go for a night walk to spot animals. The park was a bit odd, but we did see some interesting animals on our walk.
After paying a small fortune in toll fees, feeding some rescued (?!) elephants and driving past lots of de-forested areas and palm plantations we are now on our way to Taman Negara, the world’s oldest rainforest where we will try to go for an overnight hike.
If you want the details of any of the places we visited, including our route in Malaysia, go to the Malaysia page.