In Melaka - 4th April

Now safely ensconced at the Wayfarer Guest House Melaka.

The taxi driver who drove us to the Sri Maju bus terminal told us that the bus line is owned by a Chinese Family. Their daughter had a moment of fame in a James Bond movie! Her name escapes me but the taxi driver was obviously taken with her. All the other bus companies had to move to the new Amanjaya terminal north of the city but because of “Their Connections” they were allowed to stay. They now do very well as they are so convenient.

Our plane without wings

Our plane without wings

2RM snack for the bus

2RM snack for the bus

As a glass half full person, I had convinced myself that a 27 seater VIP Express bus was just like a plane without its wings. During today’s 6 hour bus trip from Ipoh to Melaka I realised that I was sadly mistaken! A good point was the seats were spaced further apart than a plane and were very comfortable. The bus however travelled a long winded route picking up and dropping off fellow travellers twice. It travelled at a pedestrian pace, the air conditioning was freezing, and the traffic was horrific. Trip was scheduled to take only 4 to 4.5 hours.

The Wayfarer is a charming old shop House on the River in the heart of the Old Town and has just 9 rooms.  Erica has always wanted to stay in a shop house and her eyes lit up when she saw it. To gain a booking we have to change rooms each night for 3 days and then can stay in the same room. Tomorrow night we get the River View Artist Suite! www.wayfarermelaka.com

Melaka an Old Portuguese colony conjures up vision of Vasco De Gama the Portuguese Explorer who opened up the spice trade with India. We have visited St Francis Church in Cochin India to see where he was originally interred and his final resting place in a massive carved sarcophagus in Lisbon Portugal, not far from where he set off. If my schoolboy memory serves me right his sons became Captains of Melaka. My old History lessons are coming to life!

Recovering from the bus trip now and feel my earlier comments could have been a little harsh when you consider our bus fare was only 40RM each. Maybe my romantic notion of “The Plane Without wings” was my problem when judging the ride. Melaka traffic is worse than Penang. It is the first place taxi touts pestered us as we dismounted from our salubrious transport and we had to bargain the taxi fare down. This leads me to believe there will be a lot of tourists (not Travellers like us). Because of the length of time these days it takes to get through airport security, most Malaysians take the bus and we intend to do the same. “When in Rome Do As The Romans do”, I believe is the saying.

Erica is in heaven

Erica is in heaven

As I write Erica is inspecting every detail and I imagine she is in heaven. The web site will give you a good idea of why.

We have 6 days to explore here before going to Kuala Lumpur city centre for 4 days. My old recollections of Kuala Lumpur are not great so we thought we must give it a second chance when taking such an extensive look at Malaysia.

Erica has yet to return from her inspection and I am off to join her. More about Melaka tomorrow.