Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hypothetical trailer across Malaysia

This must be hypothetical as would I really pull an unregistered trailer across Malaysia?
In theory a fun trip!!!
I had been worrying about the trailer for the catamaran, and so one friend offered his old Isuzu Trooper which has a towbar. I tried to get a permit to tow the unregistered trailer and no it was a case of forget it or drag the trailer across to whole country illegally. That sounded like fun so off we went (in theory). Another old sailing friend came as well (more as moral support)
Ready to go
Got to Cukai in Trengganu and stayed with Capt. Wong who's boat we bought. Eating (fresh Durian and Rambutan from his farm) and telling ghost stories till 2am, then off Friday morning. Capt. Wong had taken the trailer axles to a workshop to get new axles, bearings, and good second hand rims and tyres. Great all will be good. Capt. Wong led us out of town on a back road and just got up to 40kph past the town when a god almighty bang. "The wheel came off" screams KC.
Which bit?
Happens we were outside the local tip with 10ft high wall around. No sign of the wheel until a poor guy struggles out from the tip with the wheel and asked if I have lost anything!! Lucky the axle nut was still with the wheel, but a spacer and bearing cone were missing. As it had been raining it took a while sleuthing to find them . We found that not only had the workshop done the nut up only finger tight, they didn't use any grease and nothing else was tight. Goes to show only trust what you do yourself.
…so that’s how to put a wheel on!
Anyhow an hour later we start attempt No 2. We headed north up to Lake Kenyir through lovely back country on good roads. Then had a great run on an unopened and unmarked highway around the top of the lake. Few bits of roadwork but mostly great. Staggering country with the mountain ranges and glimpses of the lake through jungle, driving around Elephant calling cards and soaking up the wonderful smell of the jungle and earth…. Then the highway stopped….and became 20km of plantation potholed hell, with giant trucks broken down everywhere and altogether fun driving with the trailer behind.
We gained the Kota Bharu-Gua Musang road via a police pondok with 2 young constables at a table I sailed past waving like an angle and they simply waved back with mouths wide open. In Gua Musang we topped up the tank...this bloody thing does 7.2km to a litre and had some lunch on the run.
Lunch on the run
So the wonderful road from Gua Musang to Cameron Highlands. This is a must drive. As we climbed we got well onto the clouds and rain. Saw a side of Cameron's most don't see and it was something else. Down the new road toward Ipoh behind a bloody bus for what seemed like hours, before we finally got past. Then beeline to ..ROCK ELEPHANT as KC texted friends who were following our exploits (Batu Gajah). By this time its still drizzling and light fading and very overcast. The poor old trooper actually got up to 90kph and we rattled and bounced our way toward Sitiawan. Thank goodness, Percy (the GPS) lead us round a back way to the Perak Yacht Club.
Trailer mods
We had to go down a narrow plantation track to get to the club with spotlights blazing (had to.. the headlights were useless) and persuade the new... started today...jaga we really can come in and dump the trailer. Poor kid was terrified with a very tired mat salleh with no Malay making gestures to open the bloody gate or I'll have his guts for garters.

…she is on!
Next morning we added some cross beams and eventually got our Strider24 on.

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