10 Aug – 12 Aug 07
– by Kenny
Hands up to those who knows what a seladang or a gaur is. If you did, you’re either a zoologist, a freak or Isaac Chan.
I must admit that I had no idea what the other giant was all about when the trip’s itinery was planned. Elephants is common knowledge but what the ffff…ish IS a seladang man? To me, it was simply a Malaysian cow. Probably one of those cows they use to plough the fields.
Elephants VS Cows
But boy, was I sooo wrong.
Here’s a preview to what’s it all about
But more of that later. A huge reason I wanted to make the trip, even without my professional pillion, was also to visit the site where a sorely missed friend lost his life. For those who were in the club long enough, you would remember that Benny had left us while recce-ing the very same elephant sanctuary we are to visit 2 years ago. To me, it would be a good closure to visit the site where Kruzer’s first trip manager left to ride better roads and maybe leave a cigarette for my old school buddy.
Apart from thinking of he who has passed, I also look forward to meeting the ever growing members joining us for trips. This time, we are anticipating a 125cc Daelim Daystar to come round with us. To make it more challenging, Daniel won’t be travelling alone with his bike but also with his wife! Virus aka Leong was also joining us for the first time and I can see the excitement in his eyes when he first arrived at GP Esso.
— Daniel da Man on da Daelim! ————- Leong aka Virus —
Daniel may have felt intimidated with the other Class 2/2A bikes around him, but he need not feel so. The Kruzer Markers and Sweepers I know are a professional lot and much care and attention will be taken for all bikers, be they small or big cc. However, it helps that Daniel is a really steady rider. 🙂
After a short brief by Cysiong at GP Esso, we eagerly set off. To allow Daniel to acclimatise to his first ever trip, we planned for a stop at Machap 80km away. With a whole lot of co-operative seasoned bikers in our group, we made good time and even had a nice early morning breakfast at Sungei Besi Macdonald’s. (though the coffee smelled like melted styrofoam)
Kuala Gandah has been an elephant sanctuary (www.myelephants.org) which houses homeless wild elephants, much like an orphanage for these huge yet gentle beasts. The sanctuary also trains these elephants to help relocate wild elephants who have been “terrorising” plantations encroaching their natural habitats.
The video presentation documenting how wild elephants drugged with tranquilizer are coaxed into trucks and boats with the calming presence of the tame elephants from the sanctuaryis simply heart-warming. Though this translocation is on-going, the fact remains that their habitats are being destroyed and they will soon no longer have a large enough place to sustain them.
Read about Kuala Gandah’s elephant translocation programs here at:
With this message, we left the sanctuary to admire first-hand, the beauty of these great beasts. It was a pity that there were no activities planned for the elephants today. Normally, there would be feeding and bathing of elephants at appointed times for guests, but being a Friday, it was to be a day of rest for the elephants. We were to be left contented with views of them from afar, safe behind an electric fence.
The best thing to freedom they have
Somehow, observing their behaviour remind us that they are still, in their big hearts, wild and free.
Baby elephant born in captivity
As bikers on the road, we understand how that freedom feels. But I never know how sad for them to see their homes gone forever.
Trudging on in the only home that he knew
With that, we head for lunch was at a little Chinese town called Mentakab before entering our next destination, Jenderak Seladang Santuary.
Penguin still feeling fresh!
Prior to entering the sanctuary, I had absolutely no idea what a gaur was. Admittedly, I’m guilty of not reading up before a trip thus missing the sense of anticipation for this sanctuary. From the introductory posts from Isaac, I thought we were seeing cows!
Don’t want to be at the end of its horns…
But these weren’t mere cows. They’re the 2nd largest mammals in Malaysia, next to the elephants and boy, are they chunky! It wouldn’t be an understatement to say they are the Mr Universe of the Cow world.
4 Kruzers and a Gaur
cow: me no cow…..me GAUR!!!! Us: aarrghhh!!!
After staring at the “biceps” and “quadraceps” and what have yous on the gaur, we went to meet the little one. You wouldn’t imagine the monsters these cute little baby will become one day. (oh ya, the little one is quite a sucker too)
Tony: Let him suck mine!!
