Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And The Destination We Are Going!!!

Jittery bug biting in again.

After last friday's shoot at Alam Sentral for the show's first episode, which showcase all the 12 teams (of which, only 11 turn up) and given more chances to be whoring infront of the camera...

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Marzuki Looking pretty - can soemone nominate him for next year's Cleo Bachelor

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While Bandit tried to look prettier...and look, David are all prepped up behind!

Explorace ep 1 shoot
Shooting begin and teams were interview about the whole race set up.

After the shooting, which lasted until 1am in the morning, the final 6 teams sat down with the producers and also the crew of Explorace Season 3 soon after until 2am. We were given the rundown of the first round, mainly, the only grouses they have was we weren't whoring enough. Man, and i thought i was already hogging the camera. So, for round 2, we got to give, or be more of a slut infront of the camera. We are to bitch about our opponents (had to put this disclaimer here first, incase i appear in TV looking like some arrogant bastard cursing my opponents around and pushing them about) and we had to, well, make love to the camera.

OK, Bandit, down boy. Down.

So, TODAY, me and Mr. team mate decided to play the guessing game again. Our call time for Saturday is at 5.30am in Sri Pentas. Assumming that we leave the place by 6.00am, it will take at most an hour to reach KLIA ie by 7am.

Since international departure needs a 2 hours check in time (or so they say), then, we are looking at flights from as early as 9am onwards.

And so...the EIU (Explorace Investigate Unit) decided to do some checking on MAS's website for online ticketing and here is what we found.

Pre-9am flights
Shanghai, China - 8.50am
Medan, Indonesia - 8.55am

9am-10am flights
London, England - 9.00am
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - 9.05am
Jakarta, Indonesia - 9.10am
Changi, Singapore - 9.25am
Phuket, Thailand - 9.30am
Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 9.30am
Brisbane, Australia - 9.40am
Taipei, Taiwan - 9.40am
Perth, Australia - 9.40am
Xiamen, China - 9.45am
Denpasar, Indonesia - 9.50am
Sydney, Australia - 9.55am
Hong Kong - 9.55am
Melbourne, Australia - 10.00am
Bangkok, Thailand - 10.00am

10.01am-11.00am
Siem Riep, Cambodia - 11.00am
Tokyo, Japan - 11.00am

We were told to wear sleeved T and pants. No sleeveless or shorts allowed as this is an oversea race, hence got to be *sensitive* and we are representing Malaysia (yes, running around doing things ala Amazing Race, harrasssing the citizen of that country, i think we better bring some pepper spray as well).

I'm also discounting destination that will give me advantage, hence, country that speaks chinese are out, ie China (Hong Kong included...it belongs to China what...) and Taiwan.

china spitting
China - We Spit Not.

bro mos
Taiwan - Land of Triad..seen here is the late Brother Mosquito, click here to read about his Funeral

We were also told that previous season's destination should not be striked out as the producer did say that it is not easy to enter someone's country equipped with tonnes of equipments fit for a mini concert.... which is true...hence, country previously visited and their task like...

aussie gay
Aussie- your task is to join the mardi gras parade in St. Kilda.

thailand katoey
Thailand-Place where Kok are Bang...and we are supposed to be banged by these katoey....

indonesian kretek
Indonesia-roll some kretek ala cuban cigar?

korea sonata
Korea- Bandit...i lap you...

vietnam GI
and Vietnam-We are so going to war with the camera...

And of course, we aren't surprised if we are to go to new destination like...

england hooligans
London - world cup is here, your task is to be a hoooligann...

tokyo sex
Tokyo - koneku kecewa?

cambodia lonely planet
and Siem Riep - never trust the Lonely Planet guide ok!

Not discounting out even places like Medan (with Lake Toba there...) out as if they can bring us to Kota Tinggi for round one...i'm sure we can be brought to the most obscure place on planet Earth...

medan toba
row row row your raft...gently down Toba....

so, what's your take readers???

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cathay Cineplex, X3 and Chang...

I can't remember the last time me and wifey went for a movie. Not that we are anti-social people, but the hassle to line up, buy ticket and be seated right next to someone that scratches his balls or move every 3 seconds...or give a running commentory to his/her boyfriend/girlfriend (depending on their sexual preferences) is really really irritating...that alone could be a whole new thriller made if i ever stand up and make some horror show right there live in the cinema.

