Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Camping Trip ! (SY's Fruit Farm) Round-up

So a few things to keep in mind when and before camping.
Not that you have to obey them, but I find that it helps if these few things were kept.

1. Keep your nails short
2. Keep your hair short (for guys)
3. Bring some rope or rafia string
4. Bring a machate or a combat knife . . . or 2
5. Bring a proper first aid kit
6. Bring a plastic bag to seperate your dirty clothes in
7. Bring chop sticks or fork and spoon
8. Bring a lighter
9. Bring some salt
10.Bring some garbage bags to bring back the garbage you came in with
11.Bring sulfur (never really used it myself, but i've seen the difference)
12.Bring someone who knows how to camp

and last but not least,

13.Bring your own "gawd daimn" waterproof shorts*
*cause not all of you are so lucky to have friends like mine : p

Note : This is only a simple list I came up with. There are other things you should also bring along, like clothes for instance. So don't take it too seriously.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Camping Trip ! (SY's Fruit Farm) Pt.3

Sunday, dawn (20th August 2006)

I was still playing keeping the fire going when it started to get brighter,
though I couldn't see the sun rise, I could tell that it was as the sky's shade of grey started to turn light blue.
Like a light dimmer slowly turning, morning came.
As people started waking up, I dove back to my own section of hard and uneven ground to catch a short cat nap before starting the day.

Sunday, morning (20th August 2006)

Woke again just in time to cook breakfast.

- Menu -
Scrambled eggs with onions and maggi seasoning
Bread with tuna in a can
Crab stick on a stick

Not as extravagant as dinner, but that's probably because most of us were already lazy.
Packed up what other food we had left(that we didn't manage/were too lazy to cook ) and passed it to the farmers that were staying there.

After dropping off the food we bumped into SY's father and he told us to get ready to trek.
Honestly, I didn't want to do anything anymore at that time.
All I wanted was just to get home and shower, since we didn't really get to shower properly here in the jungle.

||There were no use of any soap or shampoo through out camp and we didn't even use any form of detergent to wash the utensils and canteens.
This is because the fruit farm we were in is next to a forest reserve so we tried our best not to
pollute mother nature.
I personally would like to have my children have the option of going camping into a jungle and swim in its clean rivers.||
So back at the camp we packed up abit more before leaving on the trek.
We all squeezed into the 4x4 again and were brought some distance up the hill through even more bumpy roads.
We reached a place where the trail ended and started walking from there on.
On the way up on foot, we each carried up with us 2 oil palm trees that were to be planted on this mountain.
The farmers started digging holes for the trees and planted them as we moved up the mountain
Dig hole.
Place tree.
Put fertilizer.
Close hole.

SY's father told us that this is a very good farming practice.
This way the fertilizer won't go all over the place and disrupt the environment when it rains.
I applaud his eco-friendly precautions, its something not many people do now-adays.
Its sad how most humans are so short sighted.
Like the freaggin' haze we get from "people" who practice open burning.
Hmmm kind of hypocritical saying that after having such a nice time with fire last night.

Favian, also having to carry 2 of the trees insisted on naming them and volunteered to personally plant one of them.
Hehe Julian planted a tree too (though he didn't exactly volunteered).

Sunday, afternoon - i think (20th August 2006)

We got back to the campsite and SY's father told us that he wants to show us a waterfall we haven't seen.
Again, I didn't feel like doing anything and just wanted to go home.

So we started off,
first trekking across a river where on the other side was this huge durian tree which had TONS of durians hanging from above.
Here about 40 feet above us were maybe 3-5 dozen potential missiles.
It was really a sight to behold albeit a little scary.

After crossing the river and passing the durian tree we headed up a mountain on a narrow trail for awhile.
It was really bad (for me at least) undergrowth was everywhere things were poking, scratching and tugging.
Then the "excellent" part came, we had to descend down a steep almost vertical incline THROUGH foliage.
Haha I was literally doing tarzan shit.
Grabbing unto trees, hanging off one vine then jumping to catch another.

