Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Hill of Light

It was 6.30 a.m. on a cool Monday. School holidays already started and usually I would be enjoying my sleep at that moment. Nevertheless, sometimes sacrificing your sleep may pay off good time with anything. For this case, with your friends that are around you 5 days a week.

3 days before..

I was on facebook replying a group discussion on the camp that was planned by my friends. I was unsure to go because I have'nt known if my parents would let, thinking that they would'nt. My role here was to get directions for them. Me and Robyn were suppose to scout the road on Saturday so that they would not get lost, till someone knew the way already. So the adventure on Saturday was canceled, but I could go for the camp.

Not to be a narcissist but I tend to have a good sense of direction. I am also known as the human GPS amongst my friends. Most of the time I would always find a way out using inner roads to the main roads, breaking through short cuts or directing my friends to the right places.

Four cars were lined up in front of my home that Monday morning. My place was a really good place for planning and meeting when there are many cars as we literally have the whole road to ourselves. Due to the new gated security system, my road is blocked, so there are no free flow of cars there.

We sorted our luggage among 4 cars and head off to SS 15 for breakfast. There were 12 of us and we occupied about half the restaurant. We ate at a simple mamak shop for a good morning Indian breakfast.

The guys teaching Soo Yin how to pump air..

Soo Yin giving a try..

3 of us knew the route there, the federal highway was in our checklist and we headed for it. But before that, we stopped by Shell to pump fuel and air. Thankfully there wasn't much traffic jam at around 8.30 a.m. So we arrived quite early at the forest reserve. It is known as an agriculture park, full of greenery and fauna, Bukit Cahaya is where we settled.

It was getting hotter as the day went by and we were busy setting up our tents and moving in our luggages. By 3pm, we could not handle the heat and mosquitoes so we jumped into the swimming pool.

If you guys plan to go to Bukit Cahaya, please do not let your children swim in the main pool as it can be very deep. There is a kiddy pool provided for them, if you have children. 

There was a simple irony about me. I could swim 2 styles, freestyle and froggy style. However, I could not float vertically. I can lay on my back and float, but not while standing up. There were deep ends at one side of the pool.While swimming, I stopped and I was desperately searching for the ground. I tried using the bicycle technique to float from what I learnt in National Service but it didn't work. Good thing I could tip toe to the shallower areas. So I tried learning how to float again and again, till I unconsciously moved to the deeper end while trying to float. When I came to a halt, it was quite deep and I was feeling some cramps. I called for Robyn and he was just awesome. Using the right techniques, he dragged me smoothly across the pool to the shallower area. It is said that his uncle is a lifeguard and was thought by him before. No wonder Robyn can swim very well.

Finally i just held to a float and practiced my kicking to float myself. It may take some time, I realised that I should be more relaxed.

Do some stretching before swimming and if you are at a deep end, try not to tip toe to reach the floor. You will get cramps which causes yourself to drown. 

So we moved back to the campsite as it started to rain. It has been raining heavily throughout the week and the clouds were very dark. We were expecting rain so we kept everything in the tents and used zip lock bags to keep electrical items.

We walked for lunch for about a kilometer, ate at a warung with good maggi goreng and planned to have a night performance. Being prepared for rain, it did not rain at all yet, and it was already 5.30 p.m. We headed back for camp. The girls went to shower first as the guys were smoking the place to get rid of mosquitoes and light up the place as it was getting dark. I have this 43meter electrical wire which I used before for my school carnival. So we also used it to light up our campsite with 3 fluorescent lights.At first it was like an achievement to light up a pitch black campsite with 3 bright white light. It soon became a disappointment and we achieved bees instead.

Bees are attracted to heat that is 'not so hot' to them. (instead of smoke or fire) They gathered around the lights and to our surprise, Chun Yeet got stung by one as he accidentally stepped on it. He was screaming and shouting as the pain was unbearable. He jumped into the tent and zipped up the mosquito net. Soo Yin rushed to help him but fell in to pain as well. Their tent had bees lying on the floor of the tent so Soo Yin also accidentally stepped on it. Both of them cried in pain.