And so, we went to Curve, to check out the new MJ store. Parked near the "Fitness Second - Flesh First" outlet, we saw the newly opened Cineleisure. Kiasu. So, went in. The place is huge...and dead.

Nothing inside except the cinema.

So, went upstairs. 3 floors in total. Reached the cinema floor and was impressed by their set up. Almost like KLCC's TGV. Big, Airy, Empty.

Perhaps it was because it is Sunday and it's only 12.20pm. Half the world that went out partying the night before are most probably still nursing their hangover, or still kicking themselves in the arse for wasting their weekend doing nothing productive.

The run down:
1. The ticketing counter looked very friendly. It's an open concept where the ticketing staffs aren't separated from the public by some 1 inch thick glass and frankly, those glasses in most cineplexes make you feel as if you are dealing with some pawnshop/money changer...

2. The counter has touch screen monitor where the public could touch and tell the ticketing staff which movie/seating they like - interactive!!!!

3. Tickets are priced at RM10 each. Not sure if that is the current going rate for movies though.

4. Staff were friendly, maybe because it's their second day after being launched the day before...

5. there were 2 titbits counter and the popcorns were nice and fresh, not like some which were soggy and has no taste...then again, the machines are new...

6. The toilet were a bit small...

And so, me and wifey being super kiasu, bought 2 tixs for X-Men 3 and off we went into cinema 6.

And the best thing? There isn't anyone else in the cinema.

OK, we went in late by 5 minutes and the lights were dimmed by then but we didn't miss anything except the advertisments. But i swore there isn't more than 20 people inside the cineplex...apparently there is 2 cinema that were used to show this movie, whilst the first one was almost packed, the second one was almost empty!!!

More run down:
7. the seats were plush and comfy, a lot of leg rooms and there won't be any chances of anyone sitting infront blocking you unless they wear a huge ma'fa afro or some clown hats. Then again, it's new.

8. the aircond were cold. And again, there was only 20 people!

I'm not gonna spoil it for those that has not seen X3...but just let say that the movie was corny at some moments when the dude with wings went flying...i swore i heard R.Kelly's song playing in the background....

And then Jean came back alive...as Phoenix and i swore to you, i can't help but think she's a tranny like in Nip/Tuck season 2 as Ava Moore.

phoenix
Phoenix - man, she looked like she can bite off your ears ala Mr. Tyson

famke moore
Ava Moore - the tranny babe that beds 16 years old male in Nip/Tuck. a TMILF!!!!

And the most impressive new mutant(LOL, in this movie i meant) is non other than Juggernaut
juggie huge
I know those are fake rubber suit...:P

But i was half expecting them to feature Ronnie Coleman as Juggernaut...for those that do not know who he is...he is the undisputed Mr. O (as in Olympia...not Orgasms) 8 times over...

If you think Susunegar (7 time Mr. O), my long lost cousin(my other long lost cousin is Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga) is huge...
arnold susunegar
Susunegar at his best...
see if this freaks you out...
ron coleman
i heard when he drives his Hummer, his chest are touching the steering wheels...

And so, the Last Stand was taken la...the movie was good, i would give it a A rating because the cinema was new...and the fact that we didn't see any movie since like forever!

Later that night, we went over to my aunt's house.

And the highlight? they were making Chang...Homemade Glutonious Rice with nuts, mushrooms, oyster and meat in it! Ultralicious!
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so many many many yummy yummy yummy


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Mum giving wifey more and more and more...

And that, is the plus side of having a nucleas family the size of a small kampung in some ulu place. :)

And then came the paintings.

It has been months since we came back from Bali with those paintings and finally, 2 weeks ago, we send it for framing, which ultimately cost more than the painting itselfs. Well, the highlight was of course the 2 big 7 footer by 3 footer painting we bought.


Our empty living room wall, barren for months used to look like this
living room before

But now, with this painting
living room painting

It now looked like this
living room after

The living room now looked so much smaller...LOL...
:)

it is hard to find nice Buddha painting. I won't classify this as Buddha's Head as well, as it looked rahter feminine. It looked more like some eleborate Balinese babe actually, or so we think.

