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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Stayin' Alive! .:Round 2:. Finishing Hard

"I'm gonna get you wet. I'm gonna make you sweat. A night you won't forget."
Champagne Showers feat. Natalia Kills - LMFAO

At last! The engine is running and I'm back!

I wake up at ungodly hours and take outrageously long naps in the afternoon these days, but I'm about to get the wake up call of my life next week when classes begin at University.

Like most of my other holidays, I tend to squeeze the last drop of fun out just before they end so that I have a little more to look forward to. I need a ton of motivation.

Now this time I managed to get my hands on a much more fun opportunity to get the most out of the last 24 hours of my semester break.

So I woke up at 6:30 am on Sunday morning and nearly fell out of bed. I hadn't woken up at that time since...I made my passport a couple of weeks back.

I love the Malaysian lifestyle. We wake up late as ever (even if its in the wee hours of the morning) and our specially engineered perception of time is so easily understandable between most of our peers. There is almost no sense of time sensitivity, only time consciousness. There is a difference between the two.

Back to what I was doing up so early. I took a little morning walk (first in YEARS) to the rendezvous point where Jason picked me up. From then, it was an hours drive to Kuala Kubu Bharu (sound familiar?) where the adventure begins.

No. This isn't some stuntman show. Helmets they are, and their purpose is simply to protect your head and its contents.

What's the bigger picture? If you know Kuala Kubu Bharu and its perimeter, you will notice the river that runs by it (Sungai Selangor). It isn't surprising that a bunch of folks got together and decided to brave the rapids that were on that stream.

They must have enjoyed it very much to add it to their portfolio of rivers to hit the rapids on.

Khersonese Expedition. Heard of it? Well now that you have, here's a big peek into what they've got.

Rafting is serious business but heck, no one wants to sit through a half-hour safety briefing. Not unless you're fortunate enough to have Bai as your supervisor. That's him up there. His safety demo is the closest thing to David Holmes unique flight safety demonstration on Southwest Airlines (see the video here). Bai is his Malaysian counterpart.

Rafting isn't about sitting still. Rafts got no seatbelts or airbags (Ok, fine. You can say the whole thing is an airbag since it's inflated). Each raft has a captain and in order to navigate the rapids, the weight on the raft needs to be shifted to suit the contours of the river. What you see on top is the "over-right", where all members grab the rop on the right and huddle at the right side of the raft.

There's over-left, back and front too. The over front is the craziest. It is usually used to shift the raft off a rapid by toppling it over to the other side like a see-saw. You go headfirst into the crazy river. Awesome no?

The river is a short walk away. We were assigned four to a raft (maximum 6 per raft). Azrin (, Melanie (, Mandy ( and Shukri ( took one raft while Jason ( and I shared a raft with a couple from Dubai.

The folks on my raft. They're a fun bunch!

And the rest of the bloggers on the grey raft (furthest from camera).

The rapids on the river are rated at Level 4, which is great for beginners with a little outdoor experience and also tickles the senses of adrenaline junkies.

Oh! And here's a fun fact: Why is it called white water? The term is caused by water that looks white rather than transparent due to the presence of turbulence or disturbance in amounts that cause air and water to temporarily mix and refract light.

Due to the nature of the rapids and also for safety purposes, only one raft can navigate a set of rapids at any given time. This is usually to avoid collisions and accidents and most importantly, spoiling the fun of the whole journey. So what do we do while our raft is parked at the side of the river and awaiting deployment?

We get out and enjoy the water. Come on! The weather these days is so hot you can fry an egg on your car bonnet.

Not just that, we watch how others fare on the same rapids. Especially Azrin's raft capsizing. Mind you, it's apparently more fun when your boat flips.

And the gang trying to recover from the "trauma".

So from then on, it's just getting off the raft and enjoying the view of the forest and the river.

When we reached Kem Bina Semangat, the National Service campsite at the end of the trail, there was lunch waiting for us there.

SO now does the place sound familiar?

That's where the SIC Youth Rallies for 2008 and 2009 were held. So many memories run through the corridors of the campsite. I really miss the place.

My life has really zoomed by these few years. Time really flies when you're having fun! I never thought that I would have returned to this place in my life. It's one of the places that changed my life for the better, and it will always be in my heart.

So with that, the Stayin' Alive campaign draws to a close. Finally, after so many failed travelogues and campaigns, I managed to finish one and finish it well. It sure feels good!

I'm back y'all!

Before I forget, a big thank you to Khersonese Expedition and Advertlets for this awesome and really, really memorable experience.


Another lil' advertlet

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