霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

Taman Negara: From Cave to Capsule

A couple of weeks back, I came across an event posting by SANL (Singapore Adventurous & Nature-Lovers) broadcasting for a trip to Taman Negara (Pahang, Malaysia). It featured spending a night in a cave and another in a capsule. Without any hesitation, I quickly went ahead to make payment for a slot as I reckon that the slots would be snapped out within the next couple of hours. Woohoo… How exciting would that be! I had always wanted to try spending a night in a capsule and sleeping in a cave would be such a cool, awesome “once-in-a-lifetime experience”!

 

In the days leading to the trip, Watsapp messages came flooding in to check, enquire, confirm and affirm anything and everything we could think of.

 

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Stock photo from Google. Woww… Looks awesome. How exciting!

 

28 April, Fri, 8pm

The day finally arrived when 41 of us met up at Marsiling MRT station, 8pm in anticipation for the long queues at the customs since it was a long weekend. We took 3 hours to get from Marsiling to Woodlands customs but surprisingly cleared Singapore and Malaysia customs within an hour! By 12 midnight, we were off and on our way to Jerantut, Pahang.

 

Spending the night on the 44 seater coach for 11 hours, an (inflatable) neck pillow, eye mask or ear plug would provide much-needed comfort. The neck pillow could double up as a pillow in the cave. The ear plugs would come in handy to drown out the echoing snores in the cave. Haahaa…. Ok, I’m kidding. The snores don’t echo, but as everyone is so dead–tired and that we’re sleeping shoulder to shoulder, the snores seemed to fill up the cave.

 

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Our 44-seater coach for the 11 hour journey

 

29 April, Sat, 7am

We got into Jerantut town at 7am and had an hour to savour some Roti Prata (aka Roti Canai in Malaysia). I didn’t know this was the only carbo-loading opportunity, otherwise, I might have gobbled down more pratas! Heh Heh Hehh… : D

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Got into Jerantut town at 7am and had 2 prata kosong and 1 milo kosong for breakfast

 

29 April, Sat, 9:30am

We got to Sungai Tembeling jetty at about 9:30am and were presented with our ‘goody bag’ of 3 bottles of 1.5l of water, a cutlery set (a cup, plate and spoon), a pack of biscuits, a packet of instant noodles and canned food for communal consumption, a sleeping bag (for those who chose not to bring their own) and a sleeping mat.

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OMG… Are these what we are going to carry…??!! Like S-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y….??!!

 

Considering the ‘sudden’ amount of goodies that we received, I had to repack my small, little, day bag into the huge backpack to accommodate the 3 bottles of 1.5l water and all the food stuffs. But to be fair, we had already been forewarned right from the start that we would need to be carrying the 3 bottles of 1.5l water on our own. It didn’t seem tough until reality strike when we had to stuff them into our backpacks and started carrying it.

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Managed to squeeze the 3 bottles of 1.5l water, cutlery set (1 cup, 1 spoon, 1 plate), 1 biscuit, 1 instant noodle, 1 canned food, 1 sleeping bag into my bag. No space already… Had to tie the sleeping mat to my bag and lug it with me.

 

29 April, Sat, 10:30am

At 10:30am, the boat came and sent us across the river where the Taman Negara Park Centre was. There, we did up the declarations i.e. the number of plastics, clothes, socks etc that we brought. By the time the staff finished up the declarations for all 41 of us (one pax at a time! Yawnz…), it was almost close to 11:30am, where we had a briefing by the centre staff on the rules and regulations and safety procedures in the park.

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The declarations had to be done one pax at a time…!! Took about one hour to finish up the whole group of 41 of us!

 

We got back onto the boat and took a 1 hour boat ride to the entrance of the park. Enroute, we had our packed lunch on the boat.

 

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Had our packed fried rice on-board the boat. From Leon’s expression, he doesn’t seem to like it very much… Haahaa…

 

 

29 April, Sat, 1pm

At 1pm, we had finally arrived! Excited, we sprang off the boat and started trekking into the forest. Woohoo… Our adventure starts now…!!

 

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Starting our trek into the forest and to the cave. Our adventure starts NOW…!! Woohooo….

 

The trek was not arduous, but it was not as easy as I had thought. We had to trek through the muddy terrains with our 10kg backpack, going up and down the slopes, climbing over and ‘limbo-rock’ under fallen logs, walking on logs across rivers etc.

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Up and down the slopes, climbing over and crawling under fallen logs, walking on logs across rivers etc.

 

29 April, Sat, 5pm

It took me 4 hours to get from the starting point to the first cave which was the half-way mark. By the time I got here, I was already almost dead-tired and wondering why in the world did I pay to come ‘torture’ myself. Wahahhaa…. As it was getting late and dark skies were looming, everyone paced up and tried to arrive at the cave before it got more difficult.

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I’ve finally reached the first cave which was the (4km) half-way mark. Still have another 4km more to go… Jia you…!!

 

29 April, Sat, 7pm

At 7pm, OMG… I made it to the Gua Kepayang Besar (cave)! Just as I stepped into the cave, it poured. Pheww…. I was really really lucky… Some of my group mates who arrived later almost missed the entrance as it wasn’t prominent, with the fact that one have to climb up to the entrance of the cave, making it rather elusive and mysterious.

 

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No obvious signage near the ground and especially when it was very dark, one could hardly tell that this was the ground entrance to the cave. Had to climb up to the cave using either of the two yellow arrows to be able to get into the cave.

 

The cave is huge and is able to accommodate up to 200 paxs. As there were 3 or 4 other groups on the day that we went, the cave seemed to be ‘packed’ with hikers. Our guide had laid out a ground sheet for us and all we needed to do was to place our sleeping mat and ‘chope’ our sleeping area.

 

Since it was pouring and dark, I didn’t get the chance to go to the river to wash or freshen up. I got my cleanliness fix from the wet wipes and powder that I brought.

