Honestly, the only word that popped into my head when I recollect the days in Mount Ophir was:
Ad.ven.ture (noun) : An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity.
Taken from the inbuilt dictionary in my macbook.
With roads filled with potholes and gravel, and being sandy at some stretches, the word ADVENTURE is truly befitting.
Which is why my partner gave me the concerned look when I nudged him to go. It wasn’t because he was un-adventurous. Rather, he was worried that Scarlet (his Honda STX 1300) would be too heavy to manhandle in such treacherous terrain.
So we decided to use Stevie (my Honda VSE 400). Then again, logistics would be a major issue because Stevie has got only a top box, which was barely sufficient for 2 sleeping bags, clothes, and other smaller items. As for the rest of the camping stuff like stools, mass tins, solid fuel, food etc, we thought hard about how we were going to transport it to Mount Ophir.
As the camping trip approaches, we still haven’t figured out how to settle our camping stuff. Dampened by space constraints, we almost pulled out from the camping trip if not for the generosity of a fellow Kruzer, who allowed us to put our camping stuff on his bike. (Thank you Teo!)
And with that, our camping trip unfolds..
04:15 am – As usual, Lionel brought us to the nearby petrol station to check the bike’s tire pressure.Notice the big black bag on the floor? That’s our camping stuff which I swear that it weighed about 20kg or something.
05:00 am – Met up the rest of the Kruzers at the usual meet-up point – GP Esso. Note the Yellow GS, with our camping stuff on top.
05:20 am – Had a short briefing about the trip before moving off at 05:30 am
07:30 am – We arrived at Pagoh R&R for our first refuel. Noticed that Stevie’s fuel consumption dropped significantly: from 22 – 24 km/l to 15 km/l.
08:20 am – Arrived at Tangkat town to fill our tummies before heading up to Mount Ophir.
09:07 am – Here’s us traveling through the trunk roads to Mount Ophir. Thank God for the pleasant weather.
09:09 am – The tarmac road soon disappears and we soon found ourselves traveling on the rugged roads, filled with sand and gravel.
09:16 am – So far, the journey has been manageable. Here’s my rider, giving a relieved look inside his helmet. At this juncture, we were so glad to have brought Stevie on this trip instead of Scarlet.
09:30 am – Just when we thought that the roads couldn’t get worse with inclines and more loose gravel, we saw a vehicle coming down the same path we were on! Wait a minute? SO THIS IS A TWO WAY ROAD?
09:33 am – The roads just gets worse from here along. With steep slopes, sharp hairpin loops, uneven gravel road .. I had to keep my camera and focus on the roads (and pray!)
We finally made it to the camping site after an arduous journey up Mount Ophir! Special thanks to my rider who brought us up safely. Phew!
While Isaac and Jocelyne were doing some registration at the Visitor Centre, I roamed around and took some pictures of the beautiful scenery.
A breathtaking view of the green plains below. Ahhh, what an idyllic and surreal place.
Meet Joshua, Veronica, and Cherie (from left to right) – our 3 new friends joined us for this trip.
Our camp site is just beside the beautiful dam. Love the peaceful and paradisal surroundings!
Meanwhile, we started pitching our tents. I of course, was busy taking pictures as usual. The perfect excuse.
Lionel, feeling a sense of accomplishment after pitching our tent.
(If you are interested, our tent can be bought at Carrefour or Giant for just SGD $55.00. It’s a 4 man tent, which gives lots of extra space for us to put our barang barang inside)
Just when I thought that having Maggie Mee in the wild is a luxury in itself, our Kruzer friends surprised us with Curry Maggie Mee. Ha!
Disconnected from technology and society, we could only keep ourselves entertained and busy with jokes, story-telling, food and drinks..
Surrounded with nature and lush foliage, it’s common to find animals and insects which we don’t usually get to see. For example:
With so much time in our hands and no technology to keep me company during my spare time, I could only do what I do best besides eating – SLEEPING!
Meanwhile, the rest of the bunch were busy (and having fun) gathering wood for the improvised kitchen stove.
Our makeshift kitchen stove. Kudos to the creative thinking of Isaac and other fellow Kruzers!
Soon, it started to rain and I quickly went back to my tent to hide. But I’m surprised that the rest of them continued with their activities (such as eating corn) in the rain!
It didn’t take long before the rain got heavier. Most of us went back to our tents but a handful of helpful men braved the rain and accompanied Chef Isaac to prepare dinner.
Our delicious dinner, cooked by Isaac with the help of Lionel, Kenny, and Teo. Thank you guys, for persevering in the rain just so that we can fill our stomachs with this delicious meal for dinner.
Finally, the rain stopped just before dusk and I decided to take some snapshot of the scenery, and you know, digest those protein and carbohydrates from dinner.
The night hit us sooner than I thought. Shortly after dinner (and the photo-taking session after the rain), we were engulfed with darkness.
Regardless, we continued to mingle around with damper, alcohol and tea, causing the night to be filled with laughter, booze, and the sweet aroma of Teh Tarik.
Time check – 11:00pm. With the cool temperature and the alcohol in some of our stomachs, we retreated to our tents to sleep.
If I could sum up the camping experience of day one into a sentence for my partner and I, it would be “We made it!” And by that, I mean I’m glad we made it to Mount Ophir and survived a day with nature, its creatures, and the absence of technology. Woohoo!