Next of course, is the painting in the bedroom.

Wifey love this painting, it's chaotic, but at the same time serene. Then again, art is subjective, we love the colour and the painter, Wayan Lemon, was very reluctant to part with this piece as this was the piece that took him months to paint.
market busy painting

So, the empty room wall ended up looking like this
bedroom
sorry for the messy bed, was too lazy to stretch it up proper...LOL taking 10 now.

And if you noticed, the blue hue in the room was unintentional. The curtains are new, proper blackout bought and made from Kamdar. The blue nightlights are my companion for my bedside reading and the painting just blended in.

Yes, the room now too, looked small.

And so, the two other drawings were placed in the Walkway to the room, a colourful Phoenix painting to spruce the walkway up.
walkway

And yes, it make it all look small too.

And finally, we took the fake existing Cafe painting down ...
hall before

and replace with this Yin-Yang Balanced huge 5 feet by 5 feet painting.
hal after

And now, our 1000 odd sq feet apartment looked like it doesn't exceed 800 sq feet.

But we are very happy. It felt home, at last.
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Next up : Finding the right lights to *illuminate* both the head up!

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Week to Round 2 Explorace

The jitters are back again. Win this and one step closer to 100k (to be shared between me and Azly of course).

Next opponents are the crazy fit young jokers which could make us laugh while racing and totally make us lose concentration. We old buggers are not as fit as they are, but what we lack in fitness, we hope to win in Luck and Wit.

My blogging activities been pretty slow and quiet. Nothing to write about. I'm suffering from some writer's block...or so i think.

Anyway, for the past 1 week:

1. Met up with Songx - someone i knew for some time online but never met.

2. Played rugby for the first time in months.

3. Started lifting weight again and feel good about it...got to let the leg rest as i think i'm doing too much cardio.

4. Started cycling to the gym whenever i could. No better way to build the cycling legs than to cycle itself.

5. Saw Yoga Instructor walking down the aisleside walk while doing my back in gym.

6. Gonna get the paintings bought in Bali to be put up at home.

7. made a makeshift blackout curtain using blanket...after months of waking up with the sun shining through the beige curtain in the room, we decided to make a proper blackout curtain to sleep in over the weekend.

8. Suprised myself and did 1080lb on the leg press machine for 6 partial reps - yeah, call me a cheat.

9. Decided that i need to go high reps and high intensity from now on to cut and tone the body. Need to get rid of my flabby bod. LOL.

10. got worried about Round 2 of Explorace.

So, for more exciting updates...you all got to wait a while longer. Due to be out of action from the 2nd till 6th Of June for round 2 of the race.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

NST Johor Edition - Explorace Season 3

Received a call from mum in law yesterday. She told me her neighbour, Mr. Phillip, gave her a copy of Today's NST Johor edition to her to be passed to me. He told her that i won't get a copy of this in Klang Valley.

I'm so thankful Mr. Phillip Lim! Mucho Gracias Tuan!

So, that is how it felt like, to recieve today's newspaper yesterday...

Anyway, to cut the story short, here is the paper printout (he can't smuggle the whole paper out, as some pages are still empty and waiting to be filled with more news, hence, he print out this page only)

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Boss commented that my stance was totally wrong. I told him that i know and will consider taking up golf (at least the the driving range) with him first. but he say at least my grip were right. LOL. According to him, my elbow/arm/forearm aren't in 90 degree and i turned my torso too much too soon. I get his point.

stupe swing

Called Bandit yesterday and told him about this and his first reaction was "Do i look fat?" I told him no, as he was covered by Sasha and James.

I then Sms our contact in Johor, Amerul, to pre-book copies of NST for our own narcicist consumption. Thank you tuan for making that possible. Did the news stand mamak ask you why you needed like so many hundred copies???

:)

Now, lets see if fan mail start rolling in.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Endau Rompin Adventure 2006

The Endau-Rompin's Romp In.

Date: 12th -14th May 2006
Strength: 26 participants. Of which 19 cyclist.
Total Distance Cycled (One way): 63 Km.

