Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Mount Murud Exploration - Kuching to Ba’kelalan post 1 of 4

Day 1 of my adventure, flight is at 6.10am to Kota Kinabalu. I woke up, look at the clock it was around 4am, I don’t feel sleepy at all. Will be meeting my team at the airport at 5am, so I still have another hour to do a final check in case I miss out anything. I only have one backpack, which weighted around 12kg, this is the average weight that I carry on my 3 days 2 nights camping.

All of a sudden my phone rang, it was from Loong one of my team members, telling me that most of them are at the airport now. I check on my wrist watch, it was about 4.45am, and I look at the clock on the wall, same…. Should I be going to the airport now?

Reached the Kuching International Airport about 5.10am, got my backpack to scan, and as I walk through the x-ray door, I’m clean! Meet up with my friends and some new team members at the café near the boarding gate. We all started to chat about what to expect on our journey, and calculate the time we need to reach our next destination. For all we know, the last call announcement made by the airport got our attention, we quickly rush to board the plane.
Inside the plane, most of the passenger board the plane which left the few of us.
If I remember correctly, this van is a 13 seater. My seat is the best, because of good leg room.
Reached the KK Airport 20 mins before 8am, our pickup had arrived at the airport. A local tour called Sanctuary Borneo, the 16 of us, one van, one Hilux. I ops for the van, and sit just next to the entrance with a lot of leg room for me to stretch on this 3 hour journey to Lawas.

Just when our van about to drive off, we heard a collision sound in front of our car. It was a corn, the driver forgot he put the road cone in front of the van. The boss from the opposite direction look at the driver, and the driver looks back, and showed the OK hand sign to the boss, and he quickly drives off.

9.32am we reached a town called Beaufort in Sabah, and stop for toilet break, and to eat some breakfast. Most of us did not have any breakfast this morning. We went to a noodle shop called Foh Chuan, the Foh Chuan noodles are their best dish at almost every table ordered their noodles. My friends and I had no place to sit, so we share with an uncle. He looks like a Chinese, so I started to speak Chinese with him, but he answers back with Malay mix English. I told myself, he might be a Kadazan people, because some of them looks like Chinese.

10.10am, start our journey to Lawas again, and reached the Border checkpoint at 11.16am. Fortunately, we Sarawakian does not need any special permit or passport to enter Lawas, or to the West Malaysia. We just present our identification card to the officer, and off we go.
Our 4WD from Lawas to Ba'kelalan, it was my first experience on a logging road. 
12noon, we finally reached Lawas town. Meet up with our tour coordinator Mr Willie Kajan at 12.17pm. There are three (3) units of 4x4 which is going to drive us from Lawas to Ba’kelalan town on the logging road roughly about 6 hours. Although roller coaster ride is fun, but if you ride it for six (6) hours straight, you will fed up as well.

Start our journey to Ba’kelalan at 1pm, car no#1 a Toyota single cabin, some of our friends are sitting in the truck bed area. Car no#2 is us and carry some diesel supply and #3 is a Toyota double cabin with all our luggage on the truck bed. The driver gave each of us a big plastic bag to cover our luggage to prevent from the dust.
My friends endure the dust for a total of 6 hours ++
Dry weather gives us dry road, and I felt pity for my friends that sits on the truck bed on car#1. They have to endure the dust for a total of 6 hours ++ until we reach Ba’kelalan. But in the same time they can enjoy the nice scenery along the way.

The road that we use are from the logging company, therefore it's not covered with tar, and has lots of potholes all over the place. The max speed that we drove was just 50 - 60km/h. There are villages along the road.

3.05pm, we stop by on a canteen near a village called Kampung Tang Pau, Long Sukang, Lawas. And was geed by a friendly lady who offer us hot coffee, and fried banana. I went to the toilet, but my goodness, when peeing, I had to hold my breath, not because of the disgusting toilet smell, but its the hot air from the generator. There is no electricity here, so the village people owns a genset. And this house put it in the toilet, so the hot smoke also came out and smoke the entire toilet.

