Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Whitewater Rafting In KKB

I am still under the weather. Been having a hard time breathing last night, so I inhaled 2 doses of the asthmatic inhaler one before going to bed, another one around 3am. Now, sick days don't really make me happy after having the thoughts that I've left work since last Friday. And since I really have a lot of time to spare apart from making myself a hot tea and lazying in front of the tv, I should just write about my not-so-recent white water rafting trip which was a month ago.

By the way, White water rafting is somewhat popular among my friends. Not that I'd say popular because they've been to one, but rather waiting for the right time to do it -popular. I've heard that there are many different places for rafting all over in Malaysia. Furthermore, this particular outdoor/extreme activity has developed a lot in terms of  facilities and experienced rafters plus with the availability of many potential rivers in Malaysia, it has attracted a lot of attentions from those adventure-lover.

All this while, I've only managed to hear stories about how interesting the activity can be. I've been imagining myself doing it because of my love for outdoor activities. I love camping, I love jungle trekking, hiking and climbing. People who see me as what I am now couldn't believed that I actually love these kind of activities. Have I shared with you that I have slept in the jungle for 4 days without the tent and most of the facilities during my King Scouts? Yeah, it was one of those days back in secondary school and the memories are still intact in my mind and heart :D "Buat sehabis baik" hehe.

It was on that one weekend, on a Saturday morning just before reaching Ramadhan, I was very lucky to have finally experienced rafting in white water river in Kuala Kubu Bharu. Even though it was very last minute, I've managed to joined Alan and his Ambank colleagues. We gathered at our first check point, KL Sentral as early as 8am. Owh, Alan is no longer with Ambank. He's with 'harimau kuning' now :D

By the time we reached Kuala Kubu Bharu it has already been 10am. The journey to KKB only took us about 1 hour from KL (you'll pass by Rawang) but the remaining 1 hour was the time to wait for everyone to arrive at KL Sentral. It was a normal Saturday morning and I guess everyone was sleepy hence the lateness :D

With Alan's ex-Ambank management trainee friends.

The first thing that we did after arriving was to equipped ourself with all the necessary protections like helmet, life jacket and a paddle.

Everyone was ready to raft including me! And since it was my very first time rafting, I was all nervous, but luckily it's just temporary. I'm ready for all the consequences, but just unsure of what they'll be, hence the nervousness :D I looked like I've put on weight with that life jacket on me!

Solo picture, fully equipped :)

It was later that we are called for a 15-minutes safety and how-to briefing by the instructors. 

I believed that listening to instructions are very important before you can go rafting on the rough water. You will never know what will happen when you are stuck in between the rocks or in the middle of jumping from a high drop. There are dangers everywhere, so precaution is a must to prevent from any accidents. I am glad that our instructors did briefed us accordingly. We are thought on how to use the paddle. They showed us how to react when facing different obstacles using techniques that they have been using in white water rafting. The scale of difficulties for KKB white water river can be graded as 5 till 1. The level of difficulties varies from each points along the rough water. 

After the briefing, we have been told to quickly get into the river and to have a feel of the cold water. We are thought on how to swim in this kind of river due to the different sizes of rocks that are there in the water. You might get a bump or bruises if swimming with your head to the front, so the best possible way is to lie down with legs on the front facing the currents. But I guess this was not the best EVER way to swim since you will never know when your butt will get bumped with the big rocks. Ouch! 

In between total of 3 hours it took to arrive at the final stop, we've stopped at two spots, the first stop was to loose all the tensions from all the nervousness and the next one to let us had a quick bites and drinks. It was during these breaks that all of us got closed to the instructors. They are very friendly to us and even they are very supportive in terms of sharing techniques and whatnot. Lucky us!

After the first break, little that we all know that we are going to face larger waves, rocks and drops and much much better obstacles. Yikes! Masing-masing muka sangat cuak when our instructor told us, "now we all should be ready as the next drop will be the largest one!" or dalam bahasanya "lepas ni dengar arahan baik-baik takut ada yang tergolek". Muahahaha! All I did was to grab my paddle and get a good grip on the side ropes. MasyaAllah, Tuhan je yang tahu perasaan I masa tu..

This our boat, before kejadian.

Semasa kejadian..

Masing-masing dah tergolek dog.. Alan muka paling excited. Don't ask, he's a much more adventurous person than me. Nah!

Us, after kejadian. That empty spot was where I was supposed to be before kejadian. 

Then we head to the next obstacles. 

To those who are wondering what is the sitting arrangements like, the above picture should justify it. The most front is our second instructor, he'll use his paddle to change directions. Our first instructor is wearing the blue helmet, he was the one who gave us all the instructions like "front, back, over to the right, over to the left, inside and etc". These instructions are used to change our sitting positions when facing different obstacles.

I brought along my camera, so an instructor with a water-proof pouch offered to keep my camera for me through out the rafting. Luckily that he managed to take our pictures while we faced the currents and obstacles. The others are afraid to bring theirs. Hence I should just say this, it's safe to bring along your (compact) camera as long as you keep them in the water-proof pouch and might as well let one of the instructors keep it for you. You'll then end up with gorgeous pictures like mine!

A few pictures of the other groups. There are 10 boats that day. 2 are from our group.

If you are not feeling lucky that day, your boat might flipped or you might get pulled out from the boat! Dangerous? Yes. I even got scratches on my arms (so do wear long pants and sleeves also wear covered shoes). Our boat flips at the VERY final drop. One of our mates got bad bruises/scratches on her shoulder. If she wore long sleeves, it will not be too bad I guess. As a warning, this will happen to everyone, so do take your instructor's guidance before anything else. But it was fun though! Sadly no picture of scratched arms :D

Me and Alan are planning for our next white water rafting trip, somewhere other than in KKB. We both just can't get enough of the rough currents and large drops, so we are thinking of some place with better obstacles. You should try one too!


Liyana said...

How near! Thought that this kind of place only in tmn negara :)

mrsjon said...

I've been there in last March, awesome!!! Suka sgt WWR :)
Btw, I met Alan rasanye kt harimau mengaum shah alam :)

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Aida, I really enjoyed looking, reading your this posting.
Really exciting and interesting after reading so many blogs about babies and cooking, can be rather yawwwnnny. Ha ha.

This is one sport I have never tried, instead prefer fishing. River or sea.

Love your photographs and your stylish eloquence.
Have a great week,Aida, and keep a song in your heart.

Aida Narina said...

Liyana: Yes, I don't know that KKB have these kind of activities. Actually is quite popular but now many people have any idea of the existence of it. U should try!

Aida Narina said...

mrsjon: Aww, best kan? Yes2 Alan is now with 'harimau' at shah alam branch doing his management trainee. He's in business centre now. In Oct he'll move to bangsar's office to join the hariamu islamic dept :D