Day 1:

Pre-Amble
Most of the cyclist were from Klang Valley. We left at about 6.30am, with cars/trucks coming from all different direction to be at Kluang, Johor by 10.00am for our ride into the 143Million years old forest.

The RV place was RnR Seremban and sharp at 7.00am, Harry, Ismadi (Chips), Kak Noraini (Mrs. K), Nora (OP K's Eldest daugther) and Aliyah (OP K's Youngest Daughter), Terence, Soon, Adilah and Mark (All K-OPs) were having breakfast as me, Azly (Bandit) and Emilia (Azly's colleague) arrived from KL to meet them.

About 10 minutes later, Doc Hisyam (Doc) came with Doc Amir, Min Ming and Puzi (Puzi is one of team member of Team Toyota 2020 that represented Malaysia in Eco-Challenge) to RV with us.

OP Tahir and wife came soon after while everyone was in the midst of gobbling down what must have been last minute of carbo loading.

As the feeding frenzy happens, everyonetook the time to introduced themselves as there were a lot of new faces amongst the groups. Everyone seems all ready and geared up to go. Breakfast was quick and the drivers decided to drive in a convoy to ensure thatno one get lost (on the highway???)

Kluang Town of many traffic lights
The drive to Kluang was uneventful and took us a long 3 hours of which we RV-ed with OP Kam at Kluang as he was coming from JB side after dropping his wife the night before.

From there, it was anohter painful 45 minutes drive into Kluang town, passing by 2 roundabout and 1001 traffic light that was set up between that long 20km stretch of road.

We reached 5 RAMD by 11.45am and were welcomed by OP Amerul, OP Yoong, OP Mustafa Kamal (Bob),OP Ahmad Ramli (the Legend), The park Ranger En. Nizam and his two assistants, 2 units of 3 tonners with 7 support staffs from the Royal Signal Corp and morning break/tea for us.

We loaded up all the gears and bags and said our final farewell (well, for the next 3 days, that is) to civilization.

For many of the K-OPs, this is their first time entering an army camp proper and a first time for them to ride in a 3 Tonner. We the OPs had every chance to rekindle our love-hate relationship with this form of transport. The Signal's 3 Tonners were brand new. Hicom Handalan II, which is an automatic all aircond (for the driver and co-driver) plus it comes with sound system, as compared to the older Merc 3 tonner most of us are familiar during our time in Boyswing.

Even Adilah said that this 3 tonner looked different from the one that we took back to KL from Lumut last year.

After 30 minutes of roller coaster ride through the winding Kluang-Mersing road, we finally reached Kahang.

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The cyclist unloaded their bike and make one last final check to ensure all equipments; brakes, seats, drinks and legs are a-ok and ready to go.

And the way we go!
At 1300 hours. We are off. Well, almost, after taking the compulsory group pictures and after ber-posing maut.

ER2006 007

The faster rider such as Bob went ahead of everyone. The slower ones like me and doc drop back to ensure that no one is left behind.

Well, with almost 5 stars treatment from the Signal guys and the Park Ranger, the Non-cyclists has to endure the long slow hard bouncy journey as fast as the last person on the bike went. Yeap, there is support vehicle behind us. The other 3 tonners went ahead to set up checkpoints at 20km mark for refreshments and some RnR for us all.

Soon and Doc commented that is how the profesional cyclist felt like, having a support vehicle behind them in races. Yes, for this trip, we all felt like we are some hardcore pro riders.

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The first 20km was uneventful. It was purely cycling under the hot scorching sun in the middle of the Oil Palm plantation. A few of us concur that if we do inherit land as big as this, we imagined our fahter woud be telling us to go to plantation A, Section 3, Part B, Row 4 to fertilise the trees. The area is huge. So huge it isn't funny. What everyone city slickers like us will see along the highway is just a fraction of what the plantation is all about.

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Drama
At Km8, Doc's pedal mysteriously disloged from the crank. First drama for the day. Puzi came prepared with spare pedal. I guessed it's experience. He has been racing in those hardcore Eco-Challenges and he knows better what is worthy of carrying in races, let alone leisure ride like these. A first unofficial check point has been made right after the first river crossing, because of this pedal incident.