Continue our journey, and not long after our ride at about 3.45pm. It starts to downpour, I saw driver of car#1 quickly lower down the canvas at the truck to keep the passenger dry. Again, pity my friends who sit there, just now was dust, and now they have rain, so what else is next?
 Timber company, with a lot of rotten tree trunks at the road side
We drove passed a timber company, with a lot of rotten tree trunks at the road side. It was the Hari Raya holiday for three days, and it was just the first day, that’s why we don’t see any timber truck working that day.

Pass by Long Luping at about 4.15pm, and I saw a nice cement building. My driver told me that its the school, the name of the school is Sekolah Kebangsaan Long Lupin, and students will stay in the hostel also. Good they have a school here i told myself, education is the only way for them to upgrade these places.

There are buffalo along the road, i was curious on why the buffalo can run freely? Aren't they supposed to be on the farm working now?
SG. Long Semadoh Naseb, where Baru Bian stay during his childhood 
The time is 5.10pm, and we pass by a place called SG. LONG SEMADOH NASEB. All of us stop by for a toilet break, while enjoying the beautiful scenery. We are in the higher ground area, and just down the foot hill, there is a village. According to our guide, this is where Baru Bian grew up, he is a Malaysian politician from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. He gained prominence as a campaigner for native customary rights in the state of Sarawak, that’s why the people here respect him very much. Has his poster all over the place.
Car#3 carried all our luggage. All covered with mud
Our journey continues, while in the car, we keep on counting the time, and hope by doing this we can reach Ba’kelalan earlier. This car ride is making us crazy….

A viewing platform build by the Royal Army Engineers Regiment
5.45pm, I lost count how many hills we had gone through, how many rivers we crossed. Then we reach this observation platform which is built at Bukit Demaring. The platform was built at year 2013 by the group combat support military units of the Malaysian Army, which they provide combat engineering and other engineering support to the Malaysian Army.

They are called Rejimen Askar Jurutera Di Raja (Royal Army Engineers Regiment), the tarmac road from here to Ba’kelalan was built by them, but no rocks lay as a foundation, causes a lot of pot holes here and there. Its better to drive on the logging road than this, personally I think if where to build, build it the correct way, if not, it''s just a waste of money and resource.

The viewing platform brings us breathtaking views, with multiple mountain range, and clouds covering the mountain. As its close to dusk, the color of the sky had a bit of a mixture of orange color, extreme beauty.

7.38pm, its very shaky inside the hilux, but I still manage to have some shut eyes. My head bump on the handle car a few times, but I’m too exhausted, so just chose to ignore the pain. It was dark now, and I notice our car drive slowly, I saw a fence on my right, and tarmac inside the fence area. It looks like a runway for the plane. Wait a minute, its an airport… the Ba’kelalan airport. If I know there is airport, I could have op to fly in here.
Pondok Santai Cafe at Ba'kelalan Inn, my team and I had our dinner here. The food... fantastic!!!
8.00pm, reached the place we’re going to rest for the night. It was a Homestay called Ba’kelalann Inn & Pondok Santai Cafe, the canteen is at the entrance, our room was behind the canteen. The Homestay is a double story house, the owner is a guy in his sixty, the wife and daughter both helped to cook at the canteen. Electricity was from the genset start from dusk to midnight. We quickly take this opportunity to charge our phone.

815pm, after our shower, we were feed by the delicious food serve by the owner. We had roasted chicken, pumpkin, soya pork, and soup. It was heaven!!!

The temperature here is about 21⁰C i like this cozy weather, and hey... we’re in Sarawak, awesome to have such nice weather. After we began to socialise after dinner, and went to bed at around 11pm. Tomorrow will be another adventure, stay tuned for my next post about my adventure on reaching the CIB church at about 2031m ASL, how do I survive two nights on 10⁰C with no sleeping bag and blanket? What to expect in the church area? Find out on my next post soon...

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1 comment:

cooknengr said...

Hey Kid, you think the buffaloes want to work meh ?