Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tri-Factor 2014

Tri Factor 2014 - finally understood the meaning of going all out (almost)!

"Dar, I'm worried about the cycling route," said Serene during our recce. "The U-turn right at the end is dangerous, and Edwin said there will be cheongsters and inexperienced riders and crashes and all."
"Yah.  We just have to be careful," I replied.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mount Kinabalu Trek- Day 4... Home sweet home.

Yes! Finally we were all well rested and ready to go home.

Photo: Ah Chua
The long long sleep the night before was sooooo very good.  Most of us woke up at 8am to 8:30am this morning, except our sweeper Ah Chua.  This very good man just could get enough of exercise and he woke up at 6am and went for a jog around the neighbourhood.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mount Kinabalu Day 2: Timpohon to Laban Rata

Day 2: En Route to Timpohon Gate

The minivan was very punctual this morning, arriving 5 minutes before 5:30am to ferry us to our breakfast point near Kinabalu Park, a two-hours' drive away.  Along the way, we stopped at one of the vintage point for a view of the peak that we would be summiting in due course.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mount Kinabalu Trek - our toughest trek ever. Day 1 - Arrival.

A lesson learned - Never under-estimate a mountain.

"Hey, let's go climb Mount Kinabalu," Wai Kit mooted the idea sometime end of 2013. "It's a very popular trek.  I've done it before years ago when I was very unfit, and I suffered.  Nowadays it takes 6 months advance booking to secure a place."

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kuantan Century Ride 2014

... of Great Food, Superb Hospitality, Inspiring Company... but still of Suffering for me, for being outta action for two months!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Walking the Southern Ridges ~ on a Good Friday!

The Southern Ridges of Singapore

I guess apart from some of the hilly areas around Bukit Timah, the Southern Ridges is another area that has been set aside by the government as nature reserve and designed to be linked up to allow for continuous walk, with scenice bridges and pathways.
So how does the hike look like?
Here is the actual GPS track of our hike on this day.  Click on the photo below and Zoom in after that to see the enlarged Google Earth map.
The Actual GPS track of our hike today

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Metasprint Triathlon 2014 ~ Never knew Triathlon was so enjoyable!

METASPRINT TRIATHLON 13 April 2014 - the bonding gets closer!

Finally, the day had come.  The boys had been preparing for this for months.  And, some with trepidation, awaited for the arrival.  It was with nothing short of a slight pang of sadness that I watched the guys trained, ladder-intervals after ladder-intervals, for the event.  Only 6 weeks before, a fall rendered me out of action for all my sporting events, including this, which was meant to be the climax of 'em all.  Still, excitement mounted as Serene and I got to Car park 6 along Changi Coastal Road at 6:05am to get ready with the boys.
With forearm splint tight bound on my broken finger, and ankle-lock securely holding my left foot, I shuffled to Car Park 6...

Me - pai kah pai chew - couldn't participate.  But I could still help them take photos.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Iceland Day 10 ~ Journey back home... Oslo - Helsinki to one of the most amazing Norwegian dinner.

Almost couldn't make it to the airport off Reykjavic...

Finally, we were on our way home.
Before 5am, all of us gathered at the main road just down the slope from Welcome Apartments.  Our bus was to be arriving at 5am to send us to the airport.  But strange.  There wasn't any vehicles on the road except for a stocking-ed Icelandic lady in heavy mascara walking towards us from her car, reeking of alcohol, meekly asking for a lighter.
Jiaklat.. the frown line on Adrian's furrow suddenly grew deeper by 10 years. If the bus couldn't come in time, we literally had to grab the taxi across the road parked at the petrol station and get him to mobilise his whole brotherly fleet.

If not, we might just have to spend one more night seeking aurora here in Reykjavik.  Between our quiet discussion of alternative plans and Adrian's frantic calling on his handphone, the bus chugged along, manned by two elderly Icelandic gentlemen, one of whom Adrian later mentioned was probably the boss of the company.  Good for us, served by the boss himself!

So we bobbed on the Finnair plane from Reykjavik to Oslo, and waited in transit for a while in the wifi-ed but not internet-access Oslo International airport, where everything was super expensive.  But thankfully we had some Bakkwa, courtesy of Michelle and Eddy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Iceland Day 9 ~ Pushing through snowy blizzard back to Reykjavic

TRAVELLOGUE: Of 17 knot wind and snow, a white out KKJ waterfall, a magnificent Hraunfossar waterfall, and back to Reykjavic!

This was really the last day and last night in Iceland.  It definitely seemed far to me, at that point in time, to travel all the way that 322km from Hellissandur back to Reykjavic and to fly back early the next morning.

But 9 days were one heck of a long time to be travelling away from home, though it sure didn't feel long to me then.  I could feel a sense of the trip ending.  Sadly.  But all good things must end, even though it was all white and snowy for the last few days.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Iceland Day 8 ~ Journey to the West.. of snow storms & bus-stopping side winds.

TRAVELLOGUE: Onwards to the ulu ulu West! (Then again, which part of Iceland wasn't ulu?)

The bench, and Leif Eriksson's.. hotel.

Yeah... By now I was Iceland-numb already.  It was like drifting from snowy plain to snowy beach to yet another snowy city.  But didn't mean I didn't enjoy every single moment of it.  My laziness (in not reading up and practising the pronunciation of the Icelandic names) meant that I wasn't truly prepared for what was to come.

"OK, this morning let's go and see that Hallsgrimkirkja Church further up," said Adrian.  Yes that was a good idea. Let's see how it looked in the morning.  And also to explore the inside of the church, something which we couldn't do last night.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Iceland Day 7 ~ Snow snow snow and back to Reykjavic!