Me and Esther went there to find out whats going on. Esther was busy killing the bees. They were all over the ground and couldn't fly. So it was safe to get rid of them without being attacked back. I on the other hand offered them antiseptic, cotton buds and cotton which they did not use in the end. They needed a tweezer which none of us have. So they tried to remove the sting with twigs and their fingers.

Note that bee stings should not be touched. It contains toxin substances so try not to burst its 'bubble'. Seek medical treatment immediately if you have multiple stings. One is not so bad. Use tweezers to remove the sting from the 'pin' attached to the skin and try not to touch its bubble. Dispose off at a safe place where no one can step on it. 

So all of us abandoned the campsite and moved to an open auditorium where the others were cooking. There was alot of light so Robyn again, checked Chun Yeet and Soo Yin's sting. They were fine.

So we had dinner of simple dishes. I forgot to mention that the monkeys came to attack out campsite while we were swimming. A lot of food was gone so we had to survive with what we have left.

From experience, monkeys love 'Milo' or any chocolate drink/ powder close to that. After every raid, the milo is always gone compared to other food.

We had Fried Rice with egg, sausage and oyster sauce. There was fried chicken marinated with egg. Suppose to fry flour with it but it was taken by the monkeys. Our meals had no vegetables as the monkeys again took it. We had baked beans with egg which was good too.

We slept for the night till the morning light...

It was a very cold night. I tucked myself with my jacket to keep warm. Soon my face began to feel a very cool wind, but it was a straight line and abit heavy...

I woke up at around 6 a.m. wiping toothpaste off my face. I did not know it was toothpaste at all and being human, its natural for us to respond straight away towards stimuli. My brand new sweater was smudged with toothpaste. *sigh*

I got up to the toilet to wash up a little. Some were awake and some were still asleep. I think Robyn and Wei Wen did not sleep at all. Every time i tossed while sleeping, I could hear them talk.

It was breakfast time and I tasted something very odd about the French Toast made by Robyn. It had bread and egg, but the sugar was missing. Robyn said the monkeys also took it. Good thing we had fried sausages too. I soon realised that we ate alot of eggs. Its high in cholesterol, but was burnt with our afternoon activity.

After packing up, we placed our items in the car and went back into the park. We rented bicycles to go around and to the 4 seasons building. It could really make an environment of 4 different seasons. I think it follows the Northern Hemisphere seasons as this time, it was winter in there.

We went in with smoke. Our bodies were hot but the temperature was so cold. Our heat and sweat condensed immediately in that setting of 0.6 degree Celsius. There was ice everywhere. Our fingers and toes were about to freeze as we just wore shorts and slippers in there. Funny how some people brought winter jackets there, but it was ok for that setting.

Adrian Goh, Esther Chow and Fauziah 

Soo Yin.. 

Adrian Goh, Soo Yin and Fauziah

Esther, Fauziah and Soo Yin

It was really cold.. Robyn gave his warmth to Wei Wen..  

Clockwise from top left: Steven Soo, Robyn Tung, Wei Wen, Yan Lin, Fauziah, Soo Yin, Adrian Goh, Esther, Kim Poh, Me, Chun Yeet, Steven's brother. 

We then cycled off to a mini off road biking trail. Well it was actually just a walkway, but it had lots of holes, grooves, cracks and cycled between trees less than half a meter wide. It reminds me of my brothers mountain biking and cross country cycling activities. That trail we went through was just its basic type.

From there we reached the watch tower. There was a view of a lake and the herbs garden if im not mistaken. We even spotted a baby Iguana, or maybe it was a lizard, through the grooves of the tower.

Soo Yin was so excited to go to a specific warung. She has been pointing at it every time we passed it. So after the tower, we cycled down to that warung and grabbed a drink. We sat down to rest and talked about drinking, as in alcoholic drinking.

Soon we set off to return the rented bicycles and aimed for McDonalds for lunch back in Subang Jaya.

Like it? Subscribe to The BOAT or follow me on Twitter @andriantam

1 comment:

melmonica said...

Cool camping trip! Unfortunately I have not camped in my life before *shy