I had it all planned, to 'balik kampung' two days before Raya and with that I'd still have two days to 'buka puasa' with my in-law's family in Kelantan. And when the news came out a few days before Raya that there will be free toll at Karak Highway and Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT), I couldn't change my plan. On the last working day, I had meeting with a client in the morning of which I couldn't cancel.
So, at 2am on Friday, we left for Kelantan with the hope of having ' KFC sahur' before 5am in Bentong. Two years ago, we did exactly the same thing. The children were excited as this would be their only KFC sahur this time around.
Along the way, we noticed that the traffic was unusually heavy for that wee hours and we anticipated there would be jam along the way. After passing through two free tolls, we were supposed to exit to Bentong. Much to my horror, the jam was already starting a few meters before the exit. Unlike two years ago, I could still drive through Bentong with no hassle.
We changed our mind and decided not to take the exit. I was thinking of using the highway all the way until Kuantan and exit towards Ulu Terengganu. That was the only other routes that I know. I was told after that there were other alternative routes instead of taking that Ulu Terengganu route that was much longer. Anyway, to make the story more interesting, I had never used the highway going to Ulu Terengganu before. And true enough, I never noticed the exit and instead I ended up using the coastal road to Kuala Terengganu, which is a lot further than the Ulu Terengganu route. All in all, I drove for 654kms for almost 11 hours. The only consolotions are I heard from a friend that it took him 13 hours from KL to Machang, much shorter distance and I experienced no traffic jam along the way!!
Instead of having the 'KFC sahur', we ended up having Maggi cup noodles and potato chips at Gambang R&R. All the hawkers were running out of rice and no 'mee goreng' or what so ever! This was really a case where the hawkers didn't plan properly and were not able to cash in on the big crowd that night.
It's really a balik kampung misadventure. I also lost my compact digicam as it was soaked in hot water on the 2nd day of Raya. I put it in my car boot together with a thermos that wasn't closed properly and when it fell, the water came out. That's it.. my camera was gone... Alamak. tak tahu bila lah nak dapatkan replacement!
I had the plan of upgrading to DSLR early next year but not now. So, for the time being I am cameraless. A loss is a loss but I am not going to let it spoil my Raya mood. Other than that, I had great time with my family. I ate a lot, slept a lot and relaxed a lot! What a Raya holiday!