Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cycling Pledge 2008 ~ Subang Jaya to Pulau Pangkor

Once again, Sky Adventure Club of Taylor’s University College set out to test our own limits on the road. This year’s Cycling Pledge saw us pedaling our bikes to Pulau Pangkor, Perak with a total distance of about 250km. This year’s pledge aimed at creating awareness about global warming.

A total of 7 cyclists and 4 crews participated in this year’s pledge. The vehicle convoy consisted of a Toyota Hilux, a Toyota Unser and a Myvi. The trip spanned over 3 days (16th-18th August 2008) and is one heck of an unforgettable one.

Getting ready to pedal off.

We kicked off from Taylor’s Business School at about 7.50am on Day 1. There were several stops along the way, such as at Sungai Buloh, Pekan Ijok and Tanjung Karang. We managed to reach our pit stop for Day 1 which was at Sabak Bernam after a remarkable 119.4km at 6.00pm. We laid our tired bodies down to rest at a low budget hotel after having dinner at a restaurant.

Heading to our destination on Day 1.

Resting at a bus stop.

Lunch break at Kuala Selangor.

The Rock, Dragoat and Ocean striking a cool pose.

One very exhausted cyclist.

On Day 2, we had cereals for breakfast on the back of the Hilux before proceeding to complete the rest of the cycling trip at 8.05am. Our target was to reach Pangkor Jetty which would bring our total distance to 215.3km. We finally achieved that at about 3.00pm and the crews began to prepare what was supposed to be lunch until we realized that we had not brought our precious gas stove. Thankfully, there were some scouts among us and they helped to build a makeshift stove and fire, over which we cooked our spaghetti which eventually became dinner.

Koko Crunch!

Lychee drinks sponsored by Yeo's.

Finally, we arrived at the Pangkor Island Jetty.

Our substitute for the gas stove.

Forcing down our weird tasting lunch.

Taking a moment to enjoy the view at the jetty.

After that, we boarded a ferry to Pulau Pangkor at 7.45pm. Once there, we accessed our rented Wira and continue the journey to Tanjung Nipah where we were to spend the night. This was the biggest hurdle in the trip as there were several uphill slopes which horrified even the crews sitting safely in the car. The cyclists had to get down and push the bicycles up halfway through the slopes as it was too much to handle, safe for two of our cyclists who toughed it out. To add to this climax, there were no streetlights and each cyclist had to carry a torchlight. This was quite dangerous as cars were coming both ways. But we finally arrived safely at Tanjung Nipah at about 9.30pm. After a proper dinner, we checked into another low budget hotel for the night.

Day 3 was a more relaxed one. We woke up early and had a walk at the beach until it drizzled. We made our way to a little restaurant to have breakfast and sat there for a long time, waiting out the rain. We chatted and shared our feelings on the tiring but worthwhile cycling pledge. It was moments like these that made our experience so much more memorable. Just us, sitting together as a club and friends, united by our passion for adventure and poking fun at each other over nasi lemak.

Sightseeing at the beach.

Having breakfast.

Alien. Can you stop taking pictures?

When the weather permitted, we retreated to our hotel for an interesting game of Indian Poker. We checked out at 12.30pm and tackled the slopes once more on our way to the jetty. We took the ferry back to Lumut and then capped off our journey with a roadshow at Terminal Jeti. Here, we gave out global warming awareness brochures, MYC! magazines, free Yeo’s drinks and Shokobutsu samples while explaining to passers-by about our pledge. We also had a “Guess the Number” contest. The public had to guess the number of pingpong balls we had in a box. With only RM1 per entry, they had a chance to win an Apple iPod Shuffle courtesy of MYC! if their guess was correct.

Roadshow at Terminal Jeti.

A participant trying to count the number of ping pong balls.

Handing out Yeo's Lychee drinks.

Congratulations to Mr Bala, the much envied winner of the Apple iPod Shuffle.

