Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 1

OK, lets starts by telling everyone that we all came back alive and well after the race. Minor bruises aside, we all did what we are supposed to do, and some of us did it better than what they themselves expect them to do!

The Journey There...GOSH!
There was 8 batches of ppl leaving from various part of Klang Valley and Malaysia:

1. OP Alan Siew and lovely Jenny left from Ipoh towards Kota Baru via the East-West Highway - passing by Cameron Highland on the way.

2. OP Nordin and family and Col. Patrick left from Shah Alam On Wednesday and Stayed over at his house at Batu Rakit.

3. OP Shahrir aka Bean left from Bandar Utama with his teammate, Muliadi aka Blanka on Wednesday as well, to act as recce group to check the trail and condition of the race route.

4. OP Azly aka Bandit, Wifey Jas and Baby Amirul, together with OP Ee-Van aka Stupe with wife to be Aileen was in the same car, leaving on Thursday afternoon from Taman Melawati.

5. OP Hisyam aka Doc, OP Amir and Azman left USJ/Shah Alam on Thursday evening, after sorting out the logistical problem of tranporting 2 bikes on his car.

Together with Doc was OP Riza aka Mat Gan and Wifey Azura.

6. OP Asfani aka Upak and Wifey Shikin, OP Adlee aka Chipok was in one car, convoyed with Padzli aka Bacin, Asry and Pom Pom girl Ziana was in the other car, left KL after the Maghrib prayer.

7. OP Amerul left JB in the evening on flight and was scheduled to land in K. T'ganu airport.

8. OP Shahrul aka Mat Kong and his elusive friend left by Bus from KL.

The Newly opened East Coast highway from Gombak to Kuantan was a bliss. Apart from taking extra precaution on KM96-KM126 because of some super-elevation stuff about the highway being accident prone and all that, it was all the way fun, with loads of jokes, singing and anticipation being thrown into the journey.

Most of us recieved sms from Bean about the condition of the trail and we could better pictured it in our mind, but as usual, seeing is believing, so, some of us just shrugged it off while swallowing our own saliva.

The journey from Gombak to Kuantan didn't take more than 2 and a half hour at a constant speed of 100km/h (we were carrying bikes on the roof of the car, what do you expect?)

From there, some of us opted for the coastal road passing through Paka to KT and some Opted to take the Felda Road via Bukit Goh (which paid off with 1 hour less of driving, in some obscure road...)

I reached bandit's parent's home at about 1030pm. Baby safely in Grandparent's arms, we proceed to wait for the rest and freshen up.

Later, we went for OP Amerul's resque, he touched KT airport, but due to some miscommunication, he took a taxi, trying to find his way to Bukit Rakit, ie OP Nordin's home. Bandit and me located him near KUSZA and brought him home before the taxi driver decided to make him his stepson.

Doc and Mat Gan's convoy didn't reach KT until about 1.30am in the morning. Apparently, they got lost. but somehow managed to find their way to the Airport, which is 5 minutes from Bandit's house.

Upak and Bacin's convoy didn't reach Nordin's house until circa 6am in the morning.

By 8am, OP Alan already start calling Bandit to ask for the ETA of the whole convoy to Kuala Besut. WE are LATE!

Kuala Besut, Here we come!

Doc went on to pick up his wife and pretty daughter and also bean's wife from the KT airport. Upon their arrival at Bandit's place, and changing of the compulsory diapers.

We were late, no doubt. After having some problem locating Nordin's home in Batu Rakit, said to be behind some lamp post 12/12 and with green gate, we could swear that we didn't even see anything similiar to that. Nordin later explained that it was almost 4 years since he last been there.

We had breakfast there, great food and cheap food, averaging about RM2.00 per head including drinks!

We pushed off from Batu Rakit at about 10am. By this time, Bandit recieved a call from his contact in KT and we must get our lazy bums to the jetty in Kuala Besut by 11am max! Not wanting to miss the ferry to Perhentian, which if we do, it would mean that we will only be allowed to take the 3pm ferry!

Driving at maximum allowed speed (ie, both road and car condition factor included) and many winding and turning road later (and we witness one Proton Waja overturned on the way to Permaisuri, hope that the family involved are OK).

With 2 more cars 30 minutes behind, the task of getting to Kuala Besut within an hour seems to pass like seconds. Time flies when you want them to stop, and STOP when you want it to pass quickly (like the 6 hours drive we endured).

Believe it or not, we managed to catch the ferry by 11am. After 15 minutes of frantic loading of all the items that we need to bring, and ensuring that the gunny sack of bananas, mineral water and isotonic drinks are in place and parking the cars at the safest possible place and securing the bicycles on top of the boat...we are good to go.

To be continued.....


The Waja with 2 bikes


Breakfast at Batu Rakit


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