At the bottom we were greeted by another river.
This time our route took us trekking down the river,
the rocks in the river were slippery (running water made them smooth),
the rocks above the river were slippery (due to green stuff on them),
we even body rafted down at one point of the river.

We ended up at one of the rivers that were near the campsite,
and after chilling for awhile we went back to pack up the remainder of the stuff and headed back home.

All in all, I was glad I did then things I was too lazy to do initially.
The trek up the mountain was beautiful and I really enjoyed the trek through the river.
Probably the most adventurous adventure i've had to date.
It definitely goes up there along with the Mount K trip.

If someone were to ask me if i'd do it again, i'd think twice, but i'd definitely be up for it.

- End of part 3 -

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Camping Trip ! (SY's Fruit Farm) Pt.2

Saturday, late evening (19th August 2006)

I've lost track of time by now, though it would just be a simple task of reaching for my phone and looking at it, it dawned upon me that it didn't really matter.
Time took an extremely less of an important role in my life at that point.
The only thing that I had to worry about was when was it going to get dark.
Cause by then everyone should be back at the camp and already having dinner.

Its not exactly safe to be out in the dark in the middle of a jungle, there were tigers and wildboars in the area.
Though animals generally don't come into contact with us noisy and destructive humans, it was best not to take chances.

Anyway, by this time the camp was already up and running, and most of the guys were chilling by the river.
Julian on the other hand, decided to build a freaggin table.
A FREAGGIN' TABLE . . . . T - A - B - L - E.

Initially I thought this guy must be crazy, working on building something with limited tools in this hot weather, not thinking much, I decided to help him out anyway.
So what we had were, bamboo, raffia string and 2 parangs (machete).

So we split our work up,
Julian was doing the 4 legs of the table while I worked on the table top.
Favian was there as well and he helped me out by cutting bamboo for the table top.
So there we were sweating bullets chopping and tying up bamboo.
SY came in after awhile and helped us out by chopping the bamboo in half for the table top.
See this way, we only needed 1/2 of the span of the table in bamboo for the table top, means less work and less work means happier lazy guy.

I'm not quite sure you people were interested in the architecture of our table so I didn't post it up.
Towards the later stages of building the table, Johnny came by and helped me tie off one side of the table top while I did the other,
soon after the table was done.

And then there it was, looking down on the table was the feeling of acomplishment.
Here before me was a beautifully crafted table that I helped build from scratch out of bamboo and raffia.

Saturday, night (19th August 2006)

The fire was up by now and first batch of the food were already being cooked.
Table was a BIG, naye, HUMONGOUS help.
I could just imagine doing the food preperations or dining on the floor and half-way breaking my back.
Oh how I doubted thy wisdom, for an act of madness twas really an act of genius.

- Menu -
Roasted fish with maggi seasoning and planta wrapped in banana leaf
BBQ-ed chicken with maggi seasoning
Grilled beef burger with maggi seasoning
Grilled sausages with maggi seasoning
Roasted fishball on a stick
Roasted crab meat stick on a stick*

*Lazy guys favourite

Dinner was good, we had alot to eat,
oh and the fish were caught by SY, Favian and Yoong.
They managed to catch 3 considerably big fishes.
HOW they managed to catch the fish was another story.
Lets just say that the fish didn't come to them.

After dinner we all chilled and played some cards.
It got irritating after awhile having to use the torch lights to check what cards you have every so often.
Cause it was REALLY dark.
I mean yeah you could see the stars but anything eye level is pitch black.
So black the night sky looked grey.

It was not long before everybody started dozing off.
All nice and comfy on an uneven ground with rocks jutting out here and there with little padding in between.
Wish I could say it was therapeautic but the ache I got when I got back on Monday proved otherwise.

Sometime through the night I got up.
It was unbelievably cold and I was shivering.
Upon a short inspection of my surroundings, I saw that a few of us had expected this cold night and were already wearing their jackets or windbreakers.
"Darn", I thought.