We wrapped things up at about 5.30pm when we counted the pingpong balls in front of the eagerly awaiting crowd. The prize went to Mr. Bala. With that over with, we packed up and piled into our vehicles for the long drive back to SS15. Each of us had time to reminisce and reflect over the past 3 days. It had been a test of determination, of strong willpower and of not giving up. We had braved the merciless sun and slippery roads, encountered rude drivers who would honk at us loudly, endured muscle cramps, slipped from our bicycles but got up again with the help of the team. Teamwork. That was the one thing that kept us going, for none of us would have been able to finish this journey alone.

Besides that, we would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to Mr Lim Guan Chow from Exit Way who sponsored the bicycles and uniforms. Also special thanks to Yeo's and the ECA Centre of Taylor's University College. Thank you so much for your contribution in making this year's cycling pledge a great success!

Though Sky Adventure Club’s Cycling Pledge 2008 may be over, rest assured you have not seen the last of us. Cycling Pledge 2009 is only a year away and be set to be blown away for another spectacular performance from Sky Adventure!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SAC Orientation Camp II, White Water Rafting @ Sungai Kampar, 9th August 2008

**Special thanks to the assistant OCP, Papaya, who made this trip possible! Coz the real OCP was never around buakakaka....**

AOCP - Papaya

After a rigorous recruitment selection process, 18 new members were accepted into the Sky Adventure family, but sadly, only 13 remained. And from this 13, only 7 showed up for the second SAC Orientation Camp held this year.

The main activity of this orientation camp was a white water rafting event, something SAC has not done since 2005. This extreme outdoor activity was also extremely expensive, as the organizers of the orientation camp found. Even a simple package which consisted of only white water rafting could cost more than RM200 per person. Fortunately, we managed to secure a slot for RM150 per person with an old friend, Nomad Adventure.

And so, off we went, a jolly bus of 19 enthusiastic adventurers, to Sungai Kampar, Perak on 9th August 2008. We gathered as early as 7.00am in the morning at TBS and got ourselves acquainted with each other, especially the 7 newly selected members. The bus arrived at 7.30am and we headed to our first stop for the day at Sungkai.

7 new members + Alien

Along the way, everyone took turns to stand at the head of the bus to introduce themselves to the whole gang. To make things slightly less mundane, each of us had to say 2 things about ourselves that the people in the bus did not know about. One interesting comment that got everyone worked up was “I have a crush on someone in SAC”, courtesy of Thunder. Of course, one did not have to be a rocket scientist to guess who this secret crush was…

"I have a crush on someone in SAC"

We arrived at Sungai Klah Hot Spring at 9.30am. After paying the entrance fee of RM10 per person, we walked into the recreational area and took a while deciding which part of the hot spring we would like to explore first. Fortunately, we had Black with us, who had been there before and he became our helpful tour guide for the day. We visited the egg-boiling pool, then proceeded to soak our feet in a pool which was about 30 Celsius in temperature. After tiring of the heat, we then went in search of cold water and had fun sliding down a huge octopus slide. After that, it was back to another hot spring pool. This one was just nicely warm, like bathwater, and we soaked ourselves there until we decided we were sweating from the heat from the sun instead of from the pool. We dried ourselves as best as we can before piling back into the bus to stop for brunch at the Tapah rest area.

Boiled eggs anyone?

HongKong Msian feet

Giant octopus slide

Nemo the Macho


We then met up with Jamal from Nomad Adventure at the Gopeng toll at about 12.45pm. We followed him in our bus to the car park area at Gua Tempurung. We changed back into our wet clothes and applied copious amounts of sunscreen, while the slightly sight-impaired Sky Adventurers created a very attractive device from rubberbands to tie their glasses to their faces.

Very attractive device from rubberbands

Group photo =)

Last week’s waterfall hunt had us herded into Wolf’s 4WD like war refugees. This time, we were like cows instead, being made to stand in a green truck for our 30-minute drive to the rafting area. There were more leaves and twigs to dodge this time, but we sure loved the rambutans that got in our way and grabbed some as our appetizer for the rafting ahead. Thankfully, there were no durian trees low enough for us to avoid.

