Monday, February 8, 2010

Lawing Falls ….. then CNY BBQ gathering on 7th Feb 2010

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I’M LATE!!! I’m seldom late.. but this round.. too tired due to the trek yesterday to Strata Falls…followed by Cindy’s house warming… then a long chat with Vincent till 12am.. William called me at 7am and asked “ JOE WHERE R U??” Oops… still in bed.. S***!!! Quickly jumped up, woke Vincent who’s at the guest room and rushed to the bathroom to brush my teeth… change… then pick up Dom at Sri Petaling. 18769_328598151288_523666288_4732329_5964280_nReached the meeting up point around 7.30am.. SORRY EVERYONE… SO SO SO SO SORRY!!!! Grab a quick breakfast… then started our drive to Hulu Langat… Wow.. what a rush morning for me… 

After stopping by at the Police Station for our usual name list submission, we proceeded to Sg Lui. strataDrove through a small road that leads to the trail head… Hmm… sad… it must have been some kind of a recreation picnic spot.. which is already WORN OUT… With the GPS track from my mentor, Jan Stuivenberg and his write up from Waterfalls of Malaysia, we found the trail head in no time. untitledThe hike started around 10am. And there we were following the clear clear trail through the jungle. It was an easy hike… but for the exhausted me… IT WAS A HELL OF TIME…17541_311080732560_637577560_3460545_3475608_s After less than 1/4 of the trail, “Guys… u guys go ahead…I’ll follow behind…I’m half dead already”I said…there left Vincent, Tiger and I behind. As I was really so so so slow.. and taking breaks in between as my calves are so so sour… “Tiger… I don’t have the tracks.. nor the description.. U not scared meh?” I asked… Tiger replied me “NO”… well the trail is really clear.. and it’s really not a problem at all for this so called “Seasoned” waterfall explorer- Joe Yap LOL:p  Vincent and Tiger gave their full trust to me… and for sure NO WAY I WOULD DISAPPOINT THEM… hehehehe…P2070083-Putri FallsDominic and the other members reached the waterfalls 20 mins earlier than us… William told Dominic… “I guess Joe won’t be coming up…” Dom replied in confident “SHE WILL BE HERE… FOR SURE” Dom really know me so well.. and YES!!! I WILL BE THERE FOR SURE… I have NEVER abandoned any waterfall trips half way…so far…UNLESS we could not find the trail or the weather is bad… “THE SPIRIT OF WATERFALL SURVIVORS – Determination & Endurance…” (well.. i think it’s my spirit.. LOL)

The Lawing Waterfall is not big.. but it’s nice and pristine.. has a small little pool there… and a hydro massage will be very rewarding after the one and half hour trek through the nice jungle.  P2070103-Putri FallsWe had a rewarding massage at the falls, then back trek to the trail head. Along the way, we met some hikers on the way in to the waterfalls and one of them told us that they actually lost their way. But anyway, they are almost there already… I told them.

We reached the trail head in about 40 minutes.. going downhill all the way… And I sprained my ankle 3 times. I guess it’s because of the earlier injury at Puteri Falls when I tripped, fell and sprained my right ankle.untitled1 After the trek, we headed to Lui’s Cafe to have our lunch then headed back to KL. After dropping Dom off…Vincent and I headed to the market to buy some last minute stuffs for the Waterfall Survivors BBQ gathering at night. Reached home around 5pm then started cooking… Then by the time I finished cooking and took a shower, guest was arriving… OH GOD!!! Can I have 5 minutes break?? hehehe…P2070114-Putri Falls One after another came.. and by 8pm my house was PACKED with members from Waterfall Survivors!!! I lost count on how many turned up.. but for sure a lot… I have a rough estimation of more than 40 people at my house. Some were first timers… which we have never met… It was so nice to get to know some new members.untitled2 Everyone was chatting and eating away… some BBQing and some were drinking… My house was like the market.. hahaha.. But I really love the “NOISE” hahaha…

Around 10.30pm, Ah Bee came with a bottle of VSOP… well.. an ex bartendar… what can u expect?? COCKTAIL!!! Mixed with the bottle of Johnie Walker that Vincent sponsored. We all drank till some was almost ….DIEDED!!! hahaha… Many left at around 12am… The last one.. Leo… left at 3.30am… chit chatting away with Vincent and I until Vincent DIEDED too… hahaha…

There goes my weekend.. PACKED WITH ACTIVITIES… really exhausted.. I NEED ONE WEEK REST!!! But how can I take rest... when the CNY is so so near… a lot of preparation to be done. I can rest during CNY….Hehehe…it’s ok… I like what I’m doing… seeing all the Waterfall Survivors members enjoying themselves at waterfalls is the best thing that I’ve done in my life. NO REGRETS.. hehehe…

Pictures are from the courtesy of: Gerald Lim and Vincent Leong.

Waterfalls are beautiful but extremely DANGEROUS.

Only attempt with experience guides.

Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our Strata Adventure....

This trip is a trip of many firsts for me and probably to my gang of err merry makers. In the car sat Marco, my Swiss colleague, also a first timer with Waterfall Survivors, my sis, my BIL, meaning brother in-law (not the Malay term for invoice) and Miss Chan. It is the first time that my wife sat in another car on the way to a waterfall cause I “over” invited my friends and family. It is also the first time I have so many insects buzzing around me while hiking in. Okay enough of firsts. By the way it is also the first time I trudge through a muddy oil palm plantation to get to a waterfall. Okay that was the last first I am going to talk about ..
 Trekking on the way to the falls
The day started of well enough with me going to the toilet and bombing whatever I didn’t like, if you get what I mean. Maybe I inadvertently killed the cousins of those dratted insects that they get back at me when we started to hike to Strata Falls..I swore one of them said to me..”You killed my brother!!!” Before he could do anything further I sprayed on him some sweet nectar called Ridsect. Kidding.. I guess when you do not have enough sleep you tend to blab nonsense..

Serious now..

We arrived at Diamond Creeks at nine plus and already we could feel the sting of the merciless sun when we alighted from our cars. Joe started the briefing quickly. I think she’s also melting under the sun. There were twenty seven of us. I added to what Joe said by advising the members of the numerous forks on the way in, hence we need to stick together. One guy asked me ”Fox? Here?” I need to answer in Malay, “Cabang”. Maybe my pronunciation sucks..

We roped in Edwin to help as he uses the parang like a samurai uses his sword. Plus he is keen to re-discover the trail he followed last time. By the way this handsome chap is Edwin:
Edwin with his camera
I know you readers are waiting for pictures of cute chicks. Please be patient.
Arriving at Strata Falls
The following showed how we started, what we saw and what we did:
Chun Mun trying to save her shoes
It was an enjoyable trip overall. It was a very good mix of people. We have the reserved ones like Vincent, the experienced ones like Ong, the SURVIVOR Chun Man, blah blah blah....Our timing couldn’t be more perfect as it started to rain almost right after we boarded our cars to leave.

Final Score - Leech 1: Nick (which is me) 0

By the way, about the pretty chicks I’ve mentioned earlier..

I forgot to take their pictures.

By: Nicholas Tan

Waterfalls are beautiful but extremely DANGEROUS. 
Only attempt with experience guides. 
Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Visiting an Orang Asli Village

I have to apologies that I blog this a little late…. :) Too late better than  never.. :)On a 3rd Feb, a sunny morning, my mentor Jan Stuivenberg together with Keong and Rahim (our friends) volunteered to send the things and food we’ve collected for Kampung Semoi in Sg Koyan which is Rahim’s village.

We met early in the morning with my car FULLY PACKED with all the things for the Orang Aslis. Jan and Rahim was suppose to go with Keong’s car but with the stuffs that overloaded, Jan and Keong needed to drive 2 cars. It’s really nice of them that they offered to help me when I had to pull out last minute due to near CNY shopping and lots of spring cleaning to do.

After breakfast they started the drive to Sg Koyan with 2 cars fully loaded with old clothes, old items, rice, biscuits and etc.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jan, Keong and Rahim for the great help.


Here are some pictures to share with everyone.IMG_7270 The 2 fully loaded CarsIMG_7271IMG_7341IMG_7344

Getting the things out of the cars… IMG_7346 Rahim Distributing the stuff to the fellow villagersIMG_7347IMG_7354 The Kid is so happy with what he got… the second kid..I have 2 bags!!  kg-kenip Jan getting the things out of the car at the 2nd villagekg-kenip-2Everyone waiting for the clothes and old items.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unexpected Sunday...