 

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A lot of hikers on the day that we went

 

30 April, Sun, 1am

One of our group mates “R” fell ill during the trek and wasn’t able to make it to our cave. Several of the guys in our group were yanked out from their slumberland and activated for the rescue mission. Please see Andy’s first-hand adrenaline pumping account for the rescue mission!

 

30 April, Sun, 9:30am

As the guys had to ferry our group mate in the stretcher back to the starting point, all their belongings were split out to the rest of the team to carry them to the ending point.

 

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By 7am, daylight came into the cave. We started to pack our belongings and stuff the guys belongings into our own bags too.

 

Though my backpack was down by 2 bottles of 1.5l water (Finished 1 bottle on the first day and gave away another to the guys as I reckon they will need it more than I do during their ferrying mission), I had with me two sleeping bags and some miscellaneous items from the guys belongings.

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One sleeping bag inside the bag and one sleeping bag outside the bag and some other miscellaneous items too. Haven’t start, I already ‘cui’ liaoz… Wahahhaa…. : D

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Alvin and his 5 sleeping mats. Although the mats were light, it was quite bulky and difficult to crawl under the tree logs, getting across rivers and meander at the edge of the cliff ~ especially so with his injured leg from the rescue mission on the night prior.

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The pink, blue, black and hmmm… “ah boy’s team” : p

 

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Our only group pic without the rescue mission team. Thankfully, they had one too which I had included it at the end of this blog post.

 

On this day, the trek was made tougher as the terrains got mushier from the downpour last evening. We trekked through the ‘even-mushier-terrains’ with our as heavy or even heavier backpacks, going up and down the more slippery slopes, climbing over and ‘limbo-rock’ under fallen logs and walking on logs across rivers.

What was significantly different was that, there were many many more waddling across rivers and mud plains as well as meandering around the cliff on the second day as compared to the first.

As many of the rivers and mud plains were mid calves or knees high, all our shoes were totally soaked through. Our team mates in their Kampung Adidas were good, whilst the rest of us in hiking shoes were fretting over how to get our shoes out of the mud and how to get the mud out of our shoes. Hahahaa…. :”D

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Totally soaked (feet) in rivers and mud. Don’t even need to dream of coming out unscathed…

 

30 April, Sun, 2:30pm

I arrived at the Orang Asli hut at about 2:30pm and had a good 15 minutes rest before heading to the ending point / ferry pickup point, which was a mere 10 mins walk away.

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Arrived at this Orang Asli Hut where we had some respite from the heat and rested our aching shoulders and sore feet. Heard from one of our group mates that the Orang Asli inhabitants actually asked them for RM5 as “shelter fees” after the whole bunch of us left. Haahaa…

 

30 April, Sun, 3:30pm

Seeing that most of us had arrived, the guides decided to make us lunch. We brought out our instant noodles and handed them over to the chef. Famished, we waited… waited… and waited… Ahh… Its ready! The noodles were snapped up in minutes and devoured in seconds. That was probably the most delicious noodle we’ve ever had.

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Ohhh… Yummz yummzz yummzzz… Faster cook, faster cook, very hungry already….

 

30 April, Sun, 4:30pm

Two of the boats came (one after another) and sent the first 20 of us to the campsite. As the boats came in staggered timings and we were unable to have the Rapids Shooting against the other boats, our boatman made it up to us by having our own Rapids Shooting!

 

Going at incredibly fast speeds, he pivoted the boat to 45 degrees on both the left and right sides. We were screaming our lungs out, whilst having a nice cool shower. Unfortunately, the boat ride only lasted 15 minutes and before we knew it, we had reached the campsite. Awwww….

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Our boatman was very kind and gave us our own Rapids Shooting adventure!

 

30 April, Sun, 5pm

We got to the campsite and I finally got a glimpse of our capsule. Ohhh… how cute they were. And the bed sure looks fluffy. I was so glad to be able to have my first shower in 48 hours too!

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There were tents and capsule. I was lucky to have gotten a capsule accommodation. Forgotten to take a pic with my “bed-mate”; Regina. Heh heh hehh… : p

 

30 April, Sun, 8pm

Whilst we waited impatiently for the guys to return and still not getting any news, we had a BBQ dinner, some ‘kpo-ing’ session and a birthday celeb before we called it a night.

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Got BBQ chicken and coffee cake. Damn shiok…

 

1 May, Mon, 8am

With the trip coming to an end, the guys finally returned in triumph. Woohooo… Yayy… The park rangers had sent our team mate to the clinic and we will swing by to pick her up upon checking out. As the guys shared their stories, I couldn’t help but feel proud of them and ashamed of myself.

What we had gone through was only a minor fraction of what they had to go through, and yet I was constantly lamenting how heavy my bag was, how painful my shoulders were, how slippery the ground was etc etc etc… : X

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So glad to see the guys back! But poor things… They have so many more vampire bites on their legs as compared to us… :”(

 

1 May, Mon, 9:45am

As quite a number of our team mates wanted to do the Canopy Walkway, I decided to tag along too. Thinking that it will be easy and stable as like Singapore’s MacRitchie Tree Top Walk, I went empty-handed, except for my mobile phone.

 

The Canopy Walkway was just directly across the river from the campsite and took us less than 15 minutes to get across the river to the starting point.

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The Canopy Walkway was just directly across the campsite where we stayed. Can even see and swim over. Haahaa….

 

The Canopy Walkway started off low and as we progressed, it got higher off the ground and my legs started getting as wobbly as the suspension bridges. There were a total of 6 platforms and even a stretch of ‘ladder steps’ to make our way down. Having been on quite a number of suspension bridges, I have never come across ‘ladder steps’. Hmmm… That’s interesting. It was a relatively easy walk, but yet I was soaked to the skin after the walk.

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Soaked through after the 530m long, 40m high Canopy Walkway

 

1 May, Mon, 11:30am

At 11:30am, “R” re-joined us back on our coach! We were so glad she was feeling much better and rejoiced in her return.

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Slowly and surely, she’ll make it. Jia you, “R”! We will all be praying for your speedy recovery.

 

1 May, Mon, 11:30pm

At 11:30pm, we have finally arrived back at Singapore customs. I grabbed a bag off the luggage compartment and headed for the customs. As I placed the bag (facedown) onto the conveyor belt for scanning, I noticed a sleeping bag hooked onto it. Hmmm… thinking aloud, “Somebody must have unknowingly hooked the sleeping bag onto my bag” or so I thought…  Taking no notice of it, I left with the bag and stood at the gates waiting for my taxi companions; Andy and (son) Wei.

 

As Alvin stepped out from the gates, I waved goodbye to him. He waved goodbye and asked (randomly), “Did you happen to take Felicia’s bag? She took the wrong bag.” I was thinking, “Who in the world would be so cuckoo” and laughed aloud. I decided to put down the bag as it was getting heavy. “OMG…. IT’S ME….!!! This isn’t my bag…. Wahahahaa….” I managed to catch Felicia as she stepped out and got our bags swopped. Thinking back, it was hilarious and the trip ended off on a lighter note.

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See… Felicia’s bag on the left and my bag on the right… Looks almost the same right? Hahahaa… Ok ok… I’m just finding excuses for myself for taking the wrong bag! Small prawn has become “Big Head Prawn”.

 

Some After-thoughts

Through this trip, I am glad the whole team stood as one although many of us didn’t know each other prior. We struggled, we persevered, we didn’t give in and didn’t give up and we pulled each other along the way. Nevermind that we were slow, we leave no man / woman behind.

A big Kudos to the guys who were so selfless in the rescue mission. They were yanked out from their sleep, bear the brunt of the cold, had inadequate food and water, suffered numerous slips, falls, leech bites and blisters and yet having to go through the many hurdles of the wet, muddy, slippery trail. My deepest respect to them!

I found solace in this strong sense of camaraderie which kept my heart my warm and brings tears to my eyes each time I think of it. It may not have been the most enjoyable trip but it sure resonates in us how much we could achieve when we come together as one.

Below’s an excerpt from our team leader which echoes my sentiments. Thank you all, for all that you have done. You have been an inspiration to the rest of us.

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Love Note from TS part 1 / 4

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Love Note from TS part 2 / 4

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Love Note from TS part 3 / 4

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Love Note from TS part 4 / 4. Finally finished liaoz… He quite lorr sohh right… Hahahaa…. : p

 

29. Our Heros

A BIG KUDOS to our HERO team! Thank you guys for your awesome, selfless act of kindness!

 

Last but not least, I like to end off with some tips for future hikers to Gua Kepayang Besar (cave). It may not be comprehensive and exhaustive but it should be able to cover the bulk of it.

Some Tips when trekking to Gua Kepayang Besar (cave)

–          (Inflatable) Air Cushion Neck Pillow to have better neck support as its going to be a long draggy 8 hours (or more) coach ride from Singapore to Pahang.

 

–          Workmen / Painting Gloves as you would need to grab lots of roots, tree trunks, ropes or anything else that you could grab hold of, to prevent yourself from falling.

 

–          A 30l (or more) Backpack  to carry 3 bottles of 1.5l of water, communal canned food for dinner and breakfast, cutlery set, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat. I had initially thought it would be sufficient to bring a small little bag since it would just be one night in the cave. How wrong could I be…!! Thankfully, I had a bigger backpack and made the swop last minute seeing that I had soooooo much more things to lug with me!

 

–          Hydration Salts, Nuts, Energy Bars to last you through the 6 to 7 hours hike x 2 days

 

–          Headlight would be ideal so that you could free both hands if you should need if you ran into nightfall.

 

–          Some of the teammates swore by Kampung Adidas since it was a rather wet and muddy terrain. All of our “branded” trekking shoes were soaked (entirely) in rivers and mud and many fell apart.

 

–          Mopiko/Axe Oil came in handy to get rid of leeches since many of us didn’t have a lighter on us.

 

–          Some Prior Hiking Experience / a Reasonably Good Fitness as it was a rather long muddy trek with lots of hurdles such as going up and down slopes, waddling over rivers, climbing over and crawling under fallen logs, meandering along cliffs for a continuous 6 to 7 hours x 2 days. With the 10kg heavy backpacks on us, it was certainly no walk in the park.

 

Below’s a video taken by Kee Wan on the first day before he was called away for the rescue mission on the second day morning. The video gives a good idea of the route on day 1 and from the second minute onwards, it shows some obstacles that one would have to go through before the video ends off at the cave. Enjoy 🙂

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Christmas Sleigh to Tanjung Balau

Date of Trip                 :           21 Dec 2013, Saturday to 23 Dec 2013, Monday.

Accommodations

1 night Accommodation at Pelangi Balau Resort (Tanjung Balau)    :    RM 160 twin-share

1 night Accommodation at Hiap Hwa Hotel (Sungai Renggit)             :    RM 68 twin-share

Time flies… Unknowingly, Darren and I have done 5 cycling trips in Pengerang with 4 in this year (2013).

We started our first cycling trip in March.

Back then, we went so unprepared and naively thought that we would be able to arrive Desaru within 2 hours as per what we read from blogs.

During this virgin long distance ride, we ached so much that we had to do a turn-around back to Pengerang on the same day.

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First Trip in March 2013 – in jeans & big bag !

4 months down the road in July, we attempted it once again, and managed to hit Desaru.

Feeling a huge sense of accomplishment, 3 months later in October, we went further and arrived Tanjung Balau.

This time round, we had very much wanted to conquer Tanjung Sedili but due to time constraints, we decided to do another round to Tanjung Balau instead.

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Second Trip : Arrives Desaru and ‘more pro’ in helmet.

Our trip coincided with the Yuletide season and to add some cheer on the roads, we bought Christmas caps and windmills to add to our festive ride.

21 December 2013, Saturday

Air-Conditioned Fibre Boat

We met up at 9am and managed to get a boat by 9.30am.

After 4 times to Pengerang, this is the first time we boarded an air-conditioned fibre boat.

It costs SG$ 13 instead of the usual SG$ 11 for the bumboat.

But the additional SG$ 2 was totally worth it, not only for the comfort of the air-con but also with the fact that it shaved off half the time we needed to get there!

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Fifth time going Pengerang, but first time taking an air-conditioned speed boat.

Arrives

We arrived Tanjung Pengilih Ferry Terminal (the customs at Pengerang) at 10.10am.

When we exited, we had a surprise. There were no cabs waiting outside!

We never did have to wait for cabs as normally cabs would be waiting outside for us. Haahaa… This was a first for us too.

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First time having to wait for cabs and had time to camwhore outside the jetty.

‘Lego’ Graffiti spotted!

After a 15 minutes cab ride to Sungai Renggit, we got off the cab and saw a stickered version of the highly sensationalised Ernest Zacharevic ‘Lego’ graffiti that had caused a huge uproar in Johor Bahru.

We are quite certain we did not see this 2 months ago!

It did seemed like she needed company and we decided to help her out. Haahaa…. 🙂

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The highly sensationalised Lego Graffiti

Lego Graffiti Collage

‘Lego’ Graffiti found at Sungai Renggit.

Bike Rental ~ SHH Motors

As per our previous trips, we popped by SHH Motors and got our bikes from Mr Soon.

After 4 trips here, he has gotten quite used to us and we no longer needed to produce our passport for verifications.

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Two cranky fellas gonna pedal off in their one horse open sleigh…

Lunch ~ You Kee Restaurant

As usual, we headed for a seafood lunch to power up before our ride.

We came to You Kee Restaurant once again for their Salted Egg Lobsters.

The lady boss could even remember us from our trip 2 months back.

We had a Salted Egg Lobsters, a Nai Bai and a Stir Fried Vegetables for RM 148.

Happy and satisfied from the lunch, off we went to Tanjung Balau.

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Power Lunch at You Kee ~ Salted Egg Lobsters, Nai Bai and a Stir Fried Veg = RM 148

The Ride

The skies were as black as me and dark clouds were looming.

Was praying hard that we could get to our destination before the storm does, although it did seem quite a challenge.

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Thor is angry…

Slightly after the mosque (10km mark), it started to drizzle.

We pedaled on.

We fought hard against the headwinds, the drizzle and our foggy glasses.

Thankfully, the showers passed and we could once again pedal on with ease, albeit still breaking through the headwinds.

Nevertheless, I was glad that there were intermittent lapses of sunshine during our ride.

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Pedal, Pedal, Pedal ~ fighting against the headwinds.

Gone Bananas!

We came to a rest-stop and the bananas that we had consumed did not go down to our tummies but went up to our heads instead!

We started waving at every motorists and drivers that went by, wishing them a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Some waved back, some laughed, some horned…

It was a joy bringing some cheers to our fellow friends on the road and the little crazy acts that we did enliven our long mundane journey.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS…!!

After the little craziness, we continued on cycling… with our caps intact! Haahaaa…. 🙂

As we got to Tanjung Balau at 5.30pm, our thighs and calves were aching.

It has been one of our toughest ride so far, with about 90% headwinds up and downslopes.

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This cranky fella continued cycling in the Christmas cap… 🙂

Pelangi Balau Resort

We wanted to try a different accommodation from our previous trip and put up at Pelangi Balau Resort this time round.

It was hotel style with breakfast thrown in at RM 160 per twin room, per night.

After we dropped off our stuffs and passed by the reception, they had put up a “FULL HOUSE” signage! Lucky us…

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Cap still intact…??!! Really Ah Xiao… Wahahaa… :p

Pelangi Balau Collage

Tanjung Balau Jetty

Still fascinated over the sunset we had in our previous trip, we headed over to the jetty.

The tide had receded and we could now walk on the seabed of rocks and pebbles.

Various small puddles of water created awesome reflections of the pyramid shelters.

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Awesome reflections

Dinner / Supper

As like in our previous trip, we sought out dinner at the open-air carpark.

We had a Calamari (oohh… Yummzz), an Assam Fish (in diluted soup / sauce), a fried Kai Lan and a Mee Goreng for RM 31.

The food was not fantastic but it certainly was superb for its price after an RM to SG conversion.

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4 dishes at only RM 31 ~ SG$ 12 or about SG$ 6 per pax…!!

Since I did not manage to have a bite at the Ayam Burger the previous time, I decided to have one this time.

I down it with a piping hot Milo after trembling from the cold chilly winds whilst sitting by the beach prior.

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Milo and Burger for Supper. Waist… What’s that…?? Haahaa…. : D

22 December 2013, Sunday

Sunrise

Up at 6am and we strolled over to the jetty hoping to get the rising egg yolk.

Sadly, there wasn’t any.

Just as we were leaving, some rays shot through and we caught sight of these “Jesus Light”. Ohhh… Woww…

It was so gorgeous when we witnessed it on-site with our own eyes.

Mother Nature creations are just so awesome.

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Wow… What gorgeous nature creations… 🙂

Beach Whores

Prior to the trip, we were looking forward to have a dip at the beach.

When we got to the beach, the clear blue waters we had two months ago had vanished. It is now a sea of ‘murky yellow froth’. Eeeuuu….

It didn’t look very appetizing and we decided to forgo getting into the waters and in replacement, we did what we did best…

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No more Clear Blue Sea. Its now a Murky Yellow Froth… Eeeuuu…. : X

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The Return Journey

At 1.15pm, we started our return journey.

We were blessed with a superb clear blue sky and awesome weather.

Just as we were lamenting how painful it was to get back, before we knew it, we had gotten past the killer stretch.

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Glorious weather on our way back

We made good time and decided to catch more shots since it was such a glorious day.

We stopped at a ranch.

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Stop to smell ‘nature’… : )

It had been three trips ago since we stopped at Punggai.

