Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 13 - Kuala Lumpur - Bus Tour, Mousedeer, Menara KL

By Jim
(or: "Why stop and relax on vacation? We're on a roll!")

Friday, March 14, 2008

We packed up and got ready to check out of the Renaissance. The lovely, lovely Renaissance. Barbara took breakfast there in the hotel, while I headed back to the row of street vendors behind the Concorde Hotel. We got back together after breakfast, and left our bags with the concierge.

The Malaysia Tourism Centre [Note-I wish I had known that they had internet, craft demonstrations, and other things. Next time I'll take advantage of that.] was just down the street, so we headed there to get the Hop-on Hop-off bus to ride around KL and take in the sights. There were souvenier shops there, and so we did some shopping while we waited for the bus.

The bus took us through town, past shopping areas, and into Chinatown. We jumped off in Chinatown, and took lunch back at the same food court where we had lunch on Wednesday.
Then we found out that the next bus wouldn't come until later in the afternoon, because of afternoon prayers. Oops. We had coffee and doughnuts in a coffeeshop to kill some time, then split up and one of us shopped while one waited for the bus. We hopped back on, and headed back out on the route. We passed the National Museum (I took a picture of the locomotive out front), and headed up into the lake gardens.

At the Bird Park stop, Barbara and I split up. She stayed on the bus, while I hopped off. I had checked the times on the gate to the mousedeer park , and knew I had a little time to kill. I went up into the orchid and hibiscus gardens for some pictures. The orchids were nice, and the hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia.
While I was there, the skies opened up and we had a big downpour. I found a place to sit under cover with a couple of Canadians. After it quit raining, I headed over to the gate to the mousedeer park. But the gate was still locked! I asked in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial, and they directed me to a path to the other entrance to the mousedeer park.

On the way there, I slipped on a metal grate and fell. Ow. I managed to protect my camera with my body. The lens hood broke, but the lens and camera were intact. This was much better than my knees which had blood pouring down them. I hobbled on over to the mousedeer park, but there were no attendants there. Since I was there, and couldn't do anything about my knees, I kept walking around and seeing the mousedeers and other animals.
Finally, another person walked into the park. He was Chinese, and I asked him as politely as I could if he had a tissue. "Sure, take some," he said with an American accent. Turned out he was from New Jersey. At that distance, we were practically neighbors. I stanched the flow of blood and cleaned up a bit. I was able to repay him the favor by pointing out a monitor lizard in the upper area of the park. I never got his name, but thanks to him for being able to help me in my time of need.

I made my way back to the Bird Park stop, and took the bus back around the rest of the route.
I hopped off back at the Tourism Centre, and walked back to the Renaissance to meet Barbara. We had drinks by the swimming pool and hung out for a couple of hours.

I thought we might enjoy happy hour at one of the nearby watering holes on Jalan P. Ramlee, but Barbara's asthma decided to kick up. So, I had a beer at one place and a beer at another. After dark, we headed toward the Menara KL to go up in it and enjoy the night view. But Barbara was tired, grumpy, suffering a bit from her asthma, and anxious about getting to the airport, even though we had 7 or 8 hours left. So, she headed to the hotel and I headed to the tower. The view was spectacular, but was soon wiped out by a downpour.
Our hotel is on the left
The Petronas towers from the Menara KL

The rain cleared, and I headed back to the Renaissance to meet Barbara. We shared a hamburger in the bar there and at 9 PM decided to go ahead and take the taxi to KLIA for our flights home.

At the airport, we had a lot of time to hang out before my 1:00 AM flight back to Korea and on to Dulles, and her 3:30 AM flight to Doha and back to Dulles. She spent a lot of time using up our phone minutes, first on her card and then on my card. I headed back to my flight around 11:30 PM, changed all of my ringgits back into dollars, and went to the boarding lounge for my flight.

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