霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

A Blessed Cyclemania Expedition to Tanjung Balau

on November 6, 2013

Date of Exploration    :    26 to 28 Oct 2013, Sat to Mon

Destination                 :    Sg Renggit to Tanjung Balau (41 km one way. 82km to and fro)

An SMS from Darren on a cold, wet Thursday morning sent both of us, pedalling away on a trip to Pengerang once again. Since it has been raining quite a bit those couple of days, we decided to only confirm the trip on the Saturday morning.

26 October 2013, Sat

Rise and Shine on a bright and beautiful Saturday morning (phewww) and yesss…!! Off we went on our fourth cycling expedition (Third in this year).

IMG_3215This time round, we set off very much later as compared to our previous trips in March and July.

We met up at 9.45am at the Changi Ferry Terminal and caught the 10.30am bum boat.

By the time we got to Sg Renggit and had lunch, it was already 12.30pm.

20131026_123146We were back at Sin Kong Restaurant once again and ordered steamed lobsters, a Nai Bai (our favorite!), a steamed garoupa and two plates of rice.

Our bill came up to RM 129.

Similar to our previous experience, the lobsters felt a tad overcooked.

By the time we were done with lunch, it was almost 2pm and getting late.

Puat DorIt was scorching hot.

We got some isotonic drinks at the provision store not far from the town and as we turn out from the store, Darren’s bike slipped on the sandy trail and he fell off the bike (unglamarously!).

It happened at the speed of lightning and my poor pal had bruises on both his knees.

We did a turnaround back to the provision store to clean up the wounds before heading off again.

IMG_3219It was a beautiful blue day superb for photography.

We made a couple of photo stops as we went along.

This time round, it felt like ‘forever’ before I got past the first segment (where there’s a lot of gravel on the roads), second segment (where the mosque, hoardings and shaded trees were) and not to even mention the third segment of the ‘killer stretch’.

20131026_153055It was only thereafter that I realised why it took me forever…!!

I was on gear 1 all these while!

It felt lighter and easier on the thighs and knees when I was on gear 1. But on gear 1, it required much more oscillations as compared to if I was on a higher gear 3 or 4.

Although I was using less effort, I was pedalling much more in an inefficient and ineffective way.

20131026_174245We finally reached the round-about of Desaru and Tanjung Balau at 6pm. It was another 6km from this round-about to get to Tanjung Balau.

We needed to double-up our speed, hoping that we will not run into night-fall before we arrive at our destination.

On the 6km route, there was a 2km downslope which helped us gained speed and got to Tanjung Balau by 6.30pm. Yeahooo…  🙂

20131026_182749We ventured along, not really knowing where to head to. We checked out a couple of roads and came to an end-road with a jetty.

The sun was setting, the tide was gushing in and the white fluffy clouds were dancing in the beautiful blue skies ~ it was simply serene and gorgeous!

It was totally worth the extra 6km effort to get here.

20131026_183827Judging from our compass, this jetty was east-facing and we were thinking we might be able to get an awesome sunrise the next day if we were lucky.

There were little chalets by the jetty.

We walked-in, enquired and got a chalet at Bayu Balau Beach Resort, costing RM 160 per night.

IMG_3336

Our chalet at Bayu Balau Beach Resort ~ A mismatch of the exterior and interior of the chalets.

From the exterior, the chalets looked new and nicely furnished.

The interior was a mismatch to its exterior with damaged doors and poorly-litted shower.

There really was nothing much at this chalet except for the mesmerizing sunrise which we encountered on the next day.

IMG_3228We showered and headed out for dinner. We checked out the cafe within the chalet and the food stalls at the jetty.

They didn’t look too ‘happening’ and hence, we strolled out of the chalet to check out the other eateries around.

We came to an open area beside the carpark with few food stalls.

20131026_203137There were only three stalls; one selling drinks, one selling “Zhu Chao” and the other selling satay.

We ordered a Tom Yam seafood soup (RM15), a barbequed assam fish (RM 25), one rice and a lemon tea. Our total bill came up to RM 43.

It was not fantastic but it was a steal considering the size of the barbequed fish that we had and the seafood soup with flower crab and cockles.

IMG_3232The cool breezy night had us wandering around and came to the public sea.

It was pitch dark and the sky was a blanket of glistering stars.

It was the perfect backdrop for a Star Trails shoot and we could even see the Milky Way with our naked eyes!

We got back to our chalet, chilled out at the cafe whilst listening to some Malay Karaoke, grabbed a burger before we turned in for the night.