“Can you replace me for Sg. Ampang trip tomorrow?” I received this call on a Saturday’s night out, putting me in yet another weekend plan distraction. I had earlier promised to clean up Batu Cave after the Thaipusam festive on the same Sunday. Should I go on WS trip as Joe has suffered from ankle sprain? Or should I go “kutip sampah” with the hope of maybe meeting the famous Daphne Iking who support this initiative? For a good friend or for a glamorous femme?
From the time I wrote this post, you probably have guessed. We at times put our own interest aside for someone else, whether the person is a family, friend, colleague, classmate, or lover.
Another friend (Dominic) texted me early morning, offering to buy me breakfast – it reads “dim sum or pau or lo mai kai”. So before 7am, he picked me up from my place and headed to Zoo Negara, the meet-up point. I was surprised to see two unexpected friends (Muntip and Elean) in the car, and I just know this trip is going to be better than expected. All counted 18 for Sg. Ampang Waterfalls… plus one (William) who got mix-up with the meet-up point.
We drove thru the right lane of Zoo Negara, passing a Malay-populated village, and all the way until we reached the stop-gate of UMNO building. There was some delay in parking our cars and ahem… some daylight robbing (just what I felt perhaps of the entrance fees). With the briefing, headcount and all, we made a move into the forest. The trail is cleared and slightly wet from last night rain. It is inevitable that the forest is habituated by thick greens. Sadly just a distance away, we could spot a new development of housing residential with massive clearing and scaling of hills, and one just couldn’t help but ponder over why didn’t “they” learned anything from all the recent landslide incidents.
There are signs of wheel treks and some minor structures and signage along the trails. Being an avid amateur myself it was great to meet someone sharing the same sentiments in photographing. Of course he has 4-5 years experience under his belt. It is always nice to go on trips with people of the same interest. The “tough gungho” type, the “cheong-hei” type, the “Dunhill-Malboro” type, the “wah-at-everything” type, the “eeks-at-anything” type, the “tree-hugger” type, and finally the “foto-kaki” type.
Many times we go on a trip because we know our ‘type” will be going. And proudly I can say this WS has every type on most trips! And 1Malaysia partisan and non-Bumi who can use the word “Allah” as God, talk about representation!
Though the plants sprouting are not exactly exotic, they are eye-catching nonetheless. I spotted stripes, dots, hairy, gigantic and varied colors, but what really pulled my attention is a lonesome tall tree at a junction, that reminds me of Avatar the movie, as it is spotted with background of cleared forest and a striking blue sky with soft white clouds. Of a sudden I had an urge to hug the tree for being so sturdy and brave in the midst of uncertainty. Proud to be standing still, though alone and beautiful without any leaves – we should learn from this great figure to stand for our beliefs and opinions even under threatened by greater power, as in today’s Malaysia we lack active participation in our life, many of us merely lives the life other fought or not for us. “What do you hope for this country?”
Am I trekking on hot ground with this post? What better way to cool off my feet than some river trekking, and that’s what we did along the trail. Slippery stones, rickety rocks and knee-high rivers posed some challenge and imagination for the guys to assist the girls. On many occasions, I had to force myself not to “deliberately” fall into mini pools, as it was too tempting with the like of private bath with a masseur! This is a splendid place for couples to have quality time in nature without the long-distance driving or trekking.
Elean made her debut fall at Lata Sham. And fortunate enough that this paparazzi wasn’t anywhere near her, I only managed to snap a picture of her after she regained herself on the rocks. I was glad there was no major damage, just a bump, as I a First Aider wasn’t sure what I can do – bandage her behinds or apply some ointment? I’m sure massage that area is definitely not in the book!

I pulled out my tripod and positioned it for a slow-shutter picture of the waterfalls. I’ve always wanted to recreate a glacier-like waterfall, and what better place than Lata Sham – spacious and varied in structures. This is also where they spotted a 4-inch…

…water leech. What else were you thinking?
The trail further led us to Lata Pisang – a place to be for full-body treatment, with the cooling water flowing from high above and a conclave big enough for one person to chill out. Even if you decide to opt out on this, you can be like me – just resting on a shallow slate with running water, having a bite of lunch or snack and continuing the conversations with other likeminded. Not bad indeed for a last-minute weekend choice. The trekking took a little more than 3 hours (return journey), and we exited via another trail – a dry hilly one.

As usual, WS’s activity does not end at the waterfalls – food is a familiar affair, though optional. We had chicken rice ala melayu at Taman Melawati which costs RM3.50 a plate, and a pleasing aftertaste. So what is my plan next weekend? Unpredictably exciting one is all that I am certain of!
Waterfalls are beautiful but extremely DANGEROUS. Only attempt with experience guides.

Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints

Monday, February 1, 2010

From Princess Falls to Melaka Heritage....

Another bright sunny Saturday. Waterfall Survivors members woke up early in the morning to meet up and head to Puteri Falls in Tangkak. A 2 hours drive to our destination. Nice entrance of the park. A lot of cars can be seen at the car park.
 We started our walk to the falls. Cemented steps all the way to the lower falls. 15mins, and we are there...A nice suitable spots for family and friends. A lot of people was having picnic and BBQ along the stream.

We had our nice dip.. with lots of pictures... and there's a lot of small little fishes there. Harry fed the fishes with bread.

We made some hot drinks.. WOW .. superb especially after a nice dip. Joe scramble up to the upper falls to grab a pic...

We left the place around 12.30pm. On the way down, Joe tripped and fell.... OOPS..... sprain her ankle. But this gung ho leader just love to eat so much... and din care about it.... and we headed for our lunch. The GPS brought us to a restaurant nearby.. nice food... :)

After our lunch, we left for the Melaka Heritage. Took a walk at Jonker's street.. as usual.. PACKED! Others was walking quite fast.. with Joe limping from behind.. aiyo.. this mommy....

We had some chendol.... and some had laksa at the Famous Jonker's 88.

We left the place around 5pm and headed back to KL.

Pictures: Some pictures are courtesy from Soo Sang Yeong.

Waterfalls are beautiful but extremely DANGEROUS. 
Only attempt with experience guides. 
Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints