Jan 31, 2007

Something left behind

End of my holiday.

Yeah I had a great holiday and of course it's gonna be a must for me to share it on this space. However, there are still something that left behind, that pull me back to proceed blogging and updating.

What I mean here, is some great pictures taken in Mulu Cave.

I just couldn't ignore all these shots taken in Mulu Cave. Perhaps I should say that, it was the spectacular scenery that evoked my determination to give them my best shot, all out.

Taking pictures in such a magnificient environment was truly a thrill for me. You wanna capture the best view in the cave with your very limited capability, the challenges are not merely technically but also mentally.

I was thankful to have Olympus C-760 to be my snapping (or tembak "Shooting", according to Deck) companion. I even felt so much proud of my compact camera which was able to shoot better -- a lot better -- pictures of the caves compared to a Sony-Alpha DSRL of Mr MatSalleh from U.K.

I'm not showing-off my photography skill here. No, definitely not at all. In fact, the more I immersed into the world of photography, the more I felt I am so much handicapped in terms of photographing. Anyway, if this post sounds a lil bit of showing-off or berlagak to you, I apologize and I believe I'm unintentionally showing off my excitement -- I was so hyped-up by the photos, the visit, the caves, and also the appreciation that I realized towards the wonder of nature, the beauty of Malaysia, and my Olympus C-760.

Ps.. for more stories about our journey to Mulu Cave, more nice pictures in Mulu, more info about touring and holidaying in Mulu -- feel free to drop by Fotopage of Deck, a humble but skillful shutterbug of our trip who took creative and story-telling pictures.

Jan 17, 2007

Drop by like a stranger

Kampung Penan is certainly not ready for visitors or so-called tourists. This is my first thought when a row of us drop by the little village for a quick visit before entering those magnificent caves of Mulu. Yes they do have those stalls selling handcrafts and also groceries house-shops that intended to serve tourists, but still, the village is too pure and innocent to receive any visit by people from outer world.

I was baffled to see the face of three Penan kids while looking at us. Their faces were full of confusion, as if we were just a gang of Alien that flew by and parked our spaceship somewhere in their village, then came down from the spaceship to take some fresh air.

I believe we were not the first group of visitors they met, but the way they look at us really made me felt guilty -- we're just a bunch of strangers that interfered their peaceful and quiet life.

See the stupid fact here? We dropped by to have a tour in their life. Things that we felt amazed and curious about, were just their daily life, more ordinary than of ordinary for them. Huh, how pathetic we are, monkeys from the city.

A quick visit to Kg. Penan might not bear any significances for each of us, I believe. We dropped by as visitors, to buy Penan's handcrafts, to capture the beautiful scenery of the village; we dropped by as strangers, to witness strange things like playing flute with nose and big hole on earlobes; .. and for some, dropping-by is just to look for toilets...

Nobody sighed or trying to be a poet when we left. For a visit not more than 30minutes, only the calm and the quiet of the village reminded us what a nature life means..

Jan 16, 2007

Anyone didn't fall? -- my 3rd visit to Niah

My 3rd visit. You'd never get bored with repeat-visit to a wonderful place cuz everytime you drop-by, you see new things, you perceive new clinks. Besides, come in with different bunch of friends always make a revisit feel differently.

... and sometimes, you'd never know what kind of surprises you might get during a revisit....

I should put my 3rd visit to Niah Cave as the most unforgettable one, because of the surprise I got. After trailing for about 2km, we were welcome by an under-construction 'walk-way' which was not less than 1.5km long.

Alright maybe I should put a paragraph describing the so-called 'walk-way'. It consisted of three beams, with 6 inches width each. These beams aligned parallel to each other with the separation of about 0.5m, so basically most of us chose to cat-walking on one beam, and trying to keep ourselves balanced before falling into the swamp underneath -- and that is the most proper part of it. The rest of the time, we were struggling, mentally and physically, walking on a bouncing wooden beam, 6 inch width as well, with the surface full of algae, and sometimes we were forced to over cross a fence that supposed to prohibit people to over-crossing it. Well, remember those 'crossing-obstacle-race' in secondary school? It was kinda it.

Well the journey walking on those skinny beams, helping each other up, admiring the freshness and the wonderful of nature, taking pictures of those candid moments yada yada yada.. was pleasant while the row of us setting our pace getting deeper and deeper into the Niah cave... but it was no longer a 'pleasant summer outing' when came to the time to get out from the deepest part of the caves area.

Ironic enough to think that walking on the same path way but with two totally different moods. When most of us were getting dehydrated, exhausted and demotivated, the sky started to turn dark. It was really a mental and physical challenge for some of us -- 9km of walking INTO the forest and into the caves, then another 9km of walking ahead to GET OUT OF the darkening jungle -- some might think that we were just a bunch of nuts. :>

Anyway, we all survived. Just like I said to Dani and Juanne,

"Regard of the huffing and puffing during the 18km journey, yg penting, you've gone through the test, so be proud of yourselves."

... and, regardless of how tough and how hard of the 18km, as I always believe, those tough and hard time happened during a journey will eventually become something sweet and fun to talk about after the journey.

Likewise, right after the journey, we laughed at the scene where three adult men holding hand together, walking on three beams sided by side, like 'orang bercinta (quoted)'; we talked about there's somebody touched an ulat bulu and somebody else actually grabbed an ulat bulu; we agreed that Pn Asiah is the steadiest and toughest lady in our group; we couldn't forget the lad who insisted on wearing safety helmet while jungle trekking; we couldn't forget the time we fell and straight away we laughed; and we started to love Tiger biscuits.

I thought my 3rd visit to Niah cave will be another chance for me to capture more nice pictures, getting close again to the nature and having fun with this new gang of visitors. But there was actually more I got. You'd never get bored with a repeat-visit to a wonderful place, cuz you'd never know what kind of surprises you'd get.

ps.. I know this is long. I need space to put all the pictures into this post, and I need something besides studying, to help me get sleepy.

Jan 15, 2007

The last field-trip

Something's haunting me recently as I am trying hard to pull my concentration towards my carbonate notes on my desk. It is a fact. A cruel truth, that swings my focus out of the exam preparation.

Yes, everyone who was in that trip should know well enough what I'm trying to say -- we've just come back from our very last field-trip......in other words, no more field trips ahead -- to be precise, no more field trips with the same cool and fun gang again, and that is sad.

I have some stories and pictures that I drafted in my head before this post. They are all about our 'cuti-cuti-malaysia'-type of destinations during the geological field-trip, but I chose to put this post prior to all those stories, just because I can't help thinking back those days in Sarawak and also the short course in KL.

This is not any remarkable post that would gather any remarkable thoughts. This post is just a sentimental and miserable note left after my fun and memorable geological field-trip during my MSc. study.

I dedicate it to my 'monsterly' fun 'monsters' coursemates, to the sempoi organizers, to the respectful technical leaders of this trip, Mr Yamin and Mdm Asiah, and to another two coolest new friends we met, Omar and Mahadhir.


1.Blame the network problem in UTP's village -- I couldn't get online to have my regular blog update;

2. Blame the tsunami -- I still believe it's the main reason of getting the internet slow like damned;

3. Blame the exam -- whatever;

4. 15th Jan. is my blog's 1st anniversary, so I did some changes in my layout of my post. Spot it.

Jan 2, 2007

4095.2m, the peak; 2007, the start.

The fact is, yes I did promise some of my readers to post pictures on the peak of Mt. Kinabalu, but this post was being composed, right here right now, not under any intention of hitting those promises. The fact is, C'MON, I've been to the top roof of Southeast Asia -- OF COURSE it's going to be a MUST for me to show it off!!

... but, still.., the fact is, I've nothing to say about.,, or put it in this way, the feeling of speechless when getting to the top of the mountain is still deep inside my heart -- It's the feeling of dream comes true, it's the feeling of self-assurance.

A few names to thank. Fariz, my mentor who leads me becoming 'wild' and 'cool', and for those who are interested to know, being my guarantor of my MSc. study, Fariz supposed to make sure I stay inside classroom, study and excel... ; Amir, another cool guy who has 'Adventurous' as his middle name; Emy, my companion to reach the peak of the mountain; every names under the flag of PETRONAS Sabah, they are simply the best and the coolest; Poon, 5zal, Togok, Min, Azwa, Dani and Juanne, they are the ones who gave me 'guilt-free' pass to skip classes.. hehe..; and.. erm.. .. Prof. Rudy.

Well obviously this is the last post of my Mt Kinabalu journey, but it's too another start of my journey of pursuing my further dreams. I remember well when I dreamt about reaching the peak of Mt. Kinabalu during age of 15, my friends laughed at me. And recently I told some of my friends that I sort of 'received' a 'calling' from the highland of Tibet, again, my friends laughed at me.. Hmmm.. let's see...

What's next? No, not yet for the highland which is higher than the peak of Mt Kinabalu.. After reaching Southeast Asia's highest point, I'm setting off to the world's largest cave at Mulu. :> PEACE. Next after that? I'll go diving in Similan, west coast of Thailand.. 80% planned. hehe, PEACE again... 2007, what a wonderful kick-start for an adventurous dream-catcher.. ;> PEACE, again and again. :p

Happy 2007 to y'all!!

Spider, killing time in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Jusco, Ipoh.