We left Gombak at around 10.30am, making a 30minutes stop at the Genting Sempah R&R for a light meal. Less than 3hours later, we made another short stop at another R&R for a short break. Not accustomed to having a camera with me when I travel, I did not begin to take any shots until we reached Marang, where we stopped to buy Nira. (Please click to enlarge pictures).
Some of the dried delicacies on sale at the Nira stall. Being a food heaven, Ganu definitely is not.
Driving at an average of 100-110kmph - have to, with the 2 emaks as my passengers - we arrived at KT around 6pm and made our way to the Jambatan Sultan Mahmud to meet the owner of the Homestay, where we spent 2 lovely nights.
Staying in Pakatan Riverside Homestay was akin to renting an apartment or chalet. In fact, I would rate Pakatan as a better stay. Apart from the family privacy it affords, it is actually located on the banks of Sungai Terengganu! The family who owns and operates the place, also operates a fiberglass shipbuilding and jet ski enterprise. Encik Shahid, the eldest son, was very friendly and accommodating to us and we were very happy and thoroughly satisfied with our stay there; I would seriously recommend their homestay to anyone wanting to visit Terengganu.
Perhaps, the only downside - if there is any - is that they do not have a house fronting the sea. The lapping sound of the waves, can be soothing to the ears at night, serenading one to sleep. For the more creative mind, it may allow their creative juice to escape and be free of inhibitions.
Fortunately, Azman - my cousin, my uncle - was standing at the rear gate to the Olympic-size swimming pool behind the homestay.
Later that same evening, we went to a kopitiam (name not mentioned due to obvious reasons to be read later) which Makcik Yam had read in the papers. Well, she was actually craving for KB's White House Kopitiam but since we were not heading there, had to settle for a not so satisfying meal. And after the meal, while Azman and his family went off elsewhere, I took the 2 emaks to Pantai Batu Buruk for some night air.
While the 2 emaks talked their talk, I strolled the beach alone. On the way back, I saw an old man talking to the 2 emaks and saw my emak handing out some money to him. Dressed in sarong and a simple shirt, the man claims to be a patient at the hospital nearby and was suffering from a liver problem. I neither believe, nor disbelieve, as I was reminded of a story told to me on my first solo drive around the peninsular, reaching KT along the way.
Then, a certain official was riding his horse on the beach when an old man coming out of nowhere crossed his path. Perhaps taken by surprise, the official was enraged. He dismounted, went to the old man and slapped his face. The official then went back and mounted his horse. But as he did so, the horse stood on its hind legs throwing the official off. He fell to the ground and suffered a cracked skull. Leaving the hospital many months later, the official went back to the spot where he fell and waited for the old man to seek forgiveness - he did not find him. For many years after that, the official would walk the beach with the same intention, and at the same time handing out money to help the poor he finds there. I don't know how far true the story is, but take it as it is.
Anyway, next morning instead of the planned 2 cars to join the groom's convoy, only Azman and his family went - the 2 emaks decided not to go to rest their aching bodies. With age, I guess a good night's sleep was not enough to rest their body from a 6hours journey. Quite understandable, and I decided to follow suit. Only that, in the later part of the morning just before the ladies have their nap, I went off on my own to Batu Buruk. I could not venture far just in case the 2 ladies needs me. Further, I was also to bring their lunch.
Sitting alone absorbing the sounds and scenery of the beach was perhaps - to me - the highlight of the short stay there. I don't need to visit the Islam Hadhari Park, nor the masjids within, if visiting them was for the purpose of gawking at millions of ringgits that could have been better spent elsewhere. Did I not mentioned I love being alone with my thoughts only? I did not? Oh well...there were more interesting...er, shall we say, subjects to look at and talk to; what's a visit to Ganu if one does not soak in the beauty.
If I had not, I don't think its fair to bore you with other details of the day there.
On Sunday morning before departing back, we had a delicious breakfast of Nasi Dagang and Nasi Kerabu.
The Nasi Dagang which was packed in cone shape, had me fooled for a moment thinking it was Nasi Tumpang.
Before leaving KT, we simply had to make 2 stops to buy keropok lekor - once in Losong, and the other along the way out of KT. The second stop, 007 stall, I would highly recommend, even if it is just for the sauce.
Boiled, then fried; not shaken, and not stirred: the 007 stall. Though their lekor is darker in colour, it definitely is tastier.
Now, were I traveling alone, I would definitely have made more stops, taking pictures of the scenic spots and the er...natural beauty, which is found in abundance in Ganu. But when one travel with the elderly, then one has to take into consideration of their needs.
Ganu, insyAllah, one day I will return with a better camera and perhaps alone, as I have done in the past. When I do, I will seek your secrets and lay your beauty bare. SubhanAllah.