Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A weekend getaway to SE Johor Day 2 - Chilling out in Sedili Kechil

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We took our time to wake up! Instead of 90km to Kluang, we only had 50+km to Sedili Kechil so it was to be another easy day. What was supposed to be a 5am start ended up a much more decent 9am start as we vegetated in bed longer than we should. Still, at 8am, we were the only guests at Mayrest Hotel's huge dining room all beautifully decorated in red and for Chinese New Year.

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As with the usual hotel complimentary breakfast, we weren't expecting much but the simple Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng and freshly made Curry Puffs with Coffee/Tea surprisingly were very good.  However, it was strange being the only 2 in a room with 20 tables and with just the receptionist keeping herself busy on Facebook. KC too kept himself sufficiently entertained.

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I had a very small portion of breakfast as we were setting our sights and stomachs on Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh, some 14km northwards. This is one of those must eat icons if you are in the vicinity as their pork bone soup is truly second to none and having eaten there a few times, we were excited. The morning ride out of Kota Tinggi town was cool and pleasant.

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With wide shoulders and light traffic, we were spinning very nicely indeed. It was great fun to be cruising with the wind in my face and we arrived at Breakfast #2 spot in exactly 40 mins.

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But horrors of horrors, they were closed! Our hearts sank when we saw the deserted place from afar as this eatery is always buzzing. We parked our bikes and just rested, sipping our water bottle looking disappointingly at the wonderful menu of food photos displayed. 2 dogs came to bark at us, telling us we were not welcome, at least today. I reckoned BKT sellers do very well as yesterday George's BKT was also closed, and now my favourite store - wealthy enough to be able to close for 12 days! Quite a few cars came around with high hopes and we waved them on - as they joined us in the Fellowship of No BKT!

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Not to worry, we pressed on for just another 2km to the turn off at Hway 99 and as KC said, at this junction, there are lots of Malay Cafes. We chose one that was modern and new, and ordered Roti Canai and Teh. It was nothing compared to what we could have had at Kiang Kee but beggars cannot be choosers. Flexibility is the key to enjoying a tour and we made the best of it.  The weather was forcasted to rain at 11am so we set off without wasting too much time.

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This was the first time I have ridden on Hway 99 and it proved a beautiful route with nice rolling hills. KC mentioned that this was a favourite among roadies and it is easy to see why.

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We arrived at Sedili Besar, the main town at just about 11am and we have polished off an easy 40km. This is a rather bustling fishing port and we rested at the jetty overlooking the long bridge spanning the Sedili River.

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We took our time to just have a sticky beak around this small town and ended up in a Malay eatery where we had ice cold drinks and an early lunch. There were many freshly cooked dishes on the table and all we needed to do was to help ourselves to these delicacies. This being a fishing village of sorts, we opted for the fried fish in sambal and it was so good.

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Riding the next 12 km skirting Jason's Bay was easy as it was flat as a pancake. With a full stomach, we could digest the miles effortless and arrived at Sedili Inn Resort at the other end of the bay in no time. Resorts around this region are very sparse and worn out eg Mutiara Motor Inn 500m before has seen better days. So SIR being only 2.5 years young stood out like a beacon of hope and light.

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Modern architecture and the new-ness of the place are what attracted us to change plans to come here.  Despite being a Friday, strangely we were the only ones to check in . My first impression was how bare and empty this whole resort looked. There wasn't even a proper sign or at least I could not remember seeing one stating the name of the resort. Credit to the staff for being warm and friendly and we were given 2 options - Inn room at RM 159 and Chalets at RM 189 with breakfast. Our Inn room, though a tad small was newish and clean. However, we had trouble with the aircon that was not working. It took 2 attempts by the staff to get it sorted  and we were glad. However our room was rather devoid of any character - it was just a room. No TV, no pictures, no kettle and worse of all, no WIFI.

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The resort faced the beach and that was very nice with sea breezes blowing non stop and the place to be was at the dining area where there was Wifi. The lone Fixie there also kept us company. We spent pretty much most of the afternoon at the dining area as the rains came pouring down. It was nice to just chill. We took a short ride out of the resort to have tea at a cafe and truly, Sedili Kechil is a VERY quiet place.

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Dinner was Kampong Fried Rice and a place of BBQ meats and that was quite satisfying. However, the kitchen had a rather limited menu and after half a day here, I felt rather sad for SIR as there is so much more they can do to really give customers a reason to come here and for a return visit. The reception claimed that last week was really a full on one and I was happy to hear that. But for many city folks, being stuck in a place like this with very limited facilities can be rather challenging. That said, I actually think this is a perfect place for a Spiritual Retreat for a time of reflection and quiet conversations!

Be still and know that I am God - Ps 46:10

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After dinner, we spend time catching the last of the sunlight at the beach which was very pleasant. Today must have been one of the easiest ride I have ever done and sometimes, it is good to have days like these - just relax, don't ride so far and just chill at Sedili Kechil.

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