Thursday, February 11

KNYR + Kelah Sanctuary Day 3 of 3

The final day started off a little late. Breakfast at 930am. It wasnt as bad as before with the nasi minyak. Yep in Terengganu they have nasi minyak for breakfast compared to weddings in KL. After being full we packed up and checked out. Before leaving KT we definitely had to stop in Pasar Payang to buy souvenirs and stuff.. nanti org rumah kata lupakan diorang lak.

Loved the Pasar. Food and wet market stuff downstairs while the clothes on the upper levels. It was pretty big and had dozens and dozens of shops. But what interested me the most was its liveliness and variety of colors. The wife ordered some kain batik for herself, but i just couldnt decide which on to buy (you know women.. they will always find fault in your choice, but kalau dia pilih tu lah yg tercantik dalam dunia takde kecuali). So in the end decided to buy simple stuff like baju kelawar and baju budak2. Haaa... naturally being men, all 3 of us shopped at just only one of the many many stores because the tauke (addressed herself as Mak) was really nice. Malas nak usha tempat lain gak. By the time we were nearly finished the girls barely bought anything.

After the kain2 frenzy, we headed down to the wet market. Bought the ever delicious keropok lekor Seberang Takir (terbaik gilersz.. better than loso). I personally bought RM20 of it. Tu pun rasa tak cukup giving most of it away to family and neighbors. Sweets and cheeka-dees pun beli as not to forget the kids. After sending everything into the cars, Farah was still nowhere to be found (dah janji nak tolak at 12pm). I realized women watches never work while they shop. Its like being in the bermuda triangle.

After 30 minutes of waiting we headed home. We didnt stop until we reached Kerteh. Happening gilerss. It was so happening we had to stop at Mesra Mall and to see for ourselves. To be honest, it was pretty impressive. They had nice shops ranging from starbucks to burger king even a spa at that. Bowling, futsal, soon to open TGV was at the other half of the mall. Go check it out if you pass by cause its really convenient (just like american malls) and 5 minutes from the Petronas quarters. The mall is a great idea cause i believe the ppl there have money but just dont have the place to spend it. We had lunch and headed off again not looking at kerteh the same way. *Amad told me out off all the thing his wife asked was about the Mall - so i'll try to include as many pics ok or suruh amad bawak lain kali*

Another pit stop was a small restaurant by the seaside. Farah tak lunch/minum ribena yg tertinggal @ bk so dia tapau nasi padprik. This was also a great oppurtunity to take pics of the sea but unfortunately there was a river (that couldnt be seen when we decided to stop) in the way. Dapatlah sikit2 gambar, but i took a pic of this tanah bulat2 (see pic) to ask what it really was. Mael cakap dia from the crabs korek2. We also goats running around, it might be the same ones yg Mael nearly hit a few days before.

So continuing on, we headed back. This time kinda fast. Mael knew the way so he sped off >140km/h. I tried to follow tapi defeated. Waja 7 tahun ku sudah uzur sikit compare with his 2 month old myvi sport. The road was clear all the way but once we got into KL .. seperti biasa jam tak ingat dunia. Sampai we splitted up and Mael made the wrong turn. Tapi lepas tu pandai2 lah masing. I sent Amad home not before dia belanja minum kat Secret Recipe while consulting Kira with her love life. After Amad arrived safely at his home in Bukit Damansara (very peaceful.. surprisingly cause its smack in the middle of KL), I had to send Kira home. Aduuhh the jam lagi. Rumah dia 2-3km je tu NPE but it took me 20 minutes. Nasib baik Kira bagi pinjam touch'n'go.

After making sure everybody arrived safely, I reached home to the lovely welcome party of the kids. Ayah!!! Ayahh!!! they shouted with much enthusiasm and love. Exactly what i needed from a very long and tiring drive. The wife on the other hand was "hi sayang, dah sampai.. baguslah" and doze back off again 2 seconds later.

Ps.. Would like to thank the KNYR people for being such great hosts, the friends that came along, the boss that let us go gladly and the Ketengah ppl for making my dreams/mission to Kenyir come through.
Pics slow lah upload.. I upload ni dulu

Sunday, February 7

KNYR + Kelah Sanctuary Day 2 of 3

Day 2 started of with the buffet breakfast. Once again it was a let down. Nothing special and worst still the pastry tasted like it was baked last week. The others was just so-so. 5 out of 10 score from Amad. Later on Faidi (KNYR driver) joined us while waiting to send us to the station. It took around an hour from the hotel door to the station with the station Naza Ria. Really loved that van.

