Saturday 6 April 2019

100th parkrun

Today was the day that I have long looked forward to - my 100th official parkrun.
We had an early wake up call at 6.30am and hoped to be in a taxi to the start just after seven. A bit of drama occurred because we couldn't get a taxi from the hotel so had to walk along the street until one eventually stopped for us.
The pre run briefing was in full flow by the time we got there, and soon we were ready for the 7.30 start.
I was quite unsettled by the rush and the complicated course which had one right hand lap, then three laps on the left and finally a right hand turn back to the finish.
I surprised myself by starting strongly and there were lots of volunteers who pointed out the route and took photos.
I soon got really hot and tired but pushed on and eventually I crossed the finish line in a reasonable time of just over 26 minutes.

Darren told the race director that it was my 100th run so she got the flag out especially for me and when the results were posted I was thrilled to find that I was the first lady.
Hooray!! What a great day.

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Kuala Lumpur

We have moved to a hotel next to the river and are right next to the fountains and the Masjid Jamek mosque.
Every night there is a lights and fountains display, along with loads of steam that ideally makes it look as if the mosque is floating on a cloud, but sometimes almost completely hides it.
We watched the show last night and it was really good. It was a shame that we were almost the only people there, but nice music and it ended with the theme from Star Wars and Adele.

We have also been to the KL visitor centre which has been completly redesigned since our last visit. They have some great interactive stands, one of them being a collection of waist high skyscrapers.

The Malaysian Open badminton tournament has also just started and we found a cardboard cut out of the great Lee Chong Wei. Unfortunately he isn't competing this year due to illness, but we had a good time watching the matches and hope he plays again next year.
We saw the English pair of Ellis and Smith beat a Malaysian couple. It wasn't a popular outcome for the local audience and we were the only two people in the whole stadium who clapped when they won.
We are going again today to watch the next round, and they are the only English players to get through, so fingers crossed for them, and us later.

Monday 1 April 2019

Batu caves

I was quite nervous about this outing because we have been here before and I knew that there would be a lot of monkeys.
Fortunately it was very busy so there was lots of people to hide behind. I think that our friend Dave had his sunglasses stolen by a monkey when he visited, so I stayed on high alert.
The Batu caves are high up in limestone cliffs and have an extraordinary entrance.

They are a very important Hindu place of worship, and one of the biggest in Malaysia.

Once inside the cave it was quite chaotic with lots of shrines, people, chickens, pigeons, bats and monkeys. I was glad that we visited again, and they have painted the steps in really bright colours since last time, but I also got a bit gladder with every step back down to normality.

I had a strange dinner this evening and an even stranger conversation about the ingredients:-

Me - 'I will have the vegetable fried rice please.'
Waiter - 'of course madam.'
All looking good and straight forward so far.
Waitress - 'your curry and mutton will be here soon.'
Me - 'no, vegetables only please.'
Waitress - 'don't worry it is vegetarian mutton.'
Me - 'it is?'  I started thinking to myself that maybe because sheep eat only grass then they are vegetarians, but surely that can't be right.
Waitress - 'the mutton is made of mushrooms.'

I was going to say that I would rather just eat what I had ordered but it had already arrived. The mutton came in strange little sausages along with boiled rice and lettuce that had been dunked in boiling water. Not my favourite meal ever.

30th floor Kuala Lumpur

We are relaxing in Kuala Lumpur at a very nice hotel. Darren has splashed out £51 per night although he is expecting an eventual refund from loyalty points.
Our room is on the 30th floor and we have a good view of the Petronas Towers.

Every afternoon the clouds start to build up, the thunder and lightning starts and an amazing storm surrounds us. It is 4pm now and the sky is just starting to turn black.
This morning we went up to the 31st floor and the infinity pool. In the promotional photos it looks huge, but it's actually a lot smaller and really only good for a splash about and photo opportunities.
Of course we made full use of it, but were only amateurs compared to two girls who were already there and took literally hundreds of shots. They kindly took a picture for us too.