Since time was on our side, we decided to re-visit our first stop and stopped at a Lalang field.

We sneaked into a construction site and got some shots too!

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Lalang Field at Punggai

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We got back to Sunggai Renggit at 5.45pm.However, that was a way over-forecasted time check as we did lots of photo stops along the way and even stopped at the tentage for some shopping before we got back into the town!

I believed we would have been able to ‘check in’ to Sungai Renggit town in 3.5 hours if we had not done those stops.

But then again, we don’t see the rationale of rushing back and missing out on what life has to offer…

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Stopped at this tentage and Darren got this really ‘sut sut looking, lak-seh’ (powerful off-colour) jacket for only RM 2.50. Totally worth the stop.

Dinner

We tried a new seafood restaurant again this time ~ Straits View Seafood Restaurant.

It is becoming more and more difficult NOT to fall in love with this place, especially so, with the range of restaurants for yummy-licious affordable seafood!

In all, we have tried almost all the major seafood restaurants; Jade Garden, Sin Kong, You Kee, the recently burnt down Lucky, and this time, Straits View.

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Trying a new Seafood Restaurant once again ~ Straits View.

Straits View was not on the main stretch of Seafood eateries, where Jade Garden, Sin Kong and You Kee were.

Straits View was situated near the entrance when entering the town.

Since, they were a ‘stand-alone’ restaurant with no rivalries near them, we were at first quite skeptical of their standards as well.

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Wonders if this Kam Hiong Lobster taste as good as it looks…

The menu is more kooky than the others with “Typhoon Shelter Lobsters”, “Cheesy Lobster”, “Lobster Sashimi”, “Cereal Lobster”, “XO Lotus Root” etc.

They had more variations in their Lobster dishes as compared to the other seafood restaurants which served mainly the popular ones such as “Lobster in Superior Sauce”, “Steamed Lobster” or “Buttered Lobster”.

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“Weird” variations of lobsters… Hope to try them next time round.

We ordered a Ginger Wine Egg Soup RM 6, a Kung Pow Wild Boar RM 10, a Salted Egg Sliced Lotus Root RM 15 and a Kam Hiong Lobster at RM 12 per 100gm.

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Kung Pow Wild Boar – Quite yummz and the meat is not too tough.

I loved the soup !!

It was fragrant with Chinese White Wine (Hua Tiao wine) and it was a nice cool-off after our 2 days ride.

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My favorite dish amongst all ~ Ginger Wine Egg Soup RM 6

The Salted Egg Sliced Lotus Root was quite yummz initially especially when it was hot and crispy. However, once the dish went cold, it became a little too chewy.

Our total bill came to RM 111.60

Overall, I would still give my thumbs up for this new kid on the block.

It may very well soon become our next favorite haunt…

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Salted Egg Sliced Lotus Root

*Update on 5 May 2015: Straits View has since closed down a week ago.

Distance Clocked 

In all, we clocked 37.04 km from Sungai Renggit to Tanjung Balau and 38.74 km from Tanjung Balau to Sungai Renggit with a short deviation to Punggai Beach. I burnt a total of 2,055 calories, but I think I ate much more than I burnt. Haahaa… 🙂

2013-12-21 Balau Again

Report Card ~ 2013

We did 4 rides in total, in 2013. We failed the first time round, but we did not give up. We went on a second attempt and succeeded. Thereafter, going slightly further each time. What did not kill us made us stronger than before…

Many times, we didn’t think we could make it, but when we did, we came to realise that hardwork and determination was the key to success. This is as like any other issues we face in life ~ we need to keep Working Hard at it, Push On, Persevere and Never Give Up.

Life is like cycling ~ we need to Keep Pedaling!

And with this year coming to an end and the beginning of a new year, may I wish you greater success and to scale higher heights in whatever you do.

2013 Cycling Trips colleage small R2

Push on, Persevere and Never Give Up…. Ganbatte… : D

4 Comments »

Training for the Mountains ~ November 2013

20131127_121731_Richtone(HDR)

My last walk up 16th storey… Goodbye 16th storey. I gonna miss ya… 🙂

I have come to the last month and last training session before my trip to climb Mount Kinabalu next week (2 & 3 December 2013).

How time flies…

August, September, October and November were gone in that twinkle of an eye.

20130804_123921_Richtone(HDR)

Surmounted this monster 202 times…!!

After all these months, I have realised that the more one trains, the more one improves in it.

During my very first session of steps climbing, even climbing 6 times of 16 storeys was a killer.

My legs, calves, thighs and everywhere else was aching tremendously.

By the second and third month of training, I was climbing more at 10 times, 12 times and even 14 times of 16 storeys.

It was no longer an issue and I was feeling less breathless with less aches as compared to my first training.

2013-10-28-00-48-54_deco

We went further with each cycling session and I think the morale of the story is “Keep Going, Keep Pushing and Never Give Up…!!”

This was akin to my cycling expedition at Pengerang.

In my first cycling expedition, my friend and I did not even manage to arrive at our destination and we had to turn back due to time constraints.

During the second session, we managed to arrive at our destination in Desaru.

In the third session, we went even slightly further to Tanjung Balau.

The morale of the story is to Keep Going, Keep Pushing and Never Give Up!

strength_motivational_quote 01

Struggles today to bring on Strength for tomorrow.

With every training, we are not only training our bodies, we are also training our minds.

The mind is the forerunner of all good and evils.

determination-quotes 03

When my mind was defeated… so was my body…

In this last month of training, during my steps climbing session on 13th November, I was feeling really “exhausted” (not physically, but mentally).

I kept asking myself why did I want to do it and that it was so silly and redundant.

During this session, my mind really pulled down the entire body system.

Motivational-quotes-4 04

I pulled myself together again and screamed… Don’t Give Up…

I was breathless, tired, aching all over and my timing was atrocious.

I then realized that the mind was the ultimate weapon.