Anyway, I found out that I wasn't the only one awake that night,
By the campfire, Favian was keeping the fire up through the night.
He told me that he has been waking up once in awhile to keep the fire burning.
So being a good samaritan and all, i'd thought i'd take over and let him sleep, since I couldn't.

There I was playing with fire, something you don't get to do often or at all back in the city.
It literally had SO much fun, trying to keep the fire up while trying to control the amount and the movement of the smoke that it produced so that it didn't flow into the tent.

It wasn't very windy that night, so I could control the general direction of the smoke by the way the fire was burning.
I contemplated on the amount of firewood we had left, so tried my best to keep the fire burning as efficiently as possible.
But what I soon found out was that less fire means more smoke on the count that the wood wasn't burning properly (also because the firewood wasn't exactly dry) and more fire means less firewood.

Out of sheer boredom (and maybe because of a little adrenaline) I started making really wierd campfire builds to see how efficient I could keep the fire going.
One of the coolest achievements I made that night was the "flamethrower".
Its basically a low-tech blow torch, where the fire is directed outwards out of a make-shift funnel.
Ok ok, so it can't really throw flames or weld iron together, but it was really something, though I didn't take any pictures of it, you're just going to have to take my word for it.
It was freaggin' cool la ok.

- End of part 2 -

Monday, August 21, 2006

Camping Trip ! (SY's Fruit Farm) Pt.1

Saturday, early morning (19th August 2006)

Departed for breakfast at around 6 a.m. ,
Went and had dim sum nearby and man did the dim sum smell nice.
Too bad I couldn't have any, but the gang was nice enough to set up another breakfast session at a mamak place in DJ so I had my breakfast there.

So after a hot cup of milo, roti pisang and maggi goreng we set off on our journey to the campsite.
Journey took about 2 hours, of which I was asleep for most of the trip,
but I did wake up once in a while to see us passing through mountains.

Saturday, late morning (19th August 2006)

We stopped at a nearby town to wait for the second car before heading into the camp area.
It was a small town, about 10 minute walk from one end to the other.
There were multiple old school "kedai runcit" (grocery stores),
you know, the ones you used to visit when you were a kid (if you were around my age).

The thing I didn't notice at first was how the towns folk were looking at us.
Not until a friend of mine mentioned it and after some thought.
It kind of felt like one of those movies where a group of teenagers stop by a nearby town before going into the jungle, and the towns people were looking at them like they were going to die, then shit happens to them throughout the rest of the movie.
Yeah kind of like that for awhile but without the dying part of course.

It wasn't too long before the second group came and we were off towards the campsite.
We stoped by a nearby house to park one of the cars and were all squeezed in the 4x4.
The journey into the farm area was very interesting and VERY bumpy.
It was like how Jim Carrey was acting in Ace Ventura 2 on that straight road . . . literally.
As we made our way through the narrow road SY started pointing out the different kinds of fruit trees he had.

Heheh we even picked up fuits that we saw on the way in. Now THAT was cool.
Like shopping at the supermarket, but rather than taking fruits of the shelf, you pick them off the trees.
And rather than putting the ones you pick in a trolley, you hold on to them with your barehands.
Hahah I officially CANNOT hold durian with my barehands.

Saturday, evening (19th August 2006)

Once we reached near our camp-area-to-be, we met up with one of the farmers and he helped us open up the durian.
Soon after the TEAM went into gear.
Surveying the immediate vaccinity for a suitable campsite,
collecting firewood, chopping some buluh (bamboo) and setting up the tent or what I now like to call a bivouac.

Jason and I had the duty of setting up the kitchen,
We ended up with 2 kitchen,
one for the grill - [which consisted of a hole, kasa dawai and rocks to hold the grill down]
and the other to panggang (roast) stuff - [3 halves of a bamboo, 2 in the form of an X on one side and one more jutting out straight off the ground to rest the stick on].

- End of part 1 -

Wanted to wait for the pics first, but I thought there were already too much time between this and the last post.
So as usual, pics will be updated later.