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By 15km, some of us already feel the pain. In the butt. In the head. On the skin. The heat was most probably at it's highest at noon time. Everyone was reminded to hydrate themselves well or risk putting themselves to injury/heat exhaustation.

OP Tahir, being the eldest (notice i use the word eldest, not oldest) rider showed no sign of fatigue. At his age, he is considered superman by many of our standard.

At the 20km mark, as per planned, the 3 tonner were waiting for us all, with ice cold isotonic drinks, energy drinks and fruits. We all took a good 20 minutes rest before proceeding after clearing the area off rubbish.

The sun kept burning down on us and most of us thought we will be cycling under the cool canopy of the National Park. Cycling in open area which were both hot and dusty were new to some of us. But there is a mere 40km to go to reach Kuala Jasin. No one gave up and gallantly continued pedaling.

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Both Harry and Chips has no problem doing 20km so far. Infact, both of them has a total combined experienced of 3 months between them where cycling is concerned. Well done Charlie Company!

Basically, for you all that is wondering what we ahd to go through the first 35 km. It all looked like the picture below.

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National Park Finally
We reached the entrance of the park at the end of the Plantation after what seemed like 3 hours of riding. There is 21.8km to go to Kampung Peta, where the Park HQ is on this part of the world. From there, it's another good 10km to Kuala Jasin where we will set camp is.

As usual, everyone stopped for pictures. This were the unknown time for some of us stopping as unofficial checkpoints. Taking things rahter easy as we are in no hurry to rush anywhere, we soak up as much dust, heat and nature as we could gahter.

The route in National Park has a lot of rolling hills. Meaning, there is a lot of climbs and a lot of downhill to be enjoyed. Experienced riders would love these route but for newbies, it could be a deciding factor if they ever want to cycle again. The gradient of the hills in National Park is of a minimum of 8 degree on the least steep climb and at least 12 degree (think the gradient at where the temple on the way up to Genting are) on the average. Long and hard for some of us.

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And of course, with every hill you climb, you will be rewarded with a fast downhill. I've touched close to 50kmh on the steepest downhill only to stop to take pictures of cyclist coming down.

Pure accelleration and adrenalin!

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After the last final climb before KM40 (second official checkpoint), everyone was huffing and puffing as they negotiated the steepest climb so far. Again, cold drinks and fruits were waiting for all the rider.
Looking at the Military staffs that came along with us, our cycling trip looked like some covert operation.

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Everytime we stopped during this trip, the Signal staffs will set up communication with the Camp. We felt safe of course. And we do feel that we are still hardcore riders!

The final 10km to Kampung Peta were tough as well. The road gets uneven and the climb gets steeper with every hill conquered.

We came to a point where we saw a tree that looked like a dinosaur and another that looked like a giant rabbit. See if you could spot them. The wonder of nature!

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At this point, we are already in the fringe of Kampung Peta. Orang Asli settlement could be seen flanking the road and after a short 10 minutes ride up hill, we reached the Park's HQ (Johor Side).

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The compulsory group photo taken and we are off again to our final 10km ride to Kuala Jasin.

Doc Balboa.
Our resident Doc, Doc Hisyam, decided to run the final 10KM. Being a nerd himself back in college, he is one of the late bloomers that could shy any sportsmen back in college. An accomplished triathelete and official Ironman was his fulltime job. Being a doctor was just something he does part time during office hour.

I played the song Eye of the Tiger for his while he ran up and down the rolling hills. At the uphill stretch, he is faster than the bicycle! See to believe!



OP K's eldest daughter, Nora, decided to give the last 10km a go on the bike. Ever the sporting OP Daughter, he picked up the bike like fish to water. After a brief tutorial by Bandit on how to maximise the gears on the bicycle, she was having as much fun as the rest of us.

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Drama number 2 unfold when Chips had a major cramp on both his quads. He was immobile for a good 10 minutes. His thigh muscle cramping and all me and Soon could do was to massage his humongous rugby thighs to relax the muscle. He was all sports and continued with the journey in the Trooper for the last 200meters to Kuala Jasin. In pain like his, if he pushed himself any furhter, he might be lying down in the bed for the rest of the trip. A good sportsman knows when to stop before injury sets in, and he did exactly that.