The moment negative thoughts set in, the mind has already programmed the body to ‘shut-down’ the system.

Hence, no matter how much I walked, the body was literally dragging the mind.

It was terrible!

Since then, I have decided to do away with these negative thoughts and focused on getting to my goal and objective.

 
TRAINING SESSION 1 :

Screenshot_2013-11-06-12-35-10

DATE 6 November 2013, Wednesday
COVERED 16 storeys x  14 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 140 minutes
NOTES Minimal aches and pains.

 

TRAINING SESSION 2 :        

Screenshot_2013-11-13-12-11-52

DATE 13 November 2013, Wednesday
COVERED 16 storeys x  12 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 8 minutes up + 6 minutes down = 14 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 168 minutes
NOTES Worse training session ever! Kept asking myself why did I want to do it and that it was so silly and redundant. With that, the mind shut down the entire body system and the body refuses to go on. Terrible! If one can’t have positive thoughts to spur you on, at least have random thoughts. Having random thoughts were still better off than having negative thoughts. Negative thoughts dragged down the entire system and it was as good as not having the session in the first place.

 
TRAINING SESSION 3 :

Screenshot_2013-11-17-10-26-51

DATE 17 November 2013, Sunday
COVERED 700m (with loop extension) x 10 rounds  = 7 km
TIME TAKEN About 6 minutes for each round = 60 minutes
NOTES Body start metabolizing at 6th round. Both knees start aching on 8th round. Literally, “no sweat” at the end of 10th round.

 
TRAINING SESSION 4 :

Screenshot_2013-11-20-11-50-47

DATE 20 November 2013, Wednesday
COVERED 16 storeys x  12 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 120 minutes
NOTES I was back to steps climbing and this time round, I had better make sure that I was not having negative thoughts as per the last time round. And I think I did well ~ at least I was back to my 5 minutes up and 5 minutes down ‘normal pace’. Actually, at this juncture, I felt going at 5 minutes up and 5 minutes down was bad and slow, considering that I had been training for the last 3.5 months!

 
TRAINING SESSION 5 :

Screenshot_2013-11-24-10-31-52

DATE 24 November 2013, Sunday
COVERED 600m (without loop extension) x 10 rounds  = 6 km
TIME TAKEN About 5 minutes for each round = 50 minutes
NOTES Perspired like crazy because weather was scorching. By second round, I could already feel the body draining away.Weather was the second most important factor during the training (apart from the mind). Yummy weather makes the training much more endurable whilst a scorching or wet weather could really kill or dampen the spirit. There’s nothing much we can do about the weather, except to pray for nice yummy weather for those days that I will be there.

 
TRAINING SESSION 6 :

Screenshot_2013-11-27-12-22-52

DATE 27 November 2013, Wednesday
COVERED 16 storeys x  14 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 140 minutes
NOTES This was my last steps training after 4 months.I had thought that 14 sets will equate to 7 km which was the distance from Mersilau start point to Pendant Hut (my route when I climb Mt Kinabalu on 2 December 2013). But unfortunately, the 14 sets did not equate to the 7 km I was hoping for. Nonetheless, the 5.2 km was still a good warm-up as it equated to Mersilau start point to the intersection where the RTM station towers were.I did a simulation for this training as well. I had packed ready my backpack for the trip and I slapped it on for this last training. I even simulated with two 1.25l of hydration which I would be purchasing when I get there. With that, I was able to gauge how I would perform for my climb. My ‘real’ backpack was actually much lighter than my ‘training’ backpack. Despite so, I could really feel the strain on my shoulders when I was on my 10th set. And here, I was climbing well-built concrete steps unlike what I would be facing when I get to the Mersilau route. I really wonder how I would perform for the ‘real’ climb ?

 
TRAINING SESSION 7 :

Screenshot_2013-11-29-10-00-09

DATE 29 November 2013, Friday
COVERED 700m (with loop extension) x 10 rounds  = 7 km
TIME TAKEN About 6 minutes for each round = 60 minutes
NOTES Despite that my calves were slightly aching from the 14 sets of climb from 2 days ago, I decided to do a 7 km run so as to get my body accustomed to the 7 km track that I would be climbing. For afterall, this would be my very last training in preparation for this trip.Calves ached even more after the 7 km run. Perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea afterall ? With only 2 days to recuperate before I meet the devil, will I be able to make it ? Wish me luck… 🙂

 

 Month

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

1 AWAY JAKARTA 2 AWAY JAKARTA 3 AWAY JAKARTA

Nov

2013

4 AWAY JAKARTA 5  614 SETS 7 8  9 10
 11 12 1312 SETS  14  15 16 17RUN
 18 19 2012 SETS 21 22 23  24RUN
25 26 2714 SETS 28 29RUN 30  

SUMMARY FOR NOVEMBER’S TRAINING

DATE STEPS RUN
6 Nov 2013, Wed 14 sets
13 Nov 2013, Wed 12 sets
17 Nov 2013, Sun 700m x 10 rounds
20 Nov 2013, Wed 12 sets
24 Nov 2013, Sun 600m x 10 rounds
27 Nov 2013, Wed 14 sets
29 Nov 2013, Fri 700m x 10 rounds
TOTAL 52 SETS 30 ROUNDS

SUMMARY OF SUMMARIES  

DATE SETS STEPS ROUNDS DISTANCE
August 2013 50 33,151 (est) Nil Nil
September 2013 50 33,151 (est) 14 8.4 km
October 2013 50 28,858 16 9.6 km
November 2013 52 34,477 30 20.1 km
TOTAL 202 129,637 60 38.1 km
2 Comments »

Training for the Mountains ~ October 2013

With only one more month to go before my trip to Mount Kinabalu, I’m really counting down my days of training! Having gone through more videos and some readers comments, I’m certainly having cold feet now, despite having trained for the last 3 months.

