Friday, February 1, 2013

The Rafflesia Ride: Part 3

The wrath of nature...

Patric and I wasted no time in preparing dinner.
With the little daylight left, there wasn't much time to work with the leftovers we had.
So, we kept things at the minimal.
And in the icebox, there was a large tilapia where Patric had given instructions to fillet.
It started to pour heavily as the camp cooks had struggled to prepare dinner.
There were some leftover roast duck, chicken and the main course was deep-fried tilapia fillet.
And right there before our eyes, the river swelled.
Water mixed with mud had gushed down the stream where just hours earlier, the guys were taking a dip.
I can hear the crushing force of the water against the rocks and this was rather eerie.
Siang and Captain Yew were observing the raging river and issued instructions to evacuate the scene.
Time was not wasted in getting the job done as we packed our stuff, moving the bikes to higher ground as parts of the farm house began to flood..


The last frontier: Kg Hulu Geroh in Gopeng, Perak

A great shot by Patric of me riding up Hulu Geroh

After an ass-busting hike, Coke is it!

MIchelle, posing at Kg Orang Asli Hulu Geroh
Better safe than sorry..

We played the waiting game and after two hours of waiting, the water level on the river began to subside.
Its only then when we decided that it was safe again to move our bikes back to the farm house.
During dinner, we reminisced on how people got killed by ignoring the danger signs especially when camping too close to a river.
Deforestration also did not help in this case as we noticed that most of the hills surrounding the farm has been cut down.
We were glad that nothing untowardly happened during the storm and continued to savour our dinner.


Raging wild: the river next to the farm house

Cool as cucumbers: Patric and Roger at the dining hall
Reflections of a bikepacker...

After the good meal, we cleaned up and prepared our sleeping quarters. 
Its a long ride out the next day and we wanted to ensure that nothing gets left behind.
During supper and a few beers, Siang and Angela opened up on their past experience with a larger group of cyclist.
I found it amusing that a cyclist with only a year of experience is now regarded as a 'guru' among the beginners.
Well, I guess some people needed their role-models.
We continued to chat until midnight and decided that it was best to hit the sack to get some rest..


Capt Yew leading the way out.. 

Michelle and Roger
Possibly the best asam laksa in Gopeng

Late breakfast..
We improvise...

Much of the foodstuff we brought was depleted.
So, for breakfast, I gathered all the instant noodles and whipped out a meal.
The guys had no issues downing the meager breakfast I had dished out.
Later, we made some arrangement with the birding group to transfer our luggage to the deer farm.
This took off the load on our bikes as we rode out empty.
The rough terrain had taken a toll on our wheels as Michelle had noticed my rear rim wobbling.
While negotiating a pothole, she had a fall and the impact had damaged the bike's fender stays.
Its not difficult to fix this problem as we slowly made our way to the Gopeng Hills laksa stall.
By the time we got there, the birding gang were already finishing their laksa.
We had a round of noodles before cycling back the farm.
It didn't took long for us to get there and after packing up, we parted ways.
I thanked Capt Yew for rigging up the trip and gave him a copy of my book.


Happy camper: Patric with a copy of my book..
I told the gang that we were headed to Kampar for lunch and then break off towards the Klang Valley via the North-South highway.
We agreed and followed-up with Kampar's 'seating man' char koay teow.
After a good fill, we parted ways.

Summary

Spare the weather, the ride was a success.
We kept our expenses to the minimal with the generosity of Mr Chung who hosted our stay at his farm house.
The Rafflesia ride itself was a real experience. Despite the lack of training and our physical state, we were glad to make it in and out alive.
This ride will pave way to more outings throughout the year and I hope to maintain the lean crew that we have.
For the record, we were the few cyclists with small bikes to reach Hulu Geroh and that is something that we could be very proud of.. Hell, I won't be surprised if some internet cycling celebrity would take this route and promote this as his own ride for his personal glory. Getting there first is 
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