Kuala Jasin
It was close to 1900hours when we finally have everyone at the finishing line. Happy as everyone was for a good cycling trip into Taman Negara. Everyone made it in alive. Not being attacked by Tigers or even BigFoot. Well, minus the fact that elephant dungwas haphazardly dumped all over the road...someone got to toilet train these big mammals ;-)
We went in to our designated chalets. Meranti, Cengal and one more which i couldn't remember the name. Meranti was actually the usual chalet that Tengku Mahkota Johor stays. Wow. See, the 12 of us younger cyclist has the best chalet to stay! K-OPs were allgiven rooms to sleep in. The OPs like me, Doc, Bandit, Amir and Chips made best with the small living room that is big enough to place 4 single mattress with one person sleeping on the rattan sofa.

Amenities were minimal but adequate. No one expected any 3 stars treatment here even, which made it all much easier and more fun. As there were only 1 toilet/bathroom, the rest of us went to the communal toilet/bathroom to take our shower and clean up before dinner.

With the full moonlight on our head(it was Wesak day afterall), we had the most romantic dinner which tasted better with the company we are all in.

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Most of us stayed up till about 2400hours that night, feeling still excited that we made it that far into the National Park.

While most K-OPs went to bed...we, the OPs could still be seen talking to each other after lights off until 2am.

What a fullfilling day it was!

Day 2
Chips alarm went off at 0630hours. Waking up all the occupants in the living room. Doc came out with the idea to wake up fully for the day jump into the river in base camp.

And that was what exactly we did. By 0715hours, everyone in Meranti was awake and most of us agreed to go to the river to check it out.

By 0730hours, Doc and Puzi jumped into the river. The deepest portion to be easily more than 8 feet in depth. But it wasn't the depth that scares us. It was the icy cold water. Only way is to jump straight in without hesitating. We we all did exactly that!

The happy campers at base camp were most rudely awaken by a bunch of physco cyclists that jumped into ice cold water early in the morning.
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Our base camp is actually the converging point of Sg. Jasin and Sg. Endau, with rapid of at least grade 3, this place was good enough for white water rafting. Warning though, swimming is only allowed at the place as per the picture above and totally out ofbound for the part as per the picture below.

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Breakfast was served by 0800hours and everyone were asked to fall in by 0930 for the day's activities.


Hiking trip we go!
And as expected, Doc and Bandit has to give us a peek on how easy they could be.
DSC00559

We will hike to Kuala Marong, which is esentially a place for the conservation of Kelah (or river fish, ingenious to our country) and was told that the Blue Kelah are only found in Endau Rompin. Some were as long as my forearm(EU Size 45)


From there, we went to Upih Guling, a waterfall about 2km away from Kuala Marong. Along the way from Kuala Jasin, we had to cross Sungai Jasin, which has current strong enough to sweep you away if you lose your footing. We also passed 3 suspended bridge, the longest being the one before we reached Kuala Marong.

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From Kuala Marong, we hike up to Upih Guling. No words could describe this place better than the series of photos below.

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Then, me, Doc, Adilah and Soon decided to do some rock climbing at the waterfall.
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Rain came pouring down 20 minutes after and we were forced to leave the waterfall for fear the water volume might increase and swell the whole place up. But the rain stopped as fast as it came, much to our dismay.

We hike back to Kuala Marong, where lunch was waiting for us. We each grabbed our lunch pack and headed to Blue Lagoon (Minus Brooke Shield, unfortunately) for eat and swim.

We were told to becareful as the water is 15 feet at least at the deepest part.

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Some of us wasted no time and jumped right into the water. Ice cold as usual! Some of us trekked across the shallower part to the other side for some sun and warmth while eating the lunch. By then, some of us has swam to the deeper part (pic above, right hand side there is a stone) and climbed up the stone and jumped right in. It was pure kampung fun!

Then, Mark, K-OP from Bristol climbed up the tree (pic above, the slanting tree) and jumped into the water below. It sure takes a lot of guts to be able to do that.

Out of no where, Nora decided to do the same. She climbed the tree and slipped the first time, entering the water at the shallower part and getting a bruise in return. She climbed it the second time and this time, she managed to go all the way up and jumped in again!