TRAINING SESSION 1 :

Screenshot_2013-10-08-12-50-49

DATE 8 October 2013, Tuesday
COVERED 16 storeys x  14 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 140 minutes
NOTES Aching Calves on Wed and Thursday. Thighs and calves were tight and in pain during yoga class on Thursday night.

TRAINING SESSION 2 :

Screenshot_2013-10-12-11-21-17

DATE 12 October 2013, Saturday
COVERED 600m x  10 rounds = 6km
TIME TAKEN About 5 minutes for each round
NOTES Aches start to set in on 8th round and body starting to metabolise only on 8th round.

TRAINING SESSION 3 :

Screenshot_2013-10-16-13-33-50

DATE 16 October 2013, Wed
COVERED 16 storeys x 14 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 8 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 13 minutes per set of up + down. Total = 180 minutes / 3 hours !
NOTES I tried to climb and descend two steps at a time during this training session and thought that I could half the time required. Not only did I not half the time, my time increased by 1.5x more! I was using more effort, burning lesser calories and covering lesser mileage. In all, I felt that this method was ineffective and inefficient, in which I decided to abort this mode after this training.

A comparison between Training Session 1 & 3, both of which are 14 sets of ups and downs :

2013-11-01 KKB Training IV

DATE 8 October 2013, Tues 16 October 2013, Wed
STEPS 9299 (14 SETS) 4962 (14 SETS)
COVERED 5.44km 3.5km
CALORIES 302 cal 135 cal
NOTES Going up and down one step at a time, I was metabolising more and burning more calories. Going up and down two steps at a time, I was in fact using more effort but burning less calories.

TRAINING SESSION 4 :

DATE 20 October 2013, Sun
COVERED 600m x 6 rounds  = 3.6km
TIME TAKEN About 5 minutes for each round = 36 minutes
NOTES Did not feel that I had worked out at all. Training time was too short for the body to start metabolising.

TRAINING SESSION 5 :

Screenshot_2013-10-25-12-03-23

DATE 25 October 2013, Fri
COVERED 16 storeys x   12 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 120 minutes
NOTES No aches and pains even after 12 sets of climbing.

“TRAINING SESSION 6” :

20131026_144534

41km of cycling from Sg Renggit to Tanjung Balau.

DATE 26 October 2013, Sat
COVERED 41km Cycling from Sg Renggit town to Tanjung Balau (Malaysia)
TIME TAKEN 4.5 hours from 2pm to 6.30pm
NOTES Weather was scorching and was cycling on Gear 1 which required very minimal effort but a lot of oscillations.

“TRAINING SESSION 7” :

20131026_170536

Another 41km of cycling from Tanjung Balau back to Sg Renggit.

DATE 27 October 2013, Sun
COVERED 41km Cycling from Tanjung Balau back to Sg Renggit town (Malaysia)
TIME TAKEN 4.5 hours from 2pm to 6.30pm
NOTES Weather was equally as warm as the previous day. Cycled on Gear 4 most of the time and was using much more effort than the previous day, especially when going upslopes. Thighs started to burn and could feel slight tension in the thighs and calves during cycling. Once rested, the aches and pains were gone.

TRAINING SESSION 8 :

Screenshot_2013-10-30-11-45-21

DATE 30 October 2013, Wed
COVERED 16 storeys x 10 sets of up + down
TIME TAKEN 5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.Total = 100 minutes
NOTES Thought that I would be aching after 82km cycling feat over the weekend + 10 sets of steps climbing, but nope, there were none. Really wonder if I did not push my body hard enough and there was no pain or was it that I had pushed my body too hard that my body has been immune to the pain ?

 Month

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

1

AWAY PENANG

2

===>

 3

===>

4

AWAY MERSING

5

===>

6

===>

Oct

2013

7

8

14 SETS

 9

10

11

 12

RUN

13

 14

15

16

14 SETS

 17

 18

19

20

RUN

 21

22

23

24

25

12 SETS

26

AWAY

PGR

 27

===>

28

===>

29

30

10 SETS

31

 

DATE STEPS RUN
8 Oct 2013, Tues 14 sets
12 Oct 2013, Thurs 600m x 10 rounds
16 Oct 2013, Wed 14 sets
20 Oct 2013, Sun 600m x 6 rounds
25 Oct 2013, Fri 12 sets
30 Oct 2013, Wed 20 sets
TOTAL 50 SETS 16 ROUNDS
3 Comments »

A Blessed Cyclemania Expedition to Tanjung Balau

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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Training for the Mountains ~ September 2013

After chatting with a friend that did Mount Kinabalu last year, he shared that he was training three times a week for six months prior to the climb. Ohhh gosh… I started in August and only have three months left. With only once a week training, I need to start pulling up my socks !

With that, I incorporated running into my training regime with my target of 50 times steps climbing each month + my weekly yoga sessions.

06- 20130821_115254

Level 6 : 1 September 2013, Sunday

DATE

1 September 2013, Sun

COVERED

16 storeys x  12 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 120 minutes

NOTES

Right calf + Left knee ache.

07- 20130821_115328

Level 7 : 5 September 2013, Thursday

DATE

5 September 2013, Thurs

COVERED

16 storeys x  8 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 80 minutes

NOTES

Both knees ached. Breathless. Stop at 8 sets cos’ ran out of water.

08- 20130821_115356

Level 8 : 11 September 2013, Wednesday

DATE

11 September 2013, Wed

COVERED

16 storeys x 10 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 100 minutes

NOTES

Right knee + Left calf ache. Minimal pain on next day.

20130915_110226

15 September 2013, Sunday : Covered 600m x 6 rounds

DATE

15 September 2013, Sun

COVERED

600m x 6 rounds  = 3.6km

TIME TAKEN

About 5 minutes for each round = 30 minutes

NOTES

Both calves ache badly on second round. Body only start metabolizing on 6th round.

09- 20130821_115422

Level 9 : 17 September 2013, Tuesday

DATE

17 September 2013, Tues

COVERED

16 storeys x   10 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 100 minutes

NOTES

Both Calves + Knees ached for 3 days.

