Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 March Charity trip to Kg REkom, Pos SImpo and Kajang

Charity 4x4 trip I put a trip date up on the what’s app group and then our little webpage.

6 volunteered and I donated 2 vehicles to the trip.

We had a list of goodies needed from one of the villages; I extrapolated it out to include 3 more in the same area.

The donations well one guy has a charity group under his wing and donations and pledges came.

Someone turned up at my house dropped 50 blankets off - don't tell my wife ever he told my wife.

"Tapah" has Blue and a quick check of its WINCH reveals it’s seized solid damn it was working the previous weekend. No time to put the spare in either We go without it RED will have to recover it.

We had so many goods we had our Thursday TT (Teh Tarik - or Thursday coffee meeting) in Alan’s factory to load up the goods. I drove up in RED already loaded up with 400kg of RICE and 50Kg of oil. We unloaded 100kg and loaded up maggi mee instead.

The vehicles and the people a mix of people from all over the world we call ourselves UN 4x4 team
Landcruiser II 13B-T Powered - "RED" - Me (Junglebunny) and Murali From Saturday onwards
Landcruiser II 1KZ Auto - "Blue" - Mine I give to “Tapah” and Brian
Pajero - "no Name" - Ah Ho and Aw Wah
Volvo C303 - "Kewruck" - Annuar and son Adam
Hilux Surf 1KZ - "Daffy" - Paul and Peter
Hilux Surf 1KZ - "Submarine" - Azhar (AXE), Thanah and Nurani
Hilux Vigo - "CurryLux" - Alan and Adail
Hilux Vigo - "Robocop" - Paul

Red sits easy with 450kg of gear in it. Blue when I had the same in it was really struggling handling wise.

8 Vehicles 16 people and 5,050kg of kit are swallowed up into the vehicles then we go to a late TT.

Friday I have off work I have things to do, Last minute shopping (collect 4 chickens for the BBQ) I load up another 40kg of rice and 40kg of salt and overload RED (she will take it she has done it before) I just had to make the total 5000kg, Fit the swing aways back to RED after the previous weeks COMP, Collect new Satellite phone sim card and suddenly its 4PM and I'm ready to go but Annuar is not so I wait at the RV point for him for 3 hours eating and relaxing.

We are in 3 groups Blue and the Volvo for the long slow drive

Red with ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““Tapah”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” and The Submarine 10pm departing

4.30am the rest chasing us for a 9.00am RV at breakfast

Finally 7.00pm Annuar turns up and we eat and depart 8pm within minutes it pours for the next 5 hours and I have my 84 favourite song pouring out of the USB drive and then U2 just to break the rain. A pit stop after 2 hours is required to rest the ears and poor Annuar from the Volvo's noise.

We lose 20 minutes at a police roadblock they just wave the 2 heavily loaded 4x4's through.

1am the rain has finally stopped and we cruise into Gua Musang 269k from Kuala Lumpur refuel (I take 45 litres) and I load up 25 litres of petrol for the charity. The Volvo sucks in a mighty 80+ litres. Annuar has found leaks in the Volvo he didn't know were there they are both kind of wet.

We decide too late to go further and sleep in the cave so well its dry here lets camp right below the petrol station.

Simple I roll out the net and the sleeping bag in the concrete I'm asleep in seconds.

I awake 7am still tired. There is the submarine and RED (now I can swap vehicles and drive RED) all sleeping in chairs and camp beds

The MISSION - Deliver 4,000kg of goods to 4 villages - 3 relatively easy and the 4th well it’s the most remote village in West Malaysia 52k into the jungle and 990 meters up and one stretch of 1k is pure terror in the rain - It's XT only country and a winch useless but necessary. After all that we are visiting a waterfall and the wreck of KN630.

Breakfast time and soon we hear voices on the radio they appear to be at the top of the hill some 8k from Gua Musang.

Then checking the chickens to swap them to the freezer 2 have gone off oh crap - find 4 more at a shop (frozen) and stop an ICE truck for ICE.
9:15am we are all lined up at the new Gua Musang 7-11 and we are off.