Travellogue: An Icelandic White Wonderland ride to the Reynisfjara (Vik) Beach to see the Rocks and a snowy ride back to Reykjavik.

Gerdi Guesthouse in snow.

A winter wonderland welcomed us in the morning.
9am at the one-door SgTrekker Cookhouse was the standard procedure.  Just that on this day, the whole Gerdi Guesthouse had turned into Ice-land.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Iceland Day 6 ~ Racing against time in the Ice Cave, skirting the Svinasfelljokull, revisiting Jokulsarlon & a magnificent BANG! of Aurora!!

Travellogue:  Dragging my broken body along in the Race against time, shooting with just a point and shoot camera.. Boy, was I glad I did it!

The Ice Cave, by Serene.
A Whatsapp message from Adrian early in the morning on my handphone read:
"There is not much walking to the Ice cave today.  Only part is the little bit of steep climb into the cave.  If you cannot walk, you can still take picture from the mouth of the cave.  Serene can walk into the cave to shoot.  Don't worry, I will take care of you all the way."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Iceland Day 5 ~ A broken bus, a close encounter with Fjallsarlon, a flirt with Jokulsarlon (Norman) Ice Beach... and Bukit Lim Wee How

Travellogue: One of the most eventful days in Iceland

Life was like that.  There was always calm before the storm, and there was always exuberance before pain.  At 8am on this fateful day, not a single one of us would expect what was to come.  None.  We only knew that our stomachs were growling in anticipation of Adrian's breakfast.

Injuries in Iceland

The night of the fall..

I think I was feeling more shocked than painful with my injuries from that roll down the hill at about 10:15pm on that evening, day 5 of our trip to Iceland.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Iceland Day 4 ~ Bumping along the Southern Bumps:- Capes, Lava.. and finally Glaciers!

Travellogue: Cruising down the southern coast of Iceland.

Our GPS track for this day, from Skogar to Jokulsarlon.

Alex & Lai Peng on one of their regular morning walks,

We woke up to a nice, clear morning.  So far the weather had been lovely.  I told Serene the weather forecast I checked before coming to Iceland predicted that this day and the next few days would see rain and slight snow flurry.
Breakfast started at 8am.  Between Icelandic sesame-rye biscuits and OMG!-spilled coffee by a customer on the next table, we filled our stomach and got our luggage out.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Iceland Day 3 ~ Of famous volcano, full-rainbowed-Skogafoss, slippery Seljalandsfoss, and our first full-fledge Aurora...

Travellogue: The tour of the -foss, a gentle start that ended with a whole lot of bang for our bucks!

My second run in Iceland
I promised the boys at home that I will continue to run even while I was in Iceland.
Gerard said: "Don't be crazy lah.  Just enjoy your holiday lah!"
But Wai Kit joked: "Come on lah, go mark your run on the map of Iceland in Strava."
With the event one week right after my return from Iceland, I couldn't waste any time.  Thus at 6am on this third tour day, I enjoyed the lovely cool air and suphur fumes around Lake Laugarvatn.
My 5km run at Lake Laugarvatn (a clickable link to my Strava)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Iceland Day 2 ~ The tour of the Golden Circle.

Travellogue: Iceland Day 2 ~ of tectonic plates, waterfall & geyser...

A breakfast of smoked Icelandic fish
Adrian did prime us prior to the trip that we really needn't wake up early for this trip, like
The man & his coffee.
the typical SgTrekker photography trips.  And this man kept his words. "8am breakfast, 9am checkout." became pretty much the standard arrangement.
But... I woke at 6am for a run around Rekjavik.. crazy lah, me.
My 5km run in Reykjavic

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Iceland Day 1 ~ 27 hours of plane+airport and a first glimpse aurora...

Travellogue: Day 1 Iceland

Changi Airport

It was the 26th February, the year of 2014. 
Like trickles of glacial water, the team members slowly made their way to Terminal 1 at Changi Airport, some looking fresh while others appearing tired from a full day of work.  It was characteristic of a Singapore Trekker Photography trip, this red-eye flight arrangement.  Seasoned members would be almost unfailingly found gathered at the kopi tiam up on the second floor, patiently waiting for the arrival of the tour leader while sipping a kopi-O.
"Haiyah.. the taxi driver got lost," quietly complained Norman.  The drone of the conversation around me faded into the background as I stared at my cup of kopi.  My drifting mind was lost in a day some months ago…

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Prologue. Chasing the Icelandic Aurora.

Fighting the wind & impending snow...

All my eyes could see was raging waves crumbling with splashes against the dark cliffs of Dyrhólaey Cape down below on our right.  In the distant left, a dark mist was fast-approaching our location from inland.  Like wolves out on a rampage, the tearing wind howled just outside our ears.
My index finger, totally frozen and void of sensation, struggled to change the aperture on the camera, while my left hand fiddled with the wired cable release.  Beside me, my fellow teammates Derek and Kai Sing were frantically trying to snap a last shot before the snow storm approached.   From the corner of my eye I could see several figures a certain distance away, equally urgent in their movements. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Metasprint Aquathlon - The Way of the Samurai.

Aquathlon ~ the first of the Metasprint series of three races. 16 Feb 2014.

Crazy as can be

Some time back, roughly around 2-3 months ago, Gerard, in one of his many crazy spells, suddenly triggered an interest in Triathlons.  It was not long after our Tour de Bintan, when spirits were high, and every one was on the roll.
And naively a few of us signed up for the Metasprint series of three races: the Aquathlon, the Duathlon and the last, the Triathlon.