Cows SACians


Rambutans anyone?

Once at the riverbank of Sungai Kampar, another Nomad crew called Hafizi gave us a safety briefing for the activity ahead. We then had to float and paddle a little to get to another side of the river, where our rafts were waiting for us. Then we were off in our rafts for the white water rafting experience!

White water confidence swimming

The cute yellow raft that I (Alien) was sitting in was called Sponge Bob Square Pants. Along with me were the Nottie, Wolf, Papaya and his friend Ken. We also had a cute Australian guide called Sam who enlightened us along the way about Sungai Kampar and even told us about a ghostly encounter he had on the river. The river was a Grade 3 one, and there were a few rapids along the 7km stretch that had us holding on tightly to the rafts for dear lives, and for good reason too because some of us almost fell right off.

Sponge Bob Square Pants


For those of you who do not know what it’s like, it can be described as a roller coaster ride. But take out the safety belts and instead of a track on which your little car rides safely on, imagine rocks and rushing currents, ready to catapult you off the unfriendly surface of jagged rocks and drown you in the strong tides. Actually, it wasn’t all that scary. Quite honestly, yours sincerely was a wee bit disappointed with the calmness of the river. The guide had forewarned us of quiet waters and not much rapids. We even capsized ourselves on purpose for the fun of it. But it was still a good white water rafting experience.

Self-capsized raft

Now we can proudly say that we’ve come out unscathed from the waters of Sungai Kampar and are ready for bigger challenges. Hopefully, we will be able to raft on a Grade 4 or higher river some time in the future.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Member's First Meeting + Orientation Games

Last Thursday (7/8/08), marked the 1st meeting of the new intake of members. As usual, we had introduction of current and new members, then more serious stuff, then we played orientation game! We played the classical Curtain-Fall game. You know, the one with equal amount of members on each side, then 1 representative from each side sits in front. When the curtain falls, just shout out the nickname of the person on the opposite. Simple as that. Oh yea, new members are Fire, Thunder, Pig, Coconut, Green, Cheese, Cockroach, Kimchi, Black, Wave, Mouse, Crazy, Egg.

Meeting room

New member's side + Gorilla

Current members' side

Orientation game: on the left..

.. on the right

More pictures and 3 short videos available in multiply. Do check it out! Just click on the link at the side.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Waterfall Hunt, 2-3 August 2008

Our darling OCP, Gorilla.

On 2-3 August 2008, our dear soon-to-be-alumni member Gorilla organized a little waterfall hunt for SAC members. It sounded interesting, costing only RM50 per person and with promises of adventures in a 4WD hunting for waterfalls in the wild.
And interesting it definitely was! The waterfall hunters, which consisted of 15.5 members (to be clarified later), gathered for breakfast at Al-Rafi at about 9.00am. We started the journey to Lata Kijang, our first waterfall stop for the trip at about 10.00am. Along the way, we picked up Elephant who only joined us for one waterfall rendezvous, hence the 0.5 member. Here, the documentary director would like to apologize for not being able to remember the time well, but we must have arrived at about 11.30am. After driving through narrow kampung roads, we found a safe spot to park our cars (if yours sincerely is not mistaken, that area should be Kampung Esok). Then, like war refugees on our way to be slaughtered, we bundled into Wolf’s 4WD, with the majority of us stuffed in the back. It was another 20km drive further into the kampung area before we arrived at the waterfall. It was a pain-in-the-behind experience for those at the back as the road was a bumpy one.

Wolf taking a leak.

One of the kampung houses.

Taking a break to rest our sore butts.

But our rear ends were soothed once we jumped into the cold waterfall, which fortunately was isolated, hence we had the whole place to ourselves! We spent another hour or so frolicking in the water and snapping numerous pictures. The sight there can only be understood by those who were there themselves to see it. The tall majestic waterfall that came crashing down on the rocks below was, phew, breathtaking.