What a pretty place for the Gua Musang hospital

Daffy loaded up

RED with 400+kg loaded up

At the tire air down point I notice this - oh CRAP.

Then we carry on but only get about 10k when a "I'VE LOST MY STEERING" cry over the radio stops the convoy. Submarine has snapped the end of the steering arm off (lack of greasing sigh). Ah Ho and Ah Wah have it off in minutes all the kit for the 1st two villages and we will meet the Stricken Submarine and Pajero at Pos Simpo. That’s the charity convoy rules break and you are left.

It's dusty no sign of rain nothing we have to put the Volvo at the front it has no air conditioning and leaks like a sieve. Kampong To hoi and onto the Sg Galas bridge and into Low and the long climb to 450 meters starts.

Lorri Hantu (Ghost truck) is the cry - instantly we have to find a safe place to park up

Soon we pass the two developments this is the second one it’s so big it shows on Google earth - sigh

The trip is uneventful apart from the cries of LORRY HANTU and we reach the "Y" intersection and the sign on the hill points to something ominous from 7 villages. Basically if you have come to rob our ancestral lands DON'T enter. We enter the road immediately deteriorates - love it, it means no more logging trucks.

Arrive at the lookout (500 meters up) and a new phone tower is present but not functioning yet.

3k to the first Kampong Kg Dandut we can see it in the distance on top of the next hill. We descend into the dusty valley and climb and climb the rutty and rough dry track going is now slower than previous trips the track is rough.

Dandut appears 1.40pm 3 hours behind already and the convoy rolls in we offload the gear according to the sheet I have. I promise to go back and deliver 10 blankets as we discover Blue is so overfull we cannot reach.

Then suddenly someone comes out with these hats and puts them on us then we know they appreciate the goods we just delivered.

This village Dandut is 50 kids and less than 20 adults.

We cruise on Kg Rekom is next we are going to bypass Pos Simpo and return there as we are already 2 hours behind schedule with 15k to go to Kg Rekom. 5k to get to Pos Simpo and then the dreaded 10k into unknown to Kg Rekom.

The dusty landslide zone is clear

The landslide with 1.5k to Simpo is not easy but driveable if wet this will be a nightmare.

10k to go and we start the relentless slow climb to Rekom (1200 meters then down to 990m). I follow the Volvo. The split rock obstacle is for the first time in years a right side.

For everyone this trail has 5 major obstacles apart from the track itself. Which are nicknamed?

False SS
Then the terrible trio of

One has to remember here this isn’t COMP there is no JCB to rescue you here if you screw up everyone is concentrating on not making mistakes, a mistake can be a very bad day here and its over 1,000 meters up here rescue is from your friends only.

False SS is conquered and then SS0

Top of SS0

SS1 I have the camera running and up we go I get past the worst bit and the little 2 meter steep incline RED suddenly wheel spins I look down outside only 2WD - CRAP its lost 4WD  we slide back and then sit digging a hole. I stomp foot on brake to stall. Then the foot goes to the floor and we slide backwards eventually we stop after hitting a rock and the bank moments of oh CRAP oh shit. The truck rocks and rocks on 3 wheels I know we are in the shit it's at the point of tipping over. Murali wants to get out to take pictures - I say 3 words FREEZE FREEZE FREEZE he sits still. I move my head the truck rocks - CRAP!

Reach under the passenger seat to grab the strap and shackle - GONE! Longer wait for rescue.

We wait as others clear their trucks and leave them secure to assist us. 2 of them hold RED from tipping the seriousness of the situation now understood.

My view after we are stuck

The helpers

Winching to safety finally

After forever a strap is attached to the only visible tree and RED is carefully started to get the god winch connected. It pulls and down comes the front and up we come 2 more times they adjust the strap and we winch ourselves up to safety my worst ever 4x4 incident over.

SS2 and SS3 is conquered my poor first time photographer passenger horrified at what we have just passed.

One steeper climb and we meet the OA kids from Kg Rekom on the scooters our escort.

Then it rains and Annuar looses power and the Volvo dies on a 5 meter incline I try to get past to winch him up RED bangs into the Volvo then he bangs into me reversing then it starts and he can get going and is off again.

