Saturday, February 9, 2008

1st Tahan Expedition, part 3...

Journey up the Tembeling River

After boarding the two launches
at the jetty at Kuala Tembeling, our real
adventure into the unknown began. We had arrived here all the way from Singapore after an overnight train journey to Jerantut and from there, a bus took us to the boarding point. We had taken in a quick breakfast at a coffeeshop in Jerantut and was raring to go.
The 2 long boats were narrow and powered by simple engines at the rear. We settled ourselves down comfortably but that would not last very long. The river journey, going up stream is 60 km long to our destination....Kuala Tahan and will take about 3 hours plus. At certain stretches of the river we had to get off the boat to push and shove the boat over the rapids as the water level was too shallow and the boat's engine could not produce sufficient power to overcome the strong currents going against us.
Photo Details:
Top left: I captured this picture of Boat 2 gently following behind us in Boat 1 as we began our
our river journey.
Centre : My boat ...with Twang P Ee, Yeow Huat, Francis Lee and Yam Tee. I took the pic.
Bottom: Boat 2 gently gliding along with Balbir, Jesudasen, Han Chew, Louis Hwang and
Tng K Guan.

Top right: That's me at the front of our boat. The caption on the photo reads...' a communist on
a picnic? Hell no! A determined, fit, tough mountain climber ! ' Look carefully at my
jungle hat. Attached to it was a shining badge bearing the logo of the TTC YLTCC.
It is still with me today. And on my left breast pocket...was the NJC cloth emblem
which was given to me by the boys and which I sewed on myself during the train trip.
Back then, I was super fit and tough.... having my own weight and body training
regimen with a couple of my scout mates done in a makeshift gym at my home...from
1965 to 1970.
Centre: Meeting our 1st of many rapids.....Boat 1.
Bottom: Boat 2 skilfully shooting the rapids.

[ story to continue in part 4 ]


Lam Chun See said...

Can you show us a close up of the NJC cloth emblem - not that don't believe you hor, just curious to see what it was like.

"Back then, I was super fit and tough" ,,, OK lah, we take your word for it.

Thanks for this account and the precious photos (money cannot buy!). Me and my friends at (here)are on constant lookout for stories of yesteryears. They are so hard to come by on the blogoshpere. I have highlighted your Gunong Tahan posts there. Can't wait to read the part where you guys encounter the leeches which our NJC team so vividly described to us nearly 4 decades ago.

uncle dick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
uncle dick said...

Hi Chun See,
If you look closely, you can still see the image of the"NJC" lion at the pocket area. I'll try to enlarge it for my next post. Don't worry...I have a picture of the 6 NJC guys unfurling their NJC flag at the historic moment of the peak of Tahan.I took that pic!
The leeches part is coming soon.The" super fit and tough" part..ha ha, don't take my word for it lah. But do take the words of my wife though as she gave a recorded interview of why she chose me over other suitors! Her words? ' He was and still is very fit, tough and more importantly a leader of men'. The others she described as overgrown boys. Some were sissy.
Most welcome to highlight any post on

Lam Chun See said...

How come you wife got interviewed on why she chose you? Is she very famous? Now that one you should blog about for all of us to enjoy. Preferrably with photos to illustrate of course!

uncle dick said...

One need not be famous to be asked for an opinion or to be interviewed....nowadays. Ha ha.
Anyway she is known in her professional and other circles.
Will consider blogging about that and other interesting things too.
Thanks for the suggestion!