On the arrival, everyone was amazed by the beauty of the station. From the security post you can see the huge dam and spillway while enjoying the fresh jungel air. Kabus2 lagi.. tengah2 hutan lah katakan, really tengah2 hutan. I was secretly a little worried... kalau dam pecah, we are the first to go. Thats why they are one of the Sasaran Keselamat kategori 1. Faidi drove us straight to the door of the station. About 10 steps away from the meeting room where Yuzeiry (Mat Yi) was waiting and welcomed us.

Mat Yi gave us the routine visitor talk. The GM, Nasron (Wak: satu batch) and Wan joined us a little later. It was very informative. We also took this oppurtunity to clarify certain issues. Everybody has issue with us (NLDC). Later on Mat Yi took us on a station visit from underground level -5 (Draft tube level) to the top of the Dam about 145M higher. There were a lot of technical things but lets not bore everyone but here are some pics where people can appreciate better.

Ohh yaa.. one of things when we were going around, people were surprised to see Mahes to be indian. They taught his name was Mael (permanent nickname from then on) due to his flawless Bahasa... tu belum cakap utara lagi - he is from Alor Star. The shift charge even mailed this to his co-workers "Tuan2, selama ini yg kita ingatkan encik Mail sebenarynya adalah en Mahes.. sila betulkan document selepas ini - while attaching a pic of us".

After the site visit, we had lunch. They treated us with ikan baung masak tempoyak and others. Great and abundance of food. They knew 5 of us coming but naturally being TNB ordered for 10. Orang lain boleh tumpang.

After lunch we were ahead of schedule. meaning more time for going into the lake.. the main attraction - ikan kelah sanctuary. The boat was ready by 2. The most powerful/fastest boat on the lake - 2x250hp V6 engine. We were extremely lucky to visit the kelah sanctuary. Zahari a clerk in KNYR who is very well known around the lake being local and an extreme fishing man (masuk ceruk2 tasik malam2 sorang2) had contacts with Ketengah (authority of the tasik). With his cable we were able to go in. Its very well guarded. Another issue was because the Menteri Besar was coming the day after... thats why the bosses of Ketengah were there. At first one of the Ketengah ppl didnt let us in. So we waited at the guard post (about 45 minutes while enjoying their fishing farm: huge ikan toman >6kg, baung etc) for the boss Razi if he will let us in (looks like the Malaysian crocodile dundee). He looked sympathetic at us and brought us in. Mat Yi's ufti (buah and cenderamata) was also an icing.

A little on the boat ride and journey, it was really far inside the lake (more than 1 hour boat ride)but the natural landscape was breath taking. We even passed Petang Island Resort/Camp (our first choice stay - tapi bagus jugak tak dapat [need>10ppl] cause memang betul2 tengah tasik). We were wondering why the boat was going zig-zagging. Later we found out they were following the alur sungai to elak the tunggul. During low lake level boats cant go in and the trekking inside would take 1.5 hours instead of our 40 minutes. During the trekking, several incidents happen including putus selipar and insect bites. Brader guide siap ejek "macam tak pernah kena gigit je". Pacat semua cukup lah. We had to go through denai and wooden bridges which brings back memories to the good old OBS days. To keep encouraging us, they kept saying another 5 minutes. The longest 5 minutes in our trekking lives... diorang pakai jam matahari kot. Another frustrating thing, some guides took the shallow sampan so they had a shortcut while waving us as they go by.

A little history on the ikan kelah sanctuary. Ikan kelah as told by local ppl are the most expensive fresh water fish. RM100 per kg and RM300 for a live one. So due to this, fisherman used to go fish bombing at the area we went to. This had a negetive effect. So the people of Ketengah, Crocodile Dundee included sanctuared the place and tried to rejuvenate the fishes. They feed the fish biji sawit once in 2 days. After a while the ikan kelah came back and became very jinak but now they feed it pallets or locally known as 'meh'. I doubt theres a lot of other places like this around the world. Wak said ikan kelah if deep fried you can eat even the bones - ranggup.

So once we got there, most of the guys were already in. We were a little held behind because of the girls (lawak sexist sikit). Wak was already in his corner. He didnt move anywhere else - tak pandai berenang. Mat Yi, Zahari and kaki Mael (takde baju konon- takut kot) dah basah dah and fish all over. They kept calling for us to dive in. I took pics and amad took videos while holding on to our excitement. Everybody wanted their picture/video taken and what wonderful pics. Took nearly 200 of them - thanks Kira for being our part time cameraman. Thanks also Amad for the videos.

