Aug 12, 2005

Weekend @ Kota Tinggi

I love posting happy blogs! And I'm utterly pleased to report that Reefwalk's "Ultimate R&R Event of the Year" was a success! A total of 14 adults and 2 children made their way to Kota Tinggi, Johor last weekend for 2 days and a night of pure R&R. It was a well-deserved getaway for all, and a memorable experience that has left us hungry for more!

After meeting up at Kranji MRT station at 8.00am on Saturday, we decided to have breakfast at the old Woodlands Interchange while waiting for the traffic jam at the Causeway to ease a little. "We" included Daniel & his wife Belle, Merey with husband Eng Wan & 2-year old son Reef, Doreen & daughter Lotus, Seow Nan, Saify, Darius, Min Sheng, Heng & I.

Freddy & his wife Livia and Peter were to join us in Kota Tinggi later that afternoon, as Freddy was called back to work at the last minute, and Peter was down with a high fever & flu.

Some of us had not slept the night before or were pretty beat from the journey up, or in the case of Eng Wan, had come straight after a flight back from Sri Lanka. So after checking in to Kota Rainforest Resort, most of us headed straight for the mattresses...

Except for these few who were raring to go!

I guess by observing who did what on the first day you can tell what he/she came here for - fun in the sun, quality time with loved ones, doing nothing but chill-out, or doing some big time soul searching of some sort. Whatever we did, we were surrounded by little wonders of nature, set within the rustic setting of the resort, amidst the lush tropical rainforest.

Later in the afternoon, a few of us headed for the waterfall to literally chill out. The water was freezing! But shiok man! While MS & Saify were enjoying their "hydro jet back massage", I had fun splashing Doreen with icy cold water while Seow Nan gave the locals an eyeful with her DIY mud spa. Out came her huge Ziploc bag filled with Dead Sea mud all the way from Israel, which was then generously slathered all over her body, as well as my back, all over little Lotus & big D. Soon, she managed to convince the guys to join in the fun too, so all of us got a complimentary mud rub + back massage from this petite girl.

In the evening back at the resort, all of us regrouped for a lovely charcoal-fired steamboat dinner that tested our patience, chopstick skills and appetite for the "exotic". Merey was served with some extra "liao" in her soup from one of the resident lizards or birds perched above, while MS found a "black bean" in his soup - a "bean" that has 2 wings and large eyes, that you often find hovering over food or other less than appetising (and usually smelly or dead) objects. Yum!

After dinner, we headed straight for the Fireflies Rivercruise that Daniel had thoughtfully arranged for us earlier. Man! It was amazing! At times I felt like I was lost in a magical fairyland... more like Neverland, as the little specks of dancing light reminded me of Tinkerbell. I expected the tour to be a rather short one 'cos as a Malaysian, I don't really place much hope in what my country has to offer in terms of "customer service". But the boat ride just went on and on along the river, encountering more & more trees that were covered with these tiny and mesmerising creatures (more info about fireflies in the Appendix below).

And up above, a different show of twinkling light, a sight I crave for every night - diamonds in the sky! Aaahh... To be surrounded by so much beauty just gets you all warm & fuzzy all over!

Back at the resort, it was bedtime for some, and time to kick back, relax & t-c-sing-song for others. Nothing like a bottle of musty wine to get the ball rolling, and soon we were happily discussing topics as varied as Sri Lankan tea & soya sauce, religion & lost civilisations, scholars & tapeworms, weight loss & 'snakes'... It was fun joking about Changi Village 'cravings' and Seow Nan's "Andrew". "Andrew" is a tapeworm that Daniel believes lives in Seow Nan's stomach 'cos she's so skinny. So we try to picture her rubbing her tummy near mealtime and going "Aaaandreeewww... what do you feel like eating today?"

Oh, and since we keep pronouncing Saify's name wrongly, he's now officially nicknamed "Anaconda" (for other 'reasons' too!).

Most of us slept really well that night after such a fun-filled day, some wine, and for me, a big gulp of cough mixture. But in the middle of the night, I awoke in fright when I heard a guy scream, and opened my eyes to see Peter leaning over Darius in bed! Darius looked white as a ghost, and Peter looked guilty yet innocent at the same time. Ahaha... Some Changi Village 'cravings' going on here or just Darius having a really bad dream? I'll leave that to your imagination!

The next day went by really quickly, with breakfast, packing up, etc etc till it was check-out time. We then headed for a very nice lunch back at the same place we visited the night before for the fireflies tour. The food was really good, and in the words of Eng Wan as he savoured the Nonya-style steamed fish, "Wah steam! Steamology man!".

As each of the 4 cars were headed in different directions, we said our goodbyes after lunch, each with fond memories to keep us warm, fuzzy & tickled pink for a long time to come. Thanks again to Daniel for coming up with the idea of this trip & planning the nitty gritty logistics side of it, to all the drivers who brought us from point A to B and back in one piece, and to all who came, lending to the trip your unique personalities and sharing the best of yourselves with everyone else. Aaahhh... warm and fuzzy again... :-)

"The ultimate expression of generosity is not in giving of what you have, but in giving of who you are." - Johnnetta B. Cole


nan said...

ahhhhh... all the memories. btw, what's that muddy swamp thing sitting on the rock at the waterfall pool? looks scary. oh, was it me?...

i ve found a way to kill andrew. i read that the seed of the barringtonia asiatica can be used to expel intestinal worms. say goodbye to andrew....

Anonymous said...

she's trying to kill me!

Be@tles said...

Glad to see that the R&R cum bonding trip turn out to be successful. Most important, at the end of the trip all of us feel relaxed and one way or another bonded closer. I reckon we bonded well and from day 2 breakfast session it seems like we have known each other for more than a year. This is that kind of Chemistry that we hope to have among guides.

Will think of new ideas for our next trip


Be@tles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
greengardn said...

nan... you're starting to sound a bit too much like bluebird. that's 50 cents x 2 fine for those almost un-pronouncable words.

you seriously dun mind andrew's blood on yr hands? No-o-O-o-O-ooO!

fLoGgiE said...

Yam, yam... I've loved those "beans" that has 2 wings and large eyes.

True, true...the 4 cars were headed in different directions.

I didn't know that there was another way to get back to Singapore in the opposite direction. Daniel needs to share with us the new route.

Allison said...

hi..about the fireflies river cruise, i like to ask if there's any official website that provides information such as the exact location to get on the boat or the time the boat sets off from the jetty and the pricing. Thanks