Monday, November 10, 2008

Camping Alone In My Shangri-La

After watching the entire Season 1 of Man Vs Wild and a few episodes of
Survivorman, I suddenly have this urge to emulate these guys. Nah, it was more to having a quarter life crisis and it doesn't help that I'm a glutton for punishment and the most important thing, I get to be naked in the wilderness. No worries, there won't be nude pictures in this entry. I was all geared up and might I say, I look pretty damn good with clothes on.You know when you go to an adventure shop and you see advertisments of models wearing clothes, apparels and gears in the wilderness for either Coleman, The North Face, Timberland, etc -yeah, I looked like that.

Ad material

The items I brought :
1. Coleman Tent
2. Sleeping Bag
3. Lafuma pole
4. 4 eggs
5. 2 Asam Laksa Maggi
6. 1 instant soup
7. 1 can of baked beans
8. 1 pair of boxers, 1 flannel shirt, 1 singlet
9. Firestarters
10.3 lighters
12.John Steinbeck book
13.Mess kit
14.Mini tripod and Olympus camera
15.My brass balls

I started river trekking at 10am after a 2 hour hike on a trail. It was pretty heavy maybe because I was carrying all that on my own. Usually, items would be shared by fellow campers but since I'm an individualistic person, I had to bear the load.

The moment I found the stream I was overjoyed. First thing I did was to take a sip from the freshness of the river. The 2 hour fatigueness went away..poof. This was what I was looking and planned for the entire 2 months. I was at home and saying I wanna do this , I wanna do that and today, it came to fruition. The river stream was my Mecca, my pot of gold, my Shangri-La, my Playboy mansion, the eyes of a Golden Retriever when it's owner comes back, etc.

A lot of people think I went with someone or who else could have taken my pictures and the videos recorded? There's an invention called a tripod. Yes, I go to extra lengths to find an odd branch sticking out or shallow waters and activate the timer and run in front of it.It's tiring with a heavy pack on my bag but it's worth it when the pictures and videos are revealed. It also helps that my camera is waterproof. Notice that the pictures always have rocks and sand on it. That's because it's taken at a lower point.
Camel Ad material

I started taking my own photos using a tripod when someone in Cairo took a useless photo of me in front of the Great Pyramids. It had to be done.
After trekking for almost an hour, I rested to have a cuppa of tea and to take a dip. This was a Camel advertisment moment. A fire, a cuppa tea and a forlorn dramatic gaze. Drama in the jungle. I hung around for 45 minutes and moved on. By that time, it was 130pm and I was just enjoying every minute of it.Stopping to record my videos ala Bear Grylls/Les Stroud.

Pitching a tent

About 3pm, I found my camp site. It was slightly higher than the usual banks but it was sandy. Sandy meant the river flowed over this portion if it rained heavily. The first thing I did was collect firewood. I had to collect dry wood and not the ones nearby the campsite because it's all wet and soggy. Then, I set up my tent. My second time setting up a tent.There was a time where I forgot how to perk it up. I spent at least a minute figuring out how to make it prop up by itself. After figuring it out, I smiled to myself at the situation.
All tented up.Coleman should be proud

My tent is set up and my fire is burning. And I had a nice view to boot.
What a view
Made my Maggi with eggs and took numerous dips by the river. I also explored the surroundings just in case if there was an emergency, where would I run to.
Nightfall came and for a while now, I saw stars, loads of stars. And half a moon peeked out from the clouds to give me a moonlit night. I could see my own shadow that night and it was just heavenly. A moonlit night, a gentle stream flowing and mating sounds of frogs is all I need to make it a perfect day. I made sure I had enough wood to keep the fire going on until the break of dawn. I read a bit of John Steinbeck and went to sleep at about 830pm.

The morning after:630am

The next morning, I woke up at 630am to an amazing view and such pure freshness. I made my breakfast which consist of baked beans and eggs and a hot cuppa Nescafe.
Baked Beans Breakfast

Breakfast before my road to civilization

I repacked my tent and stuff but it was still pretty heavy. I attribute this to the tent and sleeping bag.I needed to find civilization and after trekking for about 3 hours, I got a bit worried. But out from the corner of my eye, I saw a trail from the river bank and I followed it to find a house which ended my journey of my solo trekking and overnight camping.

After being quite hectic at work for the past month i.e meetings, discussions, explanations,exhibitions, trade shows, was good to be finally left to my own devices.
Over all, what I ranted, planned and envisioned came true and nothing beats the feeling of emotional satisfaction.

To see all the videos, go to YouTube and search for "yateoh". The videos include my cooking, my near accident at a rough section of a rapid and my path to civilization.


Bedah said...

dude, i think you ODed on Bear Grylls. But I dont blame you, it is easy to get yourself ODed on him, oh Bear Grylls, sigh.

Joleen said...

which river is this?

Teoh Yew Aun said...

Somewhere in Janda Baik.

Francis said...

great on your solo camp but I wouldnt it alone. Are you up for the trek at Ayer Hitam forest reserve this sunday?

Teoh Yew Aun said...

I'm going to Bangkok for work this Saturday. Be back in 6 days time or so.

Passionfruit said...

gg bangkok huh..when comin singapore 4 work? let me noe yeah..:-) hv a great trip...

Chong Sook Ping said...

If you are coming to BKK, be sure to stay away from the fish balls!

Anonymous said...

i think you having a goood exeperience of makin food after this tour ...

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Zura Izham said...

If you went alone, who took your pics?