THE Metro Adventure Club (MAC) has had its fair share of collective experience every year since it first started in 2015 and this year was no different when it came to gaining new experiences and revisiting old ones.
Our group of writers for the year, headed by Niklas Albakri, were the experienced Jacobus Raj, Christina Low, Jarod Lim and Eddie Chua, as well as myself with newcomer Intan Farhana Shazwani and guest writer Tee Lin Say.
Individually, we did our best to share our passion for getting out and exploring something different through our own desires.
Here are some highlights of our adventures in 2019.
We kicked things off in February with Niklas joining the Land Rover Owners Malaysia club on a multiracial loh sang session and feast under the stars in Pahang as their tradition to usher in the Chinese New Year to invite prosperity.
As an off-roading enthusiast, it was almost like falling in love again with the 4WD community for Niklas as he basked in the camaraderie among friends and spent time together with his wife and little one.
Even though I was not part of their celebrations, I was lucky enough to be part of a monthly tree-planting initiative by the Global Environment Centre and the Selangor Forestry department on World Wetlands Day (Feb 23) in North Selangor.
Although it was a simple exercise of planting trees, my day at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve was an eye-opening episode that will likely last a lifetime as I learned the challenges faced by those who rehabilitate and safeguard peat lands.
In a similar vein, I was bowled over during my visit to Redang Island for the annual Redang Island Conservation Day with 70 others, after seeing in person just a fraction of the amount of sea debris in the ocean contributed by humans and cleaning up over 500kg of rubbish in a matter of hours.
Our colleague Eddie wowed us with his inspiring photos of the glorious Milky Way, taken during his visit to Kudat in Sabah and offered us a glimpse into the “nightlife” at the tip of Borneo.
Having been there previously, I can confirm Kudat not only offers one of the best night views in the country, but also the heartwarmingly friendly Rungus people and their unique culture.
Photography is just one of Eddie’s many skills, with the other being an avid angler, so it was no surprise to see that he saw fit to share what he loves by giving us a primer on teaching children how to fish.
Being an Ipoh boy and a former boy scout who now lives in the city, Jarod’s craving for adventure is something I appreciate.
His visit to the Kanching Eco-forest in Rawang just before the dry season in March proved to be the much-needed escape to rejuvenate the nerves and indulge in his photography interests.
It was a shame that he did not make it to the highest portion of the waterfall to show us the view but here’s to hoping that he will accomplish that on his next visit.
However, he developed a deep appreciation for Kyudo – the Japanese martial art which uses bows over two metres long requires immense concentration from its practitioners to control and perfect the Shaho-Hassetsu (principles of shooting) – after trying it for the first time.
Perhaps this aided him in his following outing where he headed off to the City Camping Park at Bukit Sungai Puteh forest reserve for some 3D archery where he “hunted” cut-out foam animals with little difficulty.
Our resident trail runner Christina was on the hunt for another new trail and it led her to the Shah Alam Community Forest but she ended up having to take it easy when she found that the forest in the middle of the city was not what it should be, no thanks to damaged trails, likely caused by heavy vehicles and illegal encroachment.
It’s always disheartening for nature lovers to hear such stories, what with the slow and steady destruction of the few but much-needed pristine green lungs within the city.
Luckily for Christina, she was able to find her rhythm again when she picked up some basic tips on navigating a course before tackling the terrain during the Buff Trail Run 2019 and a monthly trail run held at the gruelling Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi course.
Even though Intan was the newest MAC member, she almost upstaged us with her experience of visiting the supervolcano at Lake Toba.
The decision to travel by road on a four-hour car journey from Medan may have been a regretful one but it was soon forgotten as she and her friend embarked on their exploration and were rewarded with stunning views of waterfalls, mountains, beautiful villages and a relaxing hot spring dip surrounded by pristine nature.
Intan also visited the surreal Mossy Forest in Cameron Highlands where she was exposed to the delicate nature of the unique forest, which is said to be the oldest in Malaysia at over 200 million years old.
Jacobus, our mountain biking adventurer, offered his recommendations on locations where city folk can find trails ranging from beginner-friendly to expert without
travelling out of the Klang Valley as well as reminded cyclists to always stay hydrated throughout the journey.
MAC also saw our first guest writer Lin Say share her experience as she challenged herself to prepare and venture into the ring for her fourth amateur muay thai match which she won.
Five years in, the adventures have been rolling in and the team is looking forward to bringing readers more exciting and insightful stories in 2020.
Here’s to yet another adventurous year!
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