Now its slippery 1,200 meters comes up and we cross the log saddle then 1115 meters 2 hills to go to Rekom. RED starts the descent and slides - I decide no more for RED we get winched backwards and park it and BLUE up the MT's will go no further getting back the 9k to Pos Simpo will be a nightmare. On the radio we find out the Submarine is fixed and they are both at Pos Simpo.

The kit from RED and Blue is unloaded into the remaining 4 cars Volvo, Hilux, Hilux and Surf. They slide off downhill and disappear meantime we wait with our OA escorts and share a cake with them and I give them the 25 litres of petrol I forgot to pass to the Hilux's and the 6 chainsaw files. It rains again the OA guys are shaking with cold still they stay. Eventually the radio cackles to life they have finished delivering and on way back. We video the climb back up the hill. 2 hours to sunset and we have 10 terrible kilometres downhill to get to Pos Simpo.

Heading off for the final 1k to Rekom

RED all lonely that it cannot go.

Crikey it takes forever to get down RED has to be driven quietly and carefully especially with only 2wd left.

Blue at the top of SS3 on the descent

RED descending SS3

RED and Volvo and Blue at bottom of SS3

SS1 looks like this - yup scary

SS3/2/1 all done easily with no sliding. SS0 however right on dark is a different story RED slides towards the ditch and is winched back while I steer it round on the slippery track. It’s safe then we winch down BLUE until the hilux winch overheats and I am asked to drive it the rest ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““Tapah”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” not confident to drive it. The hilux's creep down and its pitch black when we finish SS0. 5K to go to Pos Simpo incident free we pull into Pos Simpo 700 meters up at 8.15pm and we are all staying in the Community hut. Dinner is provided by Alan Curry and rice.

It pours just after I hit the sack and the noise of the rain wakes everyone from their slumber.


Morning is nice and clear I run off taking a few pictures and treat myself to muesli for breakfast and hot Milo and share a few cups with the local OA.

Dawn at Pos Simpo

No water tank

The village above the clouds

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““Tapah”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” freezing outside our accommodation room


The elusive kids for grabbing a picture.

I investigate the 4WD loss and soon find it. Damn RATS RATS RATS. The Air locker runs at 50PSI as well as the PTO free spool. The 4WD select ingeniously connected to the air supply but it only uses 20psi as used to be vacuum. The hoses too small for clamps has blown off. I reconnect and it appears 4x4 is back.

9.30 we are ready and we drive down to the chief’s hut. He is not well 90+ years and 2 strokes have taken a toll on this man who a few years ago used to walk the pants off me. Still it’s a great meeting and we unload 300kg of rice and more goodies mainly from the Pajero to allow it to have more power.

The goodies delivered

The chief Pak Abo and Azhar have a chat

Pics and then it’s time to head off its 11am and the track has now dried out a little no time for a big coffee session. We have 60k to drive to the next village and were meant to be there last night.

We get 1.5k from Pos Simpo and the Volvo pops over the descent to the landslide then it stops before it ROLLS. It also looses power and cannot start. RED pulls it backwards assisted by DAFFY 1 hour is lost while Ah Ho and Ah Wah work on its twin carburettors. Meantime we prepare the track and a guy appears - he is the school bus driver to pick up the Pos Simpo KIDS to take them to school at Kg To hoi. He waits while we fix the track last night’s rain has torn the track apart. Then he ascends on a stock Hilux.

Gotta bury my Volvo how deep you say I gotta dig?

Broken down

Eventually the quiet rumble of the Volvo is heard and its elected RED go first to allow Volvo to have a winching point if it gets stuck again.

RED take the straight line and is safe. The Volvo falls into the RUT and with a struggle difflocks itself out. All the others now have to follow the wrecked line from the Volvo.

Incident free we complete the 5k to Kg Dandut and deliver the 10 blankets then we find out they have 50 kids - I feel awful handing over 10 blankets but they are grateful for our caring. WE have a discussion on where government supplied water tanks have gone. No water supply they have moved them down 400meters to collect water and hand carry the water up daily.

The Pos Simpo kids on their way to school

My new hat

We are then off again and the Y intersection is finally reached 2 hours drive to go.