Then, our OP Tahir decided to do the same. Winning applause from everyone there. Most of us were happy just to jump from the top of the stone. Nevermind the tree.
We packed to leave the moment it showed sign it would pour again. This time, we weren't spared. We left and got stranded in the middle of the heavy rain. Only having a hut to save our own skin. That was also when Dram Number 3 came.

OP Legend (OP Ramli Kutu la tuh!) appeared at that exact moment to break news to us that the 4wd he was hitching a ride out to Kuala Jasin was stuck in the mud. Rendering his intention to RV with OP Azudin which was coming from KL to go back-failed.

So, Drama No. 3 involved all the guys (we left a few to make sure the ladies are safe, an even higher responsibility) and we hiked 2km back to Upih Guling where the 4WD trooper were caught in the rut.

The sight of the 4wd wasn't very pleasing. But it was what all 4wd lover would love to be in. What happen we found out later was that the 4wd was going up the slippery 45 degree slope when it started sliding back because of the water washing down the trailand right into the longkang as deep as 45cm on all 4 wheels. We had to winch it out and we had to do it fast. The rain wasn't the bothering issue, it was the fact that we were all attacked by leeches. A whole army of them!

We managed to pull the 4wd out half way from the rut when some of us realised that the cable has detached itself from the winch. Not very good. Stopped just in time before the 4wd would roll back or the risk the cable whiplashing anyone, we started to get worried.

Attempt to fix the winch were futile as a nut that held the end of the cable was missing. Nizam the Park Ranger grew worried. Maybe because this area were known to have tigers roaming around. But again, we were more irritated with the leeches.

Imagine this, while Mark was trying to fix the winch, i was busy squating behind him clearing leeches that was all over his calf and thighs. Even Doc Amir wasn't spared. There were one leech sucking on his hand as he was fixing the 4wd as well. The bleeding after the leech was dislodged took him more than 40 minutes to stop.

Then came Drama Number 4. No one could forget Bandit. A leech found it's way into his pants...and sucked on his testicles. He ran to the side, stripped his shorts to his knees and tried frantically to remove the leech. He totally forgotten there were 11 ofus there watching him do that. After a good 1 hour trying to push the 4wd out minus the winch and only realising that the 4wd function of the Trooper was busted in both 4L and 4H setting, we gave up.

Nizam gave us the option to back track to Kuala Marong or take the 4wd trail, it's only an extra 2km. Nothing we Old Boys, as he said, couldn't do. He stayed behind with his assitant to wait for anohter 4wd to winch the trooper out. We bid our goodbye and hope no tiger...or tiger leech comes out to harm him.

So, there we were, Me, Amir, Yoong, Amerul, Chips, Kam, Mark, Terence and anohter of Nizam's assitant walked up the slippery slope with more rolling hills back to Kuala Jasin. Mark was unfortunate as his sandal decided to separate from the sole, leaving him to walk barefooted. Kam was the next victim as he too, had to remove his sandal and walk barefooted. As for us rest with shoes, we had to walk as if our legs weight a tonne. Can't help it as the mud and slit stuck on the sole of our shoes, rendering us with platform shoes by the time we reached the first river crossing.

The walk was actually more than 2km as claimed by Nizam. We were hungry, cold, barefooted and hope we don't come across any Big Foot or tiger. Elephant was another worry as well as their dungs were everywhere. Usually these sightings would be very much welcomed, but not this time. We only have 500ml of water to be shared until we get back to base camp. It was essentially anohter adventure by itself.

Doc and Bandit backtrack to Kuala Marong after we said goodbye to Nizam. They will lead the ladies and others back to base camp through the jungle track which were nearer.

After an hour of trekking, we heard noises of people shouting. We are Near. But Kam said it might be elephant! But there we were. On the other side of the river, emerging from the track like we just escaped from the jungle. The rain made the river swell and the current was really strong. The 4wd adventurer had to form a human chain with the others on the other side to cross safely. Water was almost chest high as opposed to knee deep when we first crossed it.