Lata Kijang waterfall.


Just a couple of girls splashing fun at each other.

A floating piece of Kayu.

One of the pretty sights on the way back to Kg Esok.

After that, we were off for another butt-wrenching ride in the 4WD back to our cars. Nothing beats standing at the back of the vehicle, with the wind whipping through our hair, hanging tightly on to the railing and dodging twigs and leaves that would occasionally smack into our faces. It was almost like a scene from Indiana Jones, except with kampung houses and village kids running on the side of the roads waving at us. Best of all, we got to do it together as SAC and friends.
Yes, Alien is becoming sentimental. But this is not an official SAC trip, hence no official report to be submitted to the ECA people, so I believe I have the freedom to rant a little. Haha. Back to the trip, we stopped somewhere near the Semenyih Dam to make a big decision: to camp or not to camp. Now, the initial plan was for us to set up tent somewhere in the outdoors and be true to our adventurous objective. But the urban college kid side of us decided to ‘camp’ instead at Teddy’s lavish 3-storey house in Ampang, complete with hot shower and air-conditioning. So much for outdoor style, but we had fun anyway at Teddy’s crib. While we took turns showering, the rest watched television and prepared spaghetti for dinner. Unfortunately, some of us underestimated the capacity of Sky Adventurers’ stomachs, while some of us left precious sausages (which were supposed to be added into the spaghetti) in the refrigerator at home. So, some of us drove out in search of a mamak for real dinner while the rest continued watching TV and playing mahjong.

Making the tough decision : to camp or not to camp...

SAC in yau yeng mode.

Hurry! I can feel a huge lorry coming!!

The next morning, we woke up at about 7.00am. After washing up and watching Happy Feet, we headed out for breakfast at a nearby coffee shop.

Alien. Can you stop taking pictures?

Looking at Semenyih Dam.

We then continued our waterfall hunt, this time to Sungai Gabai. Clearly a more popular waterfall area, there was a large crowd there and we had to hike our way up a long flight of stairs and through other ‘waterfallers’ (no idea what to call these people) before we found a spot for ourselves. Though the view was not as wondrous as Lata Kijang’s, we had a whale of a time there as well and found a natural slide somewhere in the water.

Teddy want hug hug.

Delightfully cold, we headed back to our cars and then stopped by an unnamed hot spring. “It’s so hot I thought it was cold!” Such were the wise words of Kayu after sticking one toe into the hot spring. Not many were bold enough to step into the burning water, but dear Mew Mew (who seems to really have 9 lives) walked right from one end to the other like it was a children’s swimming pool. A screaming, thrashing Sushi followed suit.

Mew Mew: Aiyo, you guys are such babies. Where got hot?

After that, we drove to Kajang for the famous Kajang Satay, and spent more than RM180 wolfing down on sumptuous chicken, beef and mutton satays. With satisfied stomachs, we started the journey home to SS15.

The original Kajang satay. Yum yum.

An unfortunate event happened to Hippo’s car as we were on the Federal highway. While stopping behind a Wira in the middle of a jam, a 4WD (which we frightfully thought was Wolf’s at first) came slamming from the back. Hippo’s poor car was sandwiched between the Wira and the 4WD, causing damage to both his front bumper and boot as well as the Wira’s back. But all occupants escape bodily harm and we managed to drive back to SS15 with Hippo’s taillights hanging dangerously from its sockets.

Poor car.

After meeting up with the rest of the gang at TBS, the waterfall adventure finally came to an end. We said our goodbyes and each headed home. Alien would like to end this post by thanking Gorilla for this wonderful experience. Also special thanks to Teddy who, like his name, gave us tender loving warmth and care by letting us crash in his house. Buakaka… To the drivers, Wolf, Gorilla, Rain and Hippo. To the cooks and dishwashers, and last but not least, to all those who went. Hope to see more of this syok sendiri trips!

SAC rocks!