The road is dusty and ok to drive we follow the Volvo.

Lorri Hantu's are the biggest concern no problem today. They are parked up leaning on each other.

Rats then we meet one

Kg Kajang finally reached 2:30pm and we unload the goodies where did the extra come from we have an extra 90kg of rice and 2 extra boxes of sardines and a whole lot more. The villages are grateful and happy to see so much stuff delivered.


The goods delivered

Signing the village guest book

All trucks are emptied and our charity work is over or is it we have to come back and do more work.

Finally time to move on and we turn off to the Waterfall 3.8k to go from the turnoff to the waterfall and possibly the steepest track in West Malaysia.

Only one tree down to cut and we arrive safely at camp 3.45pm and BBQ and fire is prepared 6 chickens are out and prepared, Chicken curry for 3 and one soy sauced and these are wrapped in foil. 2 are cut open (Gerber machete) and rubbed in Curry paste and salt ready to be dropped onto a grill on hot coals.

A gorilla with an axe.

Veggies are prepared by Nurlina. Our camp and kitchen and the starter fire.

All the chickens turn out delicious they just take a little longer than expected.

The chicken cooked in coals

Chicken cooking on the right.


The fire is huge Robocop chops up a rotten tree with the chainsaw and it's slowly feed to a hungry fire and at 670 meters up we need the fire during the evening.


Home day. Breakfast is prepared 8.00am and we are all ready to rock 3 vehicles are leaving 10.00am. The other 5 and 11 of us are going to a walk.

9.30am they are all assembled. We hike I lead whacking the trail clear and clearing the leaves from the almost vertical 150 meter climb then it's a nice almost flat walk along the now dry jungle. Nearing the plane I advise walk on the edges. Alan fails to and is rewarded with sinking over the ankles in mud. No rescue for him the camera is rolling. Turn around and there is KN630 (C47 from 25 August 1950) lying on the river bank.

KN630's final resting place


Yup 847 meters up

We spend over an hour here relaxing and enjoying the cool water and the peacefulness of the smashed up plane. Time to descend no one wants to go.

Back downhill by 12.15pm and its time to pull the cold watermelon and papaya out of the icebox and this is our lunch. Then pack up camp and a swim in the freezing waterfall (19c) and its time for the 8+ hour haul home. Once again no one wants to leave. On the way back we drop into kg Kajang and drop of 3 cooked chickens for them to consume.

We get to Kg To hoi incident free and then the guys decide to drop of the remaining sweets to the kids, bad move the kids make mincemeat of them they are old hands at this game.

Cruise on and pull of the road quickly for a LORRI HANTU Anuar points me at the bank I drop in and almost roll RED again - a long and embarrassing recovery ensues sigh!

Within 100 meters of where the Submarine broke down ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““Tapah”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” cries out I got no BRAKES in BLUE. Investigate and it's easy the LEFT rear piston has popped out the DISC is about 4mm too narrow something has worn it out. We crimp the line top up the fluid and bleed the brakes.

Finally dinner at Gua Musang after refuel and air up. Volvo takes a massive 140 litres - RED sniffs in 45 litres for the 250k round trip.3 days later the restaurant we have dinner at burns down (explodes) as fuel from the petrol tanker filling the petrol station overflows into the restaurant seriously injuring 11 people.

Home time I follow Blue and we stop halfway home for a much needed coffee break as it pours the whole way home. Home 3.30am sleep 4.30+ up 7.00am work 9.00am DEAD tired.

However we are looking at changing our charity work to more sustainable living we will sort it out before the next trip.

The totals of goodies delivered:
Rice 1120kg
cooking oil 237kg
Garlic 41kg
Onions 50kg
Anchovies 15kg
Sardines 4 box's
Mee Hoon noodles 30 bundles
Maggi mee noodles 3 box's
Sugar 310kg
Marigold Condensed milk 5 24 can box's
Tea 56kg
Salt 70kg
Washing powder 5 box's
Parangs 20
Sharpening stones 6
Chainsaw files 6
Blankets 50
Sweets - unknown
biscuits 24 tins

Clothes 2 big box's

Next trip being planned.

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