27 October 2013, Sun

20131027_071001

Gorgeous sunrise and Dramatic cloud formations. We didn’t know this Tanjung Balau Jetty was a popular sunrise location until we saw a swarm of photogs planting themselves here with DSLR’s and tripods.

Plucking ourselves off the bed at 6.30am, we stride over to the jetty right at our door step.

There were already a couple of photographers armed with tripods and DSLR’s waiting by the jetty.

Before we knew it, mother nature was peeping through the clouds and rising from the sea.

Her glorious rays glistered on the surface of the sea like sparkling diamonds.

This has to be one of the most spectacular sunrises we have had.

20131027_070755_Richtone(HDR)

With such a gorgeous sunrise and awesome rocks jutting from the sea, it was time we let our cameras take over. I was once again reminded that, it was not where we went that mattered but who we went with that made all the difference. And this was what made all the difference ~ a cam-whoring buddy…!!

Beach Camwhore

Crossing over to the public beach which we visited the night before, we saw how inviting this beach is in daylight. The soft fine sand tickled our little toes as we kicked off our footwear and sashayed on the beach. The fast and furious waves rolled in beckoning us to join them in the sea. It was unfortunate that we did not go prepared for a dip and had to give such an awesome invite a miss 😦

20131027_102726

So Delicious…. The waves or the body…??!! U decide… Wahahaha… Wooo…. Loved this.. : )

IMG_3253Our focus was to get to Muzium Nelayan aka Fisherman Musuem across the beach.

Visiting a museum in a small, “un-touristy town”, we were expecting to cover the museum in 30 minutes, with one or two viewing galleries.

Muzium Nelayan proved us wrong and came as a delightful surprise where we spent more than one hour here and felt that it was not enough.

At an entrance fee of RM 2, it was just way above what we had expected.

IMG_3274There was 5 galleries in all ;

Geology Gallery,

Fish Aquarium,

Boat Collection Gallery,

Sea Safety and Ship Gallery,

Desaru Shipwreck Gallery,

and a Special Exhibition Gallery.

Geology Gallery

Geology Gallery CollageAt Geology Gallery where we first visited, we were very impressed with the pristine condition of the musuem.

Going barefooted on the wooden planks, it felt like we had entered a fisherman’s home, where it houses old traditional fishing gears, nets, traps, buoys, lamps, apparels etc.

Geology Gallery Collage FunReplicas of boats, bicycles and a fisherman hut were in place for us to camwhore and get upclose shots with.

Their attention to details were impeccable where we saw a working grand-father’s clock in the fisherman’s hut, a gramophone, a 1968 calendar, old traditional cutlery sets, straw mats and a patch-quilt that brought me back to my granny days.

Geology Gallery Collage II

A working grand-father’s clock in the fisherman’s hut, a gramophone, a 1968 calendar, old traditional cutlery sets, straw mats and a patch-quilt that brought me back to my granny days.

Boat Collection Gallery

IMG_3317

Boat Collection Gallery with a low headroom. Watch your heads…

The Boat Collection Gallery houses a collection of boats of different shapes, sizes and uses.

However, a peculiar sight was that this gallery had a very low headroom, where you could easily bump your head if you were not careful.

This was what happened to my poor friend, who left this gallery with a bump on his head.

Sea Safety and Ship Gallery

IMG_3322We browsed through Sea Safety and Ship Gallery in less than one minute as we were very much running out of time.

This was one of the few pictures that we managed to get, and that we didn’t have time to read through the literature in this gallery.

Desaru Shipwreck Gallery
The other gallery that excited us very much was the Desaru Shipwreck Gallery. It was a very small gallery but impressive! There was a huge replica of a shipwreck jutting from a corner of the room and artifacts were displayed on the sand ground replicated by a sea bed. There were “Certificates of Authenticity” behind the glass showcases and the literature was in a form of a scroll.

Desaru Shipwreck Collage

Tanjung Balau was very much a “local” small town and at many of the sites that we went, Malay was the primary language. I was extremely impressed and delighted that at all the galleries, they were literature of these artifacts in both English and Malay for tourists like myself who could not read nor understand Malay. A big thumbs up for this bilingual effort !

We had way underestimated the time we needed to cover the museum and had to leave the museum in a hurry without being able to complete viewing every artifact. Do buffer more time should you like to visit this museum as there are endless surprises awaiting here.

Name of Attraction : Muzium Nelayan / Fisherman Museum
Admission Charges : RM 2
Operating Hours : 9am to 5pm Mon – Thurs
: 9am to 12noon and 2.45pm to 6pm – Fri
: 9am to 6pm – Sat, Sun and Public Holidays

By 2pm, we were heading back to Sg Renggit. The 2km down slope that we enjoyed on the previous day has become an agony today as we struggled 2km up it.

