Reuben's resolution: motorbikes! We woke up on Sunday and headed to dim sum for breakfast and then to pick up our motorbikes--a first for Amanda and Reuben. We headed back to our hotel to get our things for the day and slather on our sunscreen.
By the time we were ready, it was pouring outside.
But we had the bikes by that point and we were determined. We waited for a break in the rain and then the first leg of our journey took us about four or five blocks when the bottom fell out again and we waited out the second downpour in someone's carport.
After that rain broke, we could see blue peeking through the clouds so we made our way out of town. We stopped for ponchos just in case, but it only drizzled on us the rest of the day. The weather wasn't pretty enough for us to take that picture I'm after, but it was still a nice day exploring the island.
We stopped in Balik Pulau, at a village about halfway around the island, for extremely delicious laksa--some of the best I've had (at the stall to the right of the market). We're no laksa experts, but in Singapore it's usually quite spicy and will result in much nose-blowing, and the occasional fit of coughing/choking when you inadvertently inhale a bit. This Malay version is a bit different- there were 2 kinds, Asam and Siam. Both were much less spicy than our local options here and much tastier, but the Siam especially had more sourness and well rounded flavor- containing coconut milk and pineapple and other unknown goodness. Probably the best thing we ate in Malaysia. We would eat this one with regularity if we knew where to find it.
We rode up into the hills in the center of the island and found a waterfall to explore (and for me to fall down in, of course... ed. note: don't worry! she was still wearing her motorcycle helmet, see below). The views from up there would be stunning, I'm sure, on a clear day.
We saw some lovely beaches, but it wasn't beach weather, so we didn't stop. We ended the day on the north side of the island where there are resorts for an early hawker center dinner and then drove back into Georgetown to return the bikes and enjoy the post-rain cool with a drink and a snack at an outdoor bar.
On Monday we flew back to Singapore early in the afternoon, but not before a massive brunch at the historic Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel. Established by the Sarkies brothers in 1884 (who also developed the Raffles in Singapore), the hotel was gorgeous in that British colonial way.
It was still raining, so breakfast on the veranda didn't have quite the same view as it would have otherwise, but we weren't complaining.