Our Travel Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas in Singapore

Would you believe that? We actually spent our Christmas Eve and Day in Singapore. Anyway, this was the first time Moggy made her maiden journey into Kiasu land. Headed south after spending the first half of the day at the office. Traffic condition at the south bound Sg Besi toll plaza was pretty clogged up as most folks headed out for the long weekend holiday. At the Seremban stretch, traffic came to a standstill for a while because of some highway works along the center. Fortunately the coast became clear all the way after that hold up.
Arrived in JB city before 5.00pm I think, checked ourselves into Selesa Hotel, which was formerly known as Continental Hotel. We decided to do that was we knew a similar type hotel south in Singapore would costs us at least double due to the conversion rate. Why pay more when you are just bunking for two nights right?
Shortly after sundown, we drove to cross into the causeway, anticipating a massive exodus both ways, but to our pleasant surprise, we were wrong. According to a customs officer, traffic had been really all day except when we were there as most revellers would be down in the city center for the celebrations by this hour. However, the sight was quite a different down at Orchard area as we had never seen as many people on a square foot of walkway down from Scotts Rd all the way to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station before. We could not find a parking spot for Moggy after 30 minutes or so, and we eventually decided to drive down to the Raffles city area in search for any hotel to valet park her. After a short while, parked Moggy at Raffles Hotel. She certainly loved the attention she was getting in Singapore as most inhabitants of the island nation have probably never seen a pretty rig like her on stilleto heels.
We proceeded to walk across to Chijmes for dinner. Discovered they have Hog’s Breath Cafe here. Jules had mentioned about the Hog’s Breath in the Gold Coast several times before. I also realised that there is another chain of restaurant called Hog's Breath Saloon in Florida, but apparently under a different management. So we had our dinner there of course with a three pints of Tiger Beer draft. Guess what guys? The Tiger in Singapore taste absolutely yummy. The Tiger here in Malaysia, draft or canned or bottled tastes absolutely watered down….man! I feel short changed even ever I drink beer in Malaysia! And yes, we even bought the canned ones from 7-Eleven just to verify, indeed it tastes different! Can someone from AP Breweries in Malaysia please explain?
Headed back into JB that same night, and return to Singapore the next day. Nothing much to report here, except that we had dinner, at Tony Romas, Home of the Best Baby Back Ribs in the world. Geezz, I am drooling now on the keyboard as I am typing….excuse me!
Well, not much else about Singapore I guess….but nonetheless, Moggy has not been to Singapore for the record and this is the first time....and she made it just fine.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ford Lanun Darat #27 - Sg Berakit, Pahang - Dec 2-4, '05


(Destination Base Camp via Satellite)


The final offroad event of the year for the lanuns(Pirates)! Rendezvous at PJ Ford Concessionaires on the 2nd of December at 7.30am. Before heading off to meet the rest of the lanuns, we had to load our rig, Moggy with all the necessary creature comfort items that would be sufficient for us to last through 3 days and 2 nights in the jungle. Nevertheless, we had the luxury of breakfast and coffee compliments of the organizers, EdarWest and Ford. To our surprise, we were greeted with some of our fellow buayas, including White Tiger, Silversurfer, Uncle Strawberry and Flying Lizard.

Flag-off was at 9.30am with a convoy of about twenty rigs, which saw other models of Ford four wheel drive like the Hurricane, Extreme, Courier and the Everest. The initial leg of the journey was on an open convoy led by the MD of Ford, Mike Pease on a Petronas Himalayas Adventure Team Everest vehicle. The drive to Sri Jaya from PJ, took us along the scenic Karak – East West Highway, exiting from Maran. Second rendezvous was at Sri Jaya town at 12.30pm where we had our lunch of chicken rice. After a torturous wait for some late comers (as usual lah, “Malaysians”), we finally gathered for a closed convoy to head towards the offroad sector into Sg. Berakit at 2.30pm(one hour behind schedule).

The offroad journey took us through some oil palm and rubber estates, rivers, bridges and a tunnel under the east west highway which was quite scenic and interesting, but as expected, bumpy! However, no major complains from us as usual as have Moggy will travel. Total journey from the tarmac into the base camp was 25kms and took us 3.5 hours. This journey would have normally taken the more experienced offroaders like us about 1.5hrs. Arrived based camp at 6.00pm, we immediate set camp next to a river as dusk was setting in soon. Took us hardly 10 minutes to set up our tent and canopy and other equipment as thanks to our instant retractable canopy.

Dinner was quite an uneventful affair as we had instant Thai porridge. This is as what we had planned for as after a hard and long journey, we wanted to just chill out and relax with our ice cold beers. Unexpectedly it started to rain which was quite cooling, however our $#$@ing tent started to leak, wetting our airbed inside, and we had to sleep on the @#$&ing damp airbed all night long. As a result of this we had to cancel some romantic activities for the night…. J
Noises of “Lim Lim Lim, Lim Liaw Ko Chai Lim(to the tune of jingle bells)” came from the neighbouring “Buayas” camp echoing around the campsite in which we could not resist the temptation to check out what the heck was going on. Anyway, to make the story short, we shameless invited ourselves to the festivities. We were greeted with a bunch of less than sober people who shamelessly invited us to join in their ridiculously insane drinking spree. The rest of the night was spend in the good company of buayas.
Next day, we woke up at about 9.30am reluctantly as our neighbouring camps were up earlier at the break of dawn. We had breakfast of cheese sausages and French toast, coupled with coffee and juices…..hmmmm, yummmmm. After breakfast, we took to the river with our camp chairs and beers and wallowed in the river like a water buffalo like there is no tomorrow. Water temperature is freezing cold despite the hot sunshine that left us burnt until now. The rest of the day was just plain chilling and wallowing, so nothing eventful to write on.



We were invited to take part in the special stages competition, however we reluctantly rejected as Moggy and us were too chilled and lazy to move our butts to the river. p.s. Special stages are offroading skills competition to test the handling of the 4x4 vehicle on land and water around challenging obstacles, which may include tyres changing, log crossing, winching, strapping, etc, etc, etc. Dinner was BBQ lamb shoulder with chicken wings, marinated with hickory sauce and black pepper.

Next and final day, we were rudely awaken by at least 5 rounds of gunshots within the vicinity of our base camp. There were probably some hunters nearby hunting for wild boars or some cracko lanuns putting out illegal firecrackers. Again, we reluctantly crawled out from the comfort of our tent. After we had our last dip in the river, we broke camp at around midday, followed by presentation of certificates and group picture taking with our Chief Pirate, Nasaruddin.
Left base camp at 1.30pm on a different trail through more plantations and a logging camp. Arrived at Sri Jaya in time for a delicious lunch of fresh patin fish, vegetable and a bottle of ice cold Tiger…..cost us RM40 only. Man! Food and beer haven’t tasted so good for the last 3 days! Arrived back to KL at 6.30pm. Watch out for our next adventure in January when we will be making a trip to Chiangmai, Thailand.


Edited TV2 Coverage...

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Video & Edited by me...

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For more pictures of our recent trip, visit http://pauljules2005.shutterfly.com

By Shanghai, Mozzie & Moggy