But suddenly I hear people shouting "Pegang Tali!!! Pegang TAllii!!!". I turned around and see Farah trying to catch air in the water - unsuccessful at that and drowning. A second later, just like in the movies ABANG HERO came running from the back jumped into the water and pushed her up. A real life hero in action. Mael was there to pull her up and console her. Surprising apart from choking on the water, Farah seemed undisturbed by the incident and resumed her cheerful self. One thing good is that she didnt panic and maintained composure.. siap senyum lebar lagi. She just lost it a little when she realized her iphone and money fell in as well. Amad knew she couldnt swim and asked " Asal kau lompat tak pakai life jacket??!!". She replied "MANNNAAa ada I lompat, i jatuh sebab terkejut ikan gigit kaki i" looking very slack at amad. ooohh that explains it, i thought she jumped too. Crocodile Dundee said "sepanjang masa saya jaga tempat ni, dia lah orang pertama tenggelam"

Yup the fishes were really biting. Mula2 manja2 cause plenty of meh but later on they got really violent biting hard (going up your pants and trying to swallow your whole finger) cause no more food. Kirah can attest to it cause she screamed the loudest and came in later than everybody. Realizing the meh was finished, we threw banana skins... tu pun diorang telan terus.

So after a very eventful evening. We trekked back (well the girls took the sampan) to the boat which seemed a lot closer without the girls. We took the boat ride back to the Sanctury entrance and took pictures with the guides especially with Abang Hero and Crocodile Dundee. One for the facebook bak kata Abang Hero. So afterwards we headed back to the Station Jetty. Tukar baju and Faidi drove us back to the hotel.

Tired and all, we took our shower while i bought some mee goreng as pre meal for us to eat while waiting for Wak to take us out for dinner. We went to First Station near the hotel joined by Shamil and Azizul (kawan Mael). The food was great especially my french toast ice cream but its like the normal Kopitiam you get here in KL. I was looking forward to a more local taste. Being deprived of culture, we decided to continue our yam-cha at a restaurant near the masjid terapung. Gives a chance for me to take pics of the masjid.

The funny thing about the restaurant was that the names of the stalls. See the pics. Another embarrassing moment for me was when i wanted to order some drinks. I got to tell you, this terrengganu accent is so foreign to me - they might as well be talking swazili.
Me: Abg.. air ape sedap?!
Brader kerja air: somo dap blako (semua sedap belaka)
Me: Haaa.. yg tu satu! (confident order power)
*everybody laughed while looking at me
Wak: Tu lagi kelakar dari Farah tenggelam.

So after catching up with wak and changing notes especially kutuk2 boss and tnb, we went back to the hotel. After another round or two of monopoly card we hit the sack. And the opera started once again. This time according to Amad, was rather out of tune compared to yesterday.

ps.. I'm posting this first cause tunggu pics upload takes too long. Will update with more pics.

Saturday, February 6

KNYR + Kelah sanctuary Day 1 of 3

Note: Another long story worth telling. So here goes.

One day the 'Cuti Budget' show was on. The episode was about kenyir - ikan kelah sanctuary, lasir water fall, herba island, gajah sanctuary and so on. With the all powerful influence of the TV, kenyir is now a must go destination. So things were put in motion to make it happen. Bada boom bada bing.... the boss signed out on it.
Turun site is a powerful reason. Site mana is a different issue. Officially the site is - Stesen Janakuasa Hidro Sultan Mahmud, Kenyir. Better known by us as KNYR.

The trip started punctually last Wednesday from bangsar at 1pm. See.. TNB people can be punctual, especially 'bila 5pm'. All 5 of us - Amad, Kira, Mahes, Farah and myself traveled in 2 cars. The boss insisted that we drove separate cars takut anything happen, all effected vs half - kurangkan risk is our specialization. No complains - better for us to claim. Our first pit/piss stop was Genting Sempah where the MCd's toilet was busuk (according to the girls). Amad and me beg to differ and did our business less than 2 minutes while the girls nearly took 20. Although time was not an issue, I was worried the estimated 6-7 hours drive would take forever - driver lah katakan, yg lain penat tidur je.

So with aaa loottt of hours to go i'm guessing Farah is telling her lifetime story to Mahes (masa kat Genting Sempah, Mahes cakap baru sampai sekolah rendah) in the other car while
we apart from listening to Kira's 'susah to turn on ipod + transmitter' (patutlah dapat free)', decided to play the A-Z game. You have to give a country, vege/fruit, brand, actor for every letter. Lahh.. masa budak2 dulu main. Amad made sure I mention that he won. I still believed he cheated - sitting at the back and wiki-ing it on the 3Gs. Second stop was at Petronas beside Kerteh's new Mesra Mall. Last time we were there (last year) Mesra mall wasnt open yet. Amad said it was happening because he says toys r us doesn't simply open anywhere and bla bla blaa (wasnt really paying attention- he does the same thing to everyone all the time).

