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Falilah, 22

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Icing on the Cake

The Karimun trip which we had last Saturday was indeed an apt way to round up the module to a close. It came a day after we submitted all our assignments for the semester and also, for the QCG521 module.

Needless to say, Friday saw me eagerly anticipating the trip. This anticipation stemmed not only from the fact that I was looking forward to wind down but also, because I've never been to Karimun before. Is it going to be something like Batam? Or is it some deserted island? What would it look like? These were the questions that plagued me.

Well, my questions were answered soon enough. Karimun turned out to be a pretty undeveloped island. As our guide, Peter, describes it, Karimun is how Singapore was like 30-40 years ago. In a way, this is good because I have the opportunity to see and take lots of pictures of a developing area. On the other hand, it has been such a long time since I last went to such places that I can't help but got a bit of a culture shock when I got there.

Therefore, for the first hour or so that I was there, I can't help cringing inwardly at almost everything I encountered. I found the place too crowded, the streets too dirty, the buildings too decrepit, the food too unappetizing... and the list goes on. However, it was only after we really got down to travelling around the island that I began to get more comfortable with the island and appreciate its differences.

Anyway, I shan't type a long drawn out entry here. Let the photos do the talking.

The first order of the day: Breakfast!

The said breakfast: Karimun-style lontong. Unlike the lontong dish you see in Singapore, the dish there comes with fried hard boiled egg, potato and a generous helping of fried anchovies.

A view of the streets of one of the towns of Karimun. This was just a short distance from the ferry terminal, Tanjung Balai.

Our trusted bus. According our guide, this bus is distinct only to Karimun island.

The whole lot of us aboard the bus.

Just look at their beaming faces! Again, this was taken aboard the bus.

Heading towards the outskirts of town.

The one and only petrol station found on Karimun which is located slightly outside its town. Apparently prior to this, the islanders receive their supply of petrol from shops. The petrol are filled inside 1-litre bottles costing about 5500 rupiah each. Actually, these shops are still the main supplier of petrol there despite the recent construction of the petrol station.

Our first stop was Pelawan Beach. This beach has been proposed and designated as a tourist site. The huts that you see above were built as part of this initiative. However, it's built at approximately 3-5 metres away from the water's edge! The issue of the feasibility of such construction has been highlighted by Mr Yee as a possible angle we can get students to ponder and work on.

My attempt to capture a snapshot of the bays and headlands found along Pelawan Beach. Not very successful though.

This granite quarry belongs to Sembawang Corporation. That's right people. THE Sembawang Corporation found in Singapore. This is where we get the materials for land reclamation from.

Forging up the steep incline to our next stop: Tors! This was one of the highlights of the whole trip.

One of the first few who has successfully scaled up one of the huge rock outcrops found at the abovementioned site.

The one which caught our breaths and left us fascinated. Nature's beauty, God's miracle.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the semi-arid environment.

Live: Spheroidal weathering. Finally, we got to see the process we've been learning for the past few years.

These two boulders were once part of a whole.

Ahhh... Sustenance! This was the lin-ner (lunch+dinner) which we had prior to boarding the ferry back to Singapore.

Time for a wacky shot before we leave for Singapore!

The jetty: One last snapshot of Karimun. In case you're wondering why the picture is all blue.. No, the place didn't turn eerily blue all of a sudden. I was actually trying out the 'soft snap' function in my camera.

The sunset. A fitting end to the trip.

Back in Singapore. We're sunburnt and tanned but we're definitely satisfied.

Apocryphal blogged @ 12:54 AM
Lovely, lovely trip indeed. Pass the link soon!
wonderful pictures! a lovely trip indeed. more to such good times in the near future!
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