11 February 2012 - 8.30 a.m.: We met the bus carrying the rest of the contingent (all 30 of them) in front of the Batu 18, Police Station. They were comprised of members of the electronic media.10 minutes later they were tumbling down the bus on to the river bank looking somewhat bewildered and lost. Can't blame them. They boarded the bus in posh Bangsar and before they know it, they were standing on the banks of a seemingly raging river, with a fleet of 20 bamboo rafts anchored on the side, not to mention, the 20 Orang Asli helmsmen (aboriginals) barking instructions and orders at each other. But they were alright. They put up a brave front, not to be outdone by the locals. Afterall city folks have their mettle too, though one was close to tears when told that she was riding alone with the Orang Asli guide. I heard later that she was the noisiest after the ride, recounting her near death experience, ironically with non-stop laughing.
Tok Batin Andak was no help. He told them that the trip was full of dangers with crocodiles and comodo dragons waiting around each bend. Anyway, they set of at 9.00 a.m. with all rafters back at Uluhati by 11.30 a.m., from the river to a farm. No too late later lunch was served. Typical Malay kampong fare (Negri Sembilan centric) comprised of keli salai masak lemak cili padi with belimbing buluh, rendang ayam kampong, sambal tumis udang with petai, goreng pucuk paku gajah (you won't find this in town, tropical asparagus) with an array of ulam and sambal belacan, tempoyak, cencalok and budu, guaranteed to make you swoon either out of ecstasy or disgust. No swoon, they came back for seconds, even thirds and fourths.
After lunch was over to Tok Batin. In his typically charismatic calm, innocent and wry humor he explained how the aboriginal blowpipe was made, their darts and poison and how to safely use them. Yes, for many of our visitors this was their first time hearing it first hand, what later to try them. No too bad, most got the target though a couple cheated by standing like two feet from the target, and one became a rabbit specialist. You see, Tok Batin explained that you almost always shoot upwards as the usual targets are birds and monkeys. So when our guest shot the base of the tree, someone quipped that we have a rabbit specialist in our midst. She graciously accepted the honor.
The rest of the day was spent getting to know one another in a very relax environment. The day ended round about 4.30 p.m. after the prize giving for the best photo taken throughout the day.
|Advance Party checking in|
|Night visit to the stables|
|The Sarong Brigade at breakfast. Nice to see them so at home.|
|Getting down to the river. "Life jackets?.. does it mean that we can die here...?.. Hmmm. seen that, done thatt... no sweat....what on earth am I doing here....?|
|Hulu Langat Armada|
|Off we go..courtesy of Azuan Zahdi|
|Courtesy of Azuan Zahdi|
|"it was a dark and lonely river.." courtesy of Azhan Zahdi|
|Bamboo surfing....? Courtesy of Azuan Zahdi|
|Lunch under the trees|
|"At the end is a rubber wrapping for stability...not decoration.."|
|"This "tabung" contains the darts. They are not oversized tooth picks..."|
|"the container contains the poison..NNOO!.. I won't tell you how its made... .a single contact with an open cut would mean an unscheduled meeting with your ancestors....no doctor can help you.."|
|"mee tooo....one for the girls"|