Tandem blow up cars, Malaysian calls, Tune small

Trip Start Dec 12, 2012
Trip End Jan 03, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

After dramatic (by proxy) events with exploding vehicles prior to leaving we made it to LCCT.

Our housesitters called early yesterday evening and advised they were having car trouble, after a nervous few hours waiting their arrival and holding off on the much promised wood fired pizza to welcome them, they advised they had a blown head gasket and would have to tow it back home.
Late arrival in their one remaining vehicle and we ate some pizza and went to bed. A nerve wracking and frustrating night for them and us...not the most relaxing start to our Pongo adventure. Never mind, everyone's safe and we are ready to go.
Early next morning we pulled out the old Suby Forester, not much driven now we all have new ones, and headed off to the airport after bading farewell to our much loved doggies.
1km up the road and at the traffic lights I spy what appears to be smoke coming from the front of the car..."Not possible, must be exhaust from the dirty diesel next to us." I say assuringly as the ol girl has been so faithful to date. We sit at the red light as the smoke increases in volume and now is quite clearly is coming in ever larger plumes from the side of our bonnet.
Plan B, "Just drive to the airport, we (i.e. our poor vehicular jinxed housesitter James) can worry about it when we get there." I say.
Alarmingly the smoke continues to increase until it is wafting from all sides of the bonnet in big white clouds.
Mmmm...Plan C, "How about we just take this back to our house and swap to the ever faithful Hilux."
Executing Plan C James is about to pull left back to our house and misses a cyclist by the merest of margins in his car induced stress. I can't help but feel sorry for him, his car has just blown up the night before and he's not driven 2km in ours and Boom !, there goes another. It's pretty much quite clearly a head gasket (or perhaps cracked head itself), no doubt brought on by a lack of regular driving and the whole top end of the motor has dried out.
Plan C in action and I take the wheel of the faithful, unbreakable 'Lux to get us to the airport in record time. Jens is totally stressed and I think James is having a proxy panic on our behalf too. I find it all rather amusing and exciting. Nothing like a bit of drama to get your sense of adventure on high alert. Driving the Hilux like a lunatic (my usual manner) we make it in good time.
Airport arrival no problem, wave James goodbye and we are off.
With impeccable timing we immediately board our Sydney flight and arrive at our least favourite ariport in the world, Sydney. Stinking horrible Sydney.
We pay the exorbitant $2.20 / minute for the train ride and check in with AirAsia. Again, perfectly timed because I do so love hanging about and wasting time in airports, we are through security and on our way. Jen gets a free 'massage' from the security lady, but for almost the first time ever I am not stopped and checked for explosives like I'm some crazed sleeper cell Jihadist.
A quick stop in duty free and with Jens jangled nerves calmed by the imbue of Gruen transfer, we make our way to the gate. And sit there...for ages.
A slightly late departure and I gaze mindlessly at the passing ground below, red deserts, salt pans, ranges and endless scrub.  And even a racetrack...I believe it was Birdsville.
I also noted the huge square meshed grids of seismic exploration tracks scarring the clean desert dunes across the central deserts, a visual reminder of the now dwindling mining boom. What a grand and magnificent country of extremes.
Eventually we are over the ocean and almost in Malaysia, well halfway anyway...it's getting a bit boring now....
Landing at LCCT and we are ushered into our new favourite country with minimal security and no fuss at all.

A lovely gentlemen also seeking a SIM assists in translation to sort us out with a cheap Umobile SIM (even though we've already paid for Tunetalk SIMS) because the deal is just too good. I can't resist unlimited data for less than $9 AUS, 100 free minutes in-country and 2sen/min for all other local calls. Makes AUS look like such a ripoff. The shop assistant even set it all up for us whilst we waited. We like Malaysia :-) The gentleman wishes us a good stay and heads off, SIM-less.

It's hot and muggy outside but not unbearable, it's nice to feel immediately wrapped in the humid warmth of a tropical climate, Summer has been struggling to arrive back on Oz.
We see our new friend again outside and offer him my new working phone to make a call. He's ok, waiting for his relatives to arrive and surprise his Malay family in KL. He wishes us well again, as do we for his New Year, and we're off to Tune Hotel.

Checking in back in Sydney we had met an odd guy who advised the Tune
hotel was miles away and last time he ended up crossing drainage ditches
and jumping fences to get there...which we found odd because our memory
was that is was a hop, skip and a jump away.
So, 1Rgt bus ride from the terminal and literally 37 seconds later we are there.
Check in to possibly the smallest hotel room I have ever seen, you can barely open the door, but all functional and a great, clean shower.

We think that guy had taken a beeline for Tune from the airport exit,
and missed the covered walkway, all of a 5 minute easy walk.

We wander back to LCCT and grab some dinner at our old airport favourite 'Passage Thru India", we wonder again if they realise the double entendre in their name. We think not.
Get our boarding passes for tomorrows flight to Kuching and back to the Hotel for a relax.
After all that morning stress, even the airport precinct in Malaysia seems relaxed and easy going. Kids and families transitting on holidays, people waiting and lots of sitting around being done. We like Malaysia, even the airport ! :-)
Malaysia calls, and we like it already.

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