A longer chat in the Seladang musuem with our guide reveals that there are only about 6 wild gaurs left in the nature reserve up north in Banding. It’s quite hard and sad to think that there are only less than 10 of these gaurs in an forested area bigger than the size of Singapore.
By this time, many of the riders are already deadbeat and it’s no wonder you can find them all sitting and napping on the couches!
With just over 30km away from the Jerantut City Hill Resort, we quickly set off on our way. But this is also the portion of the road where I had come to see for myself the place a buddy breathed his last.
As we travelled the very same road as he last rode, I did my best to empathise what he last felt. The boring straight stretch and warm, humid weather conspire to make an overnight traveller very sleepy indeed. Even then, my heart was pumping with dread at arriving at the spot. Before long, we were along the roadside with Isaac finally confirming the site.
A moment’s reminisce and a cigarette was all I could offer. Benny, memories of you will never fade, especially so with the friends made in Kruzers.
Riding through the corner he never travelled, we left the memories and the heat behind while we headed for a much needed rest at Jerantut.
Dinner at the nearby town was at a poshy looking (Malaysian kampung standard) Chinese looking restaurant. Plates of good food and bottles of beer later, we headed out looking for, what else, durians!
First dish and we cant stop already!
Let the durian feast begin!
15 min later,
Durian in one hand, Eno in the other
I awoke the next day by a persistent knocking of the door by our wonderful Kruzer room service. Me, Cy and Penguin have been eagerly anticipating this day of climbing up Fraser’s. In fact, all our heads could think of were the 30 odd kilometres of wicked twisties.
But first, a quick stop to Lata Jerum awaits. The heat and sticky feeling dissipated quickly as we plunged (or rather, timidly dip inch by inch) into the freezing water. Before long, all the guys were swimming around looking for the perfect “jacuzzi” spot.
And they quickly found their spot
But there are always pple searching for the best:
We are still a decent club…. 😛
The itchy backsides among us braved strong currents and slippery rocks to climb up to the next higher level of the water cascade. with even more itchy hands, Tony proceeded to grab a HUGE stick and started to prod jackfruits down.
Tony and the Giant Probing Stick
With such a rich picking, we decided to pack it into William’s box and have him transport it up to our resort for the night.
Along the way, we just couldn’t help it…
The climb up Fraser’s Hill just seemed shorter and shorter, but the thrills is enough to keep us grinning like an idiot.
Cheesy new addition to the hill (no, not the bike..:)
With everyone safely up the treacherous slopes, we checked in and in the true tradition of Kruzer slacking, went to look for Ramli burger. Dinner is only 2 hours away, but we can never fogive ourselves if we missed the famous ramli burger of Fraser’s Hill.
The making of a klasik
Dinner is a BBQ menu prepared kindly by the resort. Though the quantities were huge, the quality was, well, average-ish and the spread small. But, full points for making the effort to prepare the dishes well before we started.
Still, some people just can’t get enough of food.
His 4 combine only make one corn!
In any case, the highlight would come later in the evening at Isaac’s apartment. With 9 bottles of beer, one Chivas Regal, loads of grubs a jackfruit, we had a ball of a time talking about bikes, movies and how Cy eats like a giant. Nothing like a good old chit chat with oldies playing in the background rounding up a fantastic riding day.
Jackfruit, drinks, grub, music and good company….nothing else matters
12 Aug 07
The next day, our friendly Kruzer room service was up and running early. But her assistant (who’s supposed to be on duty) was still glued to the bed half an hour after the time we’re supposed to be up. When I woke up, he occupied 3/4 of our bed, leaving me with a strip to negotiate. Must be the food he had the night before.
AFter breakfast, a couple of us decided to do something different and take a trek into one of the many trails into the forest. The Pines Tree Trail is the longest trail in Fraser’s, spanning 5km.
We only completed 700m.
With little time left, we had to pack up and leave. This portion of the journey down to Kuala Kubu Bahru is probably going to be the best stretch of twisties and we wasted no time in ravaging it.
By the time we reach Yong Peng for dinner, we were tired. cold and hungry. But it was great Larry could join us on their way back to Singapore from Koh Samui, sharing more travel stories.