Feels good to have aches! Feels “normal” once again. Did not ache much in all my previous climbs. Not sure if I had surpassed my threshold or that I did not pushed my body hard enough, I think it’s the latter.

Hence, when I had aches this time round, I felt happy !

20130926_100039

Saw this cutie before my run. 23 September 2013, Monday : Covered 600m x 8 rounds.

DATE

23 September 2013, Mon

COVERED

600m x   8 rounds  = 4.8km

TIME TAKEN

About 5 minutes for each round = 40 minutes

NOTES

Calves start aching only on 7th round. Great improvement! Body only start metabolizing on 7th round.

10- 20130821_115451

Level 10 : 26 September 2013, Thursday

20130926_10090520130926_105538

DATE

26 September 2013, Thurs

COVERED

16 storeys x 10 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 100 minutes

NOTES

Started to storm after second climb. Braved the rain and wind to continue climbing cos’ this might be the reality when I climb at Mount Kinabalu too ~ but hopefully not. Will pray for awesome gorgeous weather up on KK for that two days.

 Month

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

12 SETS

Sep

2013

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

8 SETS

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

10

 

11

10 SETS

12

 

13

 

14

15

RUN

16

17

10 SETS

18

19

 

20

21

22

23

RUN

24

25

26

10 SETS

27

28

29

AWAY >

30

PENANG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATE

STEPS

RUN

1 Sept 2013, Sun

12 sets

5 Sept 2013, Thurs

8 sets

11 Sept 2013, Wed

10 sets

15 Sept 2013, Sun

600m x 6 rounds

17 Sept 2013, Tues

10 sets

23 Sept 2013. Mon

600m x 8 rounds

26 Sept 2013, Thurs

10 sets

TOTAL

50 SETS

 14 ROUNDS
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Training for the Mountains ~ August 2013

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that one of the sites proposed climbing a 30 storey building x 100 times. My flat stands at only 16 storeys, which also meant that I needed to cover 16 storeys x 200 times. With only 4 months to go, I needed to clock 50 times each month. (1 time = 1 time up 16 storeys + 1 time down 16 storeys).

At a target of 50 times each month x 4 months, I started plotting my training schedule. This blog post will be a documentation of the many training sessions that I had in August. I should do one every month so as to ensure that I’m still on track… Heh Hehh… 🙂

I will also post up one level of my flat every training session so that I will push myself to cover a minimum of 16 sessions.

20130819_123654

Level 1 : 4th August 2013, Sunday

DATE

4 August 2013, Sunday

COVERED

16 storeys x 6 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

5 minutes up + 5 minutes down = 10 minutes per set of up + down.

Total = 60 minutes

NOTES

Calves ached, thighs burning after the session.

Took 2 days to recuperate and be good and mobile again.

20130819_123756

Level 2 : 12th August 2013, Monday

DATE

12 August 2013, Monday

COVERED

16 storeys x 8 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

Did 4x = 40 minutes.

Rested 10 minutes.

Continued with remaining 4x = 40 minutes.

NOTES

Right Calf ached quite badly.

Took 4 days to ‘recover’ and was slightly better although right calf was still aching.

20130819_123928

Level 3 : 17 August 2013, Saturday

DATE

17 August 2013, Saturday

COVERED

16 storeys x 10 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

Did 5x = 50 minutes.

Rested 10 minutes.

Continued with remaining 5x = 50 minutes.

NOTES

Did the training despite that right calf was still aching.

After the 10 sets, all was well. No aches, no pains. I reckon the pain will come the next day as like previous sessions, but no. Was still good, able and mobile the day after.

20130819_124052

Level 4 : 19 August 2013, Monday

DATE

19 August 2013, Monday

COVERED

16 storeys x 12 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

Did 6x = 60 minutes.

Rested 10 minutes.

Continued with remaining 6x = 60 minutes.

NOTES

Both the first climbs up were tough. Perhaps the body was not warmed up enough. Subsequently, the next few flights got better. There’s a slight tinge of stretch on both the knees though.

20130821_115228

Level 5 : 21st August 2013, Wednesday

DATE

21 August 2013, Wednesday

COVERED

16 storeys x 14 sets of up + down

TIME TAKEN

Did 7x = 70 minutes.

Rested 10 minutes.

Continued with remaining 7x = 70 minutes.

NOTES

Tried using the “Walking mate” application that came pre-programmed with my Samsung S4 and it was great! See below pictures for more information.

Screenshot_2013-08-21-10-45-46

16 Storeys

One session of up 16 storeys :

Steps : 277

Distance : 0.1 miles ~ 0.16 km

Calories Burnt : 11 kcal

Screenshot_2013-08-21-10-50-17

16 Storeys x 2 (up + down)

One set of up + down 16 storeys :

Steps : 622

Distance : 0.2 miles ~ 0.32 km

Calories Burnt : 19 kcal

Screenshot_2013-08-21-12-07-48

16 Storeys x 2 (up + down) x 7 sets

Seven sets of up + down 16 storeys :

Steps : 4471

Distance : 1.6 miles ~ 2.57 km

Calories Burnt : 141 kcal

Screenshot_2013-08-21-13-25-23

16 Storeys x 2 (up + down) x 14 sets

Fourteen sets of up + down 16 storeys :

Steps : 9010

Distance : 3.2 miles ~ 5.15 km

Calories Burnt : 286 kcal

 Month

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

 

 

 

 

Aug

2013

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

6 SETS

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

NDP

10

 

11

 

12

8 SETS

13

 

14

 

15

 

16

 

17

10 SETS

18

 

19

12 SETS

20

 

21

14 SETS

22

 

23

AWAY >

24

TAIWAN

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

 

29

 TAIWAN

30

< AWAY

31

 

 

 

DATE

CLOCKED

4 August 2013

6 sets

12 August 2013

8 sets

17 August 2013

10 sets

19 August 2013

12 sets

21 August 2013

14 sets

TOTAL

50 SETS

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