Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reunion @ Bali (June 10th-14th 2009)

Ian (aka Nasty OZ), Ria (Pinoy), Nick (aka Swiney), Anant (nick named Kofi Anant) and Gladys(another Pinoy) were my only close mates during my time working at Bangkok back in year 2007 - 2008.

Although most of us are no longer @ Bangkok (Except Anant & Gladys), we do still keep in touch once in a while. OZ quit the job (back to Sydney) after I returned back to Malaysia while Ria left us to Singapore even much earlier.

The idea of having reunion came about when Gladys planned her leave and sent us e-mail suggesting us to meet up together at one location - Bali Island. Although I have been to Bali, I didn't mind simply because I am going with different group (mates).

DAY 1... Wednesday June 10th 2009
I still worked(half day) on the day I suppose to fly to Bali. I received an SMS from them when I switched on my phone after the plane has landed. My mates were already waiting for me at the airport by 10.30pm! I met them at the meeting area and I was so happy to be greeted with smiles and hugs. I did text my wife on my arrival so that she knows I have landed safely.

We headed back to hotel where Ian helped me to check-in into my room (He booked 3 rooms @ Wina Holiday Villa Kuta). I was suppose to share my room with Anant but he could not make it as his dad was ill. We walked out of the hotel for some drinks and they(Gladys, Nick and Ian) wanted to try out a restaurant & bar with a terrace facing to the sea place called Rosso Vivo @ Kuta Seaview Cottage ( Ian and Gladys ordered 4 mojitos and they were really good! It was a new drink for me. :P

Next stop was Hard Rock Cafe situated just few hundred metres from Rosso Vivo. We went in and order some drinks and Nachos. The Nachos @ Hard Rock Bali was really good! We went back to Hotel after the last few songs played by an Indonesian Band from Jakarta - they were not as good as those bands from Bangkok (miss them!).

DAY 2... Thursday June 11th 2009
We had breakfast together around 9.30am and then walked out to find transportation to one of the white water rafting locations. We did not plan anything for the reunion and everything was so spontaneous and that was fun.

After some negotiation with one of the local drivers name Pak Putu, we managed to settle a return trip to Bakas Levi Rafting near to Ubud area. It was quite a distance for IDR 100,000.00 return ride. Upon arrival at Bakas Levi, again we had to negotiate the rates for rafting as we refused to pay the USD35.00 per pax as stated on the brochure. At last we were able to settle the package for IDR300,000 per pax inclusive of buffet lunch. That's a lot of savings! Never use brochure... hehe.

In the middle of the rafting journey, we stopped for a while for some stunts! It was fun jumping from the high bank into the deep cool stream section together(all of us). Another fun part was when we were rafting on slower rapids and the guide purposely flipped the raft over so that all of us fell into the water. I accidentally drank the water... yikes! We had lunch after the rafting and headed back to Kuta Beach. Ian, Gladys and I managed to bury Nick at the beach like a turtle. He really looked like Dennis Rodman when his hair was covered by the sand.

That night, we took cab to Made's Warong but the restaurant was so full. That place serves one of the best Balinese and Asian cuisines. Since all of us were hungry, we just had our dinner at an authentic Indian restaurant for Naan bred with curry.

We walked around after dinner and then stopped for Balinese massage at one of the spa outlets since all our bodies were aching after earlier outdoor activities. Right after massage, Gladys came out with the idea of visiting Bounty Discotheque and we went to explore the nightlife there till late. Bounty was a nice place with several dance floors and a Foam pool. We went back to hotel by motorbike taxi around 3am after I complained "sleepy" to them... again it was fun!

DAY 3... Friday June 12th 2009
It was Friday morning and I was told by Ian & Nick not to wake them up early. I woke Gladys up for breakfast because I was hungry and I didnt want to miss it.

We had quick breakfast and planned for a quick surfing lesson. I did surfing @ Bali back in year 2003 and I didnt mind to learn it again. After several rounds of practice, both instructors were able to make us ride through the waves! IDR100,000 for 1 hour surfing lesson was worth it.

Nick and Ian had branch when we came back from surfing. We then took a cab to fetch Ria from the airport and brought her back to hotel.

Next, we took the free shuttle jeepney to Legian area for Mexican food(at Legian area) because Ria has not taken her lunch yet.

After the late lunch, we walked to Waterbom but we were not able to make it as the closing hour was 6pm. Ian and Gladys then went for the scarry SlingShot ride and... they survived!

Late in the afternoon after the sling shot, we managed to book a place at Made's Warong for dinner. Again we walked to the beach, had some photos and then we took a swim @ hotel.

Our dinner @ Made's Warong was good with some pork Satay, Tuna fish in Balinese sauce, Glass Noodles, Fried rice and curry. The boys and I went for massage again for relaxation while the girls waited for us @ Vi Ai Pi. It was midnight and all of us went back to hotel for Saturday's trip.

DAY 4... Saturday June 13th 2009
Pak Putu came and pick us up to Nusa Dua (PT. Benoa Tirta Harum Dive & Watersports) for watersports outing.

I tried wake boarding and Jet Ski while others went for additional sport known as Flying Fish. Next, we had lunch nearby before continuing our journey to Dreamland Beach near Jalan Uluwatu.

Dreamland is nice and less crowded as compared to Kuta. Next to the beach lies a resort named Klapa. We had our unplanned dinner @ Marlboro Black Menthol party as there were no other place that serves dinner @ Dreamland - so strange! The party was supposed to be fun but all of us were so tired and we headed back to the hotel for nice shower before hunting for food again.

The last stop for the last night in Bali was at the Ocean Beach Club Bar where we had nice pizzas and drinks. We spent the last few hours of the night by compiling and transferring pictures from the cameras to Nick's notebook for further distribution.

DAY 5... Sunday June 14th 2009
After packing and breakfast, all of us were picked up by Pak Putu to airport. We chatted at the airport until each one of us left the island by jet plane... This Bali reunion was one of my best vacations with mates ever! I hope to organize one @ Bangkok next year!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kota Damansara Community Forest Park (KDCF)

I have stopped riding for months due to badminton and bowling tournaments. Since both events ended recently, I took one weekend to rest before biking again.

My cousin Kelvin asked me on Friday if I would like to join him and AL for explore-riding @ KDCF a.k.a Kota Damansara Community Forest Park. I agreed to ride on Sunday(today).

Today's weather is a bit hazy when I was driving towards KDCF's location (coordinate was given by Kelvin the night before). The park is actually situated infront of a condo and a school. There is a roundabout at the end of the road towards the park.

The entire area was okay and quite peaceful. Kelvin and AL arrived some minutes later. After setting up the bikes, we went into the trail. I was briefed by Kelvin that the trail is a bit short approximately 2.3km to complete the loop.

Since I have not ridden my blue baby for months, 2.3km should be just nice to refresh my skills in mountain biking. Throughout the journey exploring the trail, I could not get used to some technical stretch. 

The first stretch was not fun as I got stuck on the way up on sandy ramp. Then, there were more climb as you travel further into the trail. I was like a pin-ball hitting the vertical roots of some trees. It was a tiring and panting all the way when I climbed zig-zag up the hill at the middle stretch.

The fun part begins at the last stretch of technical downhill (better than Kiara). I had so much fun to catch up with other riders(from different group) even though I nearly fell at one of the switchbacks!

In my opinion, KDCF is a good training ground for XC riders like me before jumping into one of Kiara's trails. I would recommend this place for riders without long hours to ride their bikes. One or two loops will burn quite a lot of calories...

GPS Coordinate: N 03.16925° E101.58053°

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