OP Azudin and OP Amir was there to greet us. Their laughter and their joke, plus the OPs and K-OPs posing to see who has the larget tummy was a welcomed sight. Our worries now goes to Nizam, as along the way out, we didn't see any 4wd going inside to help him.

We all went back to basecamp and some of us decided to come back to this river to give our bike a wash and at the same time, take a bath as the communal bath place was conquered by a group of Rakan Muda out on camping trips.

Then came drama number 5. It wasn't until 1930hours that Amerul came and told us that we might need to go search for Nizam if he is not back in 30 minutes.

Then, as we waited along, Kam, Harry and Amerul came to tell us that they went to save the Park Ranger. They used a raft and paddled against the current to the other side as the river now was almost not crossable even if human chain were formed. So under the bright moonlight, the rescue mission to save our park ranger happened and he and his assitant was brought home safely.

It was also then where the leech on Bandit's left leg, near his pinkie toe decided to drop out after more than an hour sucking on him.



Back at Meranti. Card games were played and charade were acted out. It was total RnR for all of us while waiting for dinner to be served. While the game at Meranti happened, OP Azudin were telling stories under the tree to the other OPs and K-OPs which were there to listen.

It was a truly enjoyable night, especially after the long hike for everyone and in the company of fun people.

Dinner was served soon after and it was a full BBQ affair. Food were aplenty that we decided to give away what we can't eat to the Rakan Muda campers. Something we know they would appreciate and enjoy while being soaked up in wet weather.

After dinner, OP Amir gave free lecture on parenting in Cengal while the younger ones choosed to be back at Meranti for some games before calling it a night.

Lights off were earlier that night and everyone slept soundly.

Day 3
The day started early when OP Azudin went on his round to wake everyone up at 0630hours. Everyone woke up by 0700 and again, the usual Meranti gang decided to take one last dip in the ice cold river.
This time around, the current was stronger and we had to be extra careful. We spent almost an hour inside the water and breakfast was served. The nasi lemak tasted like heaven. By 0930hours, the group that decided to bike out to Kahang had their logistic sorted.

Doc, Mark, Soon, Terence, Adilah, Min Ming and Puzi decided to pedal out. After packing their bags, checking their water bags and ensuring they have enough food to last the ride, they said their goodbye to Kuala Jasin. At 1030hours, they started their journey back to Kahang, another good 60plus KM to go. Hardcores!

The rest of us stayed back and packed up as well. We will visit Kampung peta Orang Asli village. The ride out using the 3 tonner was a different experience when compared to us cycling on the first day. Everything looked awfully not familiar for some of us.

We reached the village and were given demostration on how to trap various animals in the jungle. We were then given the chance to test our skills using the traditional sumpit or blow gun. 3 ballons were placed at 10 meters distance and we have to burst all3 before we are allowed to leave the place.

Everyone tried...but it was Charlie company, headed by Harry, Chips and Amir that completed the task. They were the Champion Company Blowjobber.

Then, some of us went to buy souviniers from the orang asli village before heading back to the Park's HQ for lunch. Soon after lunch, we headed back out of Endau-Rompin. It was almost 1500hours that we got out of the park.

I received sms from Doc that the cyclist entered the plantation at about 1330hours. The road were dusty and bumpy, it made our bicycle looked comfortable!

We didn't see Doc and gang until 3km from the starting point in Kahang. It took them a good 5 hours to cover than 60km.

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Well done to them, they truly are hardcores doing the ride out minus any support compared to the day we rode in.

And they were well rewarded! They all saw a whole herd of wild elephant eating in the jungle. Mark has the pictures as he ventured inside to snap pictures of them. To be uploaded once i get the pics!

The Park Ranger commented that it was much easier striking lottery than seeing a whole herd (Adilah counted at least 6, from adults till baby elephants). And the pedalling out rewarded them with this once in a lifetime experience!

The 3 tonners brought us back to civilisation and we reach the camp at 1730hours. It was hard to say goodbye to the trip. Everyone packed and left the army camp by 1815hours. Non of us reach home earlier than 2300hours. But all of us agreed that this trip was definitely worth all the sweat sweated and drama involved!

Till next trip!

more videos:
How to trap tiger
Adilah Offroad Adventure
Our Resident Doctor
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