Saturday, March 15, 2008

1st Tahan Expedition,part 15....More Padang Memories!

This was after breakfast on the early morning of Day 5, Saturday 19th April 1969. Want to know why we were all topless? Nothing sleazy going on. We all got up very early before sunrise. It was really cold up there in the exposed plateau of Padang. But as soon as the sun shone its face at us, without much cloud cover, with no canopy over our heads, the heat rose super fast...causing us to perspire a lot. We did not want to get overheated before we set off for the peak, a little while later. That was the tent the 5 of us slept in....and in that order too.

L to R:
Dick [me], Francis, Yeow Huat, Yam Tee and Twang.
Bottom Pic:
The other tent members from L to R:
Jesudasen, Louis, Balbir, Ahmad [our guide] and Tng. Squatting: Han Chew
Ahmad had his own tent.

Here is another interesting piece of nostalgia. Look closely at the top photo. Can you see me holding something in my right hand? Know what that is? It is a knife. Yes, a knife but no ordinary knife, mind you. That is a BOWIE knife. For readers who do not know anything about the history of this particular type of knife. Perhaps you may recall the story of Davy Crockett and the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, Texas. All 185 men, led by famous mountain men and freedom fighters such as Davy Crockett, William Travis, Capt Dickenson and Jim Bowie defended the fort to the last men, against a vastly superior force of 5000 Mexicans led by Gen Santa Anna. They all died....including Jim Bowie, who was famous for both his knife fights and the highly regarded knife that he wielded....the Bowie knife, named after him.
It is a very solid, firm, sharp knife with a blade that is almost half a cm thick. Unlike, the flimsy scout knife usually made of cast iron[ my scout pals and I have broken many in our time], this Bowie is of solid steel.
This treasured knife is still with me today.

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