We came to the Desaru round-about and did a right turn to try out a different route from our previous trips.

20131027_150523

Was lost and stopped here at these provision stores to ask for directions

About 15 mins later, we hit another round-about.

This time round, we did a left turn (which in fact we should have gone straight).

After the left turn, as we proceeded on, things didn’t look right and we stopped at the provision stores to ask for directions.

We had three different instructions and at a loss of whose to follow.

20131027_151427We decided to place our fate in the hands of a 10 cent coin that we found on the previous day.

We tossed the coin to let it decree our fate.

We headed its advice ‘ to go straight’ and thankfully, it brought us back on our old route.

If we had turned back, we might need to clock another 10km (1.5 hours) to get back on the right track and by then, we may very well run into night fall.

We were extremely blessed and thankful for this gift of love from our guardian angels.

Once we got back onto the right track, we doubled up and got back to Sg Renggit by 6.30pm – just before night fall. How lucky we were….!!

We went past Good Luck Restaurant and realised that it had been razed to the ground with the yellow ‘Crime Scene’ tape. This was the first seafood restaurant that we ate at when we came here for the first time 3 years ago. Sources revealed that it might have been a case of arson as the restaurant burst into flames at about 3am in the morning less than 2 months ago. Though we had only ate here once, it did come as a surprise as it was well and running when we were here three months back.

Good Luck Restaurant Collage

Good Luck Restaurant not so Good Luck after all. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. Life is as such…

Gluttony at You Kee Restaurant

20131027_203559Our tastebuds had been so pampered by the fresh, sumptous lobsters whenever we visited Sg Renggit that we decided to try a new seafood restaurant with a new rendition of the lobsters.

We arrived at You Kee Restaurant which was featured on a foodie program by Channel U.

The restaurant provided a complimentary plate of appetizers made of deep fried popiah skin. It was quite yummzz and a good way to differentiate itself from its many other competitors which didn’t had this offering.

20131027_194954We have had many different renditions of lobsters; from butter lobsters to steamed to Superior Sauce, but this was the first time we are having it in Salty Yolk.

We also ordered a stir-fried Broccoli, a black pepper ostrich meat, a salted vegetable with toufu soup.

20131027_195059

The salty yolk sauce was flavourful and gave a tinge of tangy salty taste to the fresh lobster meat.

The ostrich meat tasted like deer meat and the soup helped to cool us down after two days of cycling under the scorching hot sun.

This sumptuous dinner costs us RM 147.

28 October 2013, Mon
20131026_144755

Stay Calm and Cycle On…

Just as we were leaving Sg Renggit, it started storming heavily.

We had really been blessed with two beautiful days of weather albeit the scorching hot sun. If it had stormed during the past two days as per forecasted, we may very well not have been able to come this far.

I can’t help but feel thankful for the many blessings that were showered upon us during this trip; the gorgeous sunset that we chanced upon, the mesmerizing sunrise, the beautiful blue skies, our lucky coin which pointed us in the right direction to get back on track, the rain that came only when we were leaving and not at the start of our expedition.

20131026_155800My biggest blessing is also my travel companion. I took ‘forever’ to get from one location to another and he waited like ‘forever’ for me to arrive.

Many times, I feel sorry for him to have a travel companion like me who held him back most of the time. Thank you very much, my travel pal  🙂

A run-down on our cycling expeditions ;-

2013-10-28-00-48-54_decoTrip 1 : 2 Apr 2010 ;- Ostrich Farm (Explore Life Lah!)


Trip 2 : 28 Mar 2013 ;- Tanjung Punggai


Trip 3 : 13 July 2013 ;- Desaru


Trip 4 : 26 Oct 2013 ;- Tanjung Balau (Current Post)

20131026_170536

Every single expedition was a challenge ~ to challenge myself, to push my limits and to explore traits about myself that I never knew existed. To prove to myself that it is Mind over Body…

Many times, my friends would ask me, why would I want to torture myself, struggling the 30+km under the scorching hot sun, going up and down never-ending slopes, burning thighs, aching knees and the greatest fear of falling…

For me, every single expedition was a challenge ~ to challenge myself, to push my limits and to explore traits about myself that I never knew existed. It had been four insane trips but I’m still looking forward to more… Call me a loony cos I’m one…!! Heh Hehh… 🙂

2013-10-30 Blessed Balau7

A baby step achievement which I am so proud of…!!

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