Our final pit stop was 'Pantai Nira tak sedap'. It was nearly sundown, we saw all the drinks by the roadside and the beach really near. Taking a break beside the sea seemed like an awesome idea. Air kelapa (air nira tak sedap in my case) + beach + sunset + photos + good company = memories. After taking pics we moved on for about an hour till we reached the 'grandest' hotel in Kuala Terengganu, Grand Continental. By first look, i couldnt believe we decided to stay there - tq fathi the KT local boy. It was really normal not special at all but the price was about rm280 a night.. damn mahal. Its a good thing the internet rates were lower but they didnt provide pics (marketing strategy - a little joke on farah's usage on marketing = groceries). But looking at the facilities or location.. i dont know how they get the cheek to charge that price.

So after check-in we settled down- shower an all.. tapi adalah kawan kita tu tak mandi : "aku tak peluh sangat" Yeah tell it to the smell. We had Farah's friend - Shamil ke Shamin (Amad/Kira panggil Shamin, I called him Shamil) take us to Pantai Batu Buruk to a place call Tenang Seafood 2. Tenang Seafood 1 still to be located. On the way we saw several better looking hotels near the beach (dah start menyesal with Amad saying asal kita tak duduk sini, asal tak duduk sana). Tq again fathi. Pantai Batu Buruk has its history - where islam first step foot in the region and where the batu bersurat came from. Kinda ashamed of this cause Mahes knew more than all of us combined. Tu belum ceriter artist2 kat Malaysia -Fauzana his fav. Farah knew the least with her batu bertangkup story. The food at Tenang was ok ok with the price and all. I realized from then on, the prices are about the same kl and kt.

Dah kenyang we headed back and opened up the Monopoly card game. Although teaching the game to a half asleep-tired bunch
(adding with the interruption of the jiwang SMS) was hard, they caught the game slowly but surely especially with the dont listen to others strategy. It was also refreshing to see the newbies winning and sometimes with killer moves. I just didnt want Amad to win cause dia racun semua so that I dont win. First rule, do what you want... second rule, dont do what bozord wants. After a few rounds, we called it a night and hit the sack . Unfortunately I had to share a bed with the smelly. I in returned went lawn mowing with my notorious snore. How the hell could your wife and kids sleep with you snoring like that, they asked the morning after. I replied "with love and training".

To be continued

ps.. no pics of hotel due to the huge dissapointment. Day 2 is the most interesting.

Tuesday, February 2

New hobby (not to be mistaken with hubby)

No actual pictures of the camera bought. Kinda hard to take a picture of itself.

Introducing the new edition to the household... our new camera the Nikon D3000. To those who know cameras might not really be all that impressed but to me personally I love it. But not sure its returning my love with the quality of pics I was hoping for. NVM... still new and learning while enjoying every minute of it. A little on the new baby:

Name: Nikon D3000 (No nama manja yet... lets just call it 3 kilo baby for now)
Place of birth: J-one @ Amcorp Mall (conceived... tak sure, jepun kot)
Date of Birth: 27th January 2010 (the first model was in August 2009)
Cost of caesarian: RM1950 + 2% cr card interest + RM70 for filter and screen protector
Weight: Emm.. not really sure, have to ask the mother =
Sex: Definitely a boy because of the long lenses.

Why a new baby/hobby? Well lets just say I wanted to compliment the wifes fav past time, her scrap booking. She needs great pics and I kinda have to step up. Boring ah asik2 dia puji/tunggu org lain nye gambar je. Apart from that I think its more intriguing nowadays to take up photography with all the facebook and flicker. People around me are also willing to teach. Who better to learn from than FIL (a real veteran and a lecturer of photography ). A lot friends are also pros and does free lancing. Thats the main reason I choose Nikon. Everybody else is using it.

I specifically chose D3000 cause based on research it was the cheapest in its range (beginner level) and a good start cause it has a manual in the camera itself. It also has a guide mode and an info mode. Real handy for first timers like me. It was a restrain measure so that if i give it up, i wont regret so much. I believe I understand the camera in and out just by reading the manual but I still have to learn what settings to use for what occasion. Setting the camera up is a breeze. If somebody can draw up a table of settings I can use, it will be great especially in low light and indoors. I know the 'composition' of the picture is actually the art but I'm taking baby steps first.

I have read several magazines, sites and e-books. Kinda understand the theories a little bit and there. Its the application and practical part I am lacking. Heres a few sites I have been reading that are very helpful:-, and So anybody out there who can guide me better with this new interest of mine please leave a comment. I would really appreciate it. So I leave you with my favourite pic yet - "eyes hidden". Its not great but I like it especially because I was just snapping away.