Driving into the Unknown – Cherating, Part 1

This post is way backdated because I had meant to write about my trip to the East Coast, Cherating specifically the moment I came home to Penang. But my life, with all its swirls and turns and bumps, has a way of running away with its friends called time and opportunity. So that’s why it is, let’s see, almost 3 weeks late.
It’s not that I’ve not been to Cherating. I had.
When I was 19 years old and won a Fido Dido 7-UP Competition for teens. I think it was more of a ‘brainwash teens into gulping down 7-UP’ kind of competition because I got to invite 3 friends to a getaway in Cherating. I took along my youngest sis and my best friend and her younger sis. I forgot what Cherating was like. It was a 3-day, 2-night getaway in this obscure little hotel with some hyped-up organisers who looked like big little kids themselves.
This time around, Cherating was leisurely. Still, I had my apprehensions. And the East Coast was a sleepy hollow, right?
That’s how the four of us (me, my other half and my married friends) ended up on a road trip to Cherating. All the way from Penang.
Total travelling time: 8 hours. On the highway. Yes, the PLUS highway. We started the journey at about 4.30 in the morning. Bleary-eyed, full of sleep and then some. Friend drove really fast. But I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
The turn-off was at Tanjung Malim. And as one knows, following road signs in Malaysia can kill you. The signs never point to where you want to go. It’s like you have to be intuitive. And agak-agak where to turn, or not turn. That’s why we ended up going up this cool, windy road and marvelling at a gorgeous dam at 7 am. We were curious why these men on motorbikes were eyeing us from the side of the road.
And we came to a dead-end. A bridge under repair. Oops, and the men on motorbikes caught up with us. They were the bridge workmen.
Well, at least now we know how to get to Fraser’s Hill!
That part of the adventure over, we hastily zoomed back down the road and eventually found our merry way to Kuantan, passing Gohtong Jaya town, which is near Genting Highlands. The drive to Kuantan was simply a drive with lots of long stretches of highway, hardly any cars (it being a Monday and all).
Reaching Kuantan, we figured we had the route to Cherating nailed. It was approximately 50 km from Kuantan to Cherating but we asked a local and he said there was a shorter route. Off we went again, driving off into the unknown. The unknown brought us to another set of missed turns and when we finally figured out how to reach Cherating, we were tired and hungry and it was past lunchtime.
Luckily, we managed to reach Cherating in one piece and even locating the hotel was another mis-adventure. But, in trying to find our hotel, we also found places that we wanted to visit the next day, such as the Turtle Sanctuary and Club Med (which is just next to the sanctuary).

This is the view from our suite balcony…nope, I’m not going to tell you where I stayed coz it was so crummy! But see the beach in the distance?
to be continued…

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