Dungun used to be a thriving town with a large iron ore mining industry. Since that ended in the 1970's the place has become a sleepy backwater. As we crossed the bridge over the river we could see the effects of the mining on the surrounding hills, denuded of trees and soil. On our right was the old town, run down and dilapidated.
About 4km along the Kuantan to Kota Bahru road there was a nice looking guest house called Johanne's Villa which was a much nicer overnight option than the Dungun resort for just 30MR extra. We checked out the room which were large, air conditioned and well furnished.
Until the 1960's,this part of Malaysia used to have a large population of leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles. We stopped to visit the turtle Information Centre in Rantau Abang. It is heart breaking to realise that 50 years later their numbers are so depleted that they are critically endangered.
It was hot again and the Kuantan to Kota Bahru road continued straight and flat. There are always stalls at the side of the roads. For quite a few miles there will be unused ones then suddenly there will be a whole group of them, all selling exactly the same things. Today it started with sweetcorn, boiled in large vats over a small wood fire, the counters piled with raw corn and soft drinks. A few miles further and it was fresh fruit - pineapples, dragon fruit and durians. Then we moved to sweets, crisps and roasted nuts. Finally, there was a whole village of craft shops.
At lunchtime we saw another police escort coming towards us along the Kuantan to Kota Bahru road. This time they were escorting a group of school children who were cycling from their home town of Kuala Besut to Kerteh. They were very excited to see us and insisted we join them for a group photo.