MINIs Stretching Their Legs, and Their Owners Refuelled - The MINI Getaway

clifford chow
30 Aug 2017
 

People from all walks of life, as diverse as the colours of their cars....

MINI owners embarked on a “MINI Getaway” to Kuantan, Malaysia for a little R&R, letting themselves unwind, refuel, and for their fabulous MINIs to stretch their legs.

Flagging off at 6:30am from the MINI Habitat along Leng Kee Road, about 30 cars took off to cross from the second link for a change in scenery and to truly enjoy their cars.

And oh hello… Our car was the MINI Cooper S Countryman, the hotter version of what we had tested a while ago. Just launched this year, the second generation Countryman with the 2.0 turbocharged engine on this trip, would make for a very interesting road test.

Our journey took drivers through some twisty Malaysian side roads and smooth highways, travelling some 360Km Northward to Mangala Resort & Spa. A dark sky gradually took on some light, as the sun began to peek over the horizon. Not being a morning person, the snack packs carefully prepared by the good guys at MINI Habitat for the trip did the trick of sugar rushing the brain and opening the eyes. No need for plotting our routes here, as each of the three convoys had a lead car to trail throughout the journey.

Drivers got to stretch their vehicles past our local speed limits, while soaking in the view of the countryside. Bypassing most of the Malaysian cities, there was opportunity to catch near-endless hills in the distance, where the sky meets nature.

Eventually our convoy arrived at Pahang state to break for lunch at Pak Su Seafood Restaurant, a rustic seaside eatery serving up an area favourite, stuffed crab in-the-shell, and other local delights like steamed fish and fried chicken.

A short drive later and all three convoys reached their destination, Mangala Resort & Spa. An absolutely stunning place nestled within an oil palm plantation, surrounded by wildlife and fronting a lake.

Dinner at the resort was served up, with western and local fare, a charcoal fire with good meats to boot. Activities involved MINI trivia games, testing enthusiasts’ knowledge about their cars, and more about the MINI brand. Why didn’t I study for this one?

The resort is an excellent place to unwind, with plenty of quiet pathways to take a slow evening stroll on, and to soak up the night time sounds of the neighbouring forest.

 

Day breaks, a calm morning greets with birds chirping at our resort. A still lake reflecting the villas built above, and the smell of fresh morning air.

Right after breakfast, our group of MINI owners had more driving to do. First up, some very special sea turtles to visit at the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary, about an hour to the coast from our resort. The sanctuary, sited in a traditional style house, provides a safe place for these endangered creatures to spawn, grow and eventually be set free into the wild. Those hatchlings were certainly very cute paddling with their little flippers in the tank.

With a free and easy afternoon after the Turtle Sanctuary visit, some MINI owners opted to head to the beach for some sun and catch some waves, while others went ahead for that all important durian feast.

Dinner time was buffet style at La Casa restaurant, a Mediterranean style restaurant along Jalan Telok Cempedak. Chefs, Thomas and Pedro serving up pizzas, tapas, salads and seafood buffet style. This being our last night, clearly, everyone was milking the moment, and all were smiles.

Our trip back the next morning was a mixed bag of emotions, a work-week looms ahead, and our time here has come to an end, the journey ahead would be fun for sure. This meant getting back into the Cooper S Countryman for the long drive back home.

We certainly appreciate that we got to mingle with this group of MINI owners. People from all walks of life, as diverse as the colours of their cars, bound together for the love of a good drive, from a car delivering the promise of Go-Kart delivery and always with such a big heart.