Saturday, June 7, 2008

Crocker Range Outing: First Family Camping Trip

In addition to my annual leave and the off/public holidays, I've got ten days (yes, 10 days) to spend with my family and friends in Kota Kinabalu (K.K). Plenty of time to freshen up my fatique mind...

My kids had been bugging me to send them to Tuaran. I was reluctant, but have to oblige. I wanted to spend some time with them but had to reschedule at last! They just love to go to my hometown and enjoy the country life there. It's school holiday and they deserve the break...

My Mom went to Medan, Indonesia for a vacation. My baby sister and brother agreed to take care of the kids. It was nice to have some peaceful time with my wife, but we both agreed that we would rather have the kids around!

We decided to bring them to Crocker Range for a camping trip. We had been dreaming of it since they were little. We did it once with my son last year, my daughters were not able to join. This time around, there was plenty of space in Alphon's car.

The journey was quite an adventure, which I think was good for the kids. There was one part of the road where we had to get off the car to let Alphon drive alone. The concrete uphill road seemed to be broken and the car might not pass through with heavy loads. The kids were ecstatic to receive such experience...

The weather was cool during the day and was freezing cool at night. The temperature dropped as low as 16 degree Celsius during the night. Our camp site is around 1900m above see level and I never felt this cold except on Mt. Kinabalu a long time ago.

We started barbequing at 6.00pm. Alphon skillfully started the fire and we countinue taking turns with the bbq. Some chicken wings, sausages and plenty of lamb chops! We had our dinner as soon as Chai and Sissie arrived with the "special ordered" steamed rice. We had a great dinner in the cold weather!

They departed from Kota Kinabalu (K.K) around 6.30 pm and informed that there were thick mists on the way and visibility might have only been 5 meters or less! It was also rained heavily in K.K and there were lucky there was no land slides on their way to join us. There were only little rain up on the hills but the fog was thick too.

My second daughter Sarah had a little "altitude sickness" I guess and vomited twice. This forced us to move to the hostel which was a bit cozier around 1.00am! It was very dark and silent, my son Alli had a hard time falling asleep while my first daughter Sabrina showed little sympathy. She has been dreaming to camp and sleep in a tent her whole life!

Sarah was feeling guilty I guessed and apologized to her mom. I felt for her, she was just as excited as everyone else but unfortunately fell weak. However, she showed strength and did not whine. She tried real hard to enjoy herself and did not even complain once!

I guess my wife and I were a little inexperience, we did not prepare a complete First Aid kit. This shortcoming will not happen again in the future, I can promise you that. Our first family camping almost ruined by our inexperience. We were lucky to have someone like Alphon and Chai to assist.

All in all, we had a great time up on the Crocker Range. My kids can't wait for our next trip. They do not mind us with our birding activities as long as they can tag along. Sabrina and Alli already showed interest in photography while Sarah with her photo editing skills. I am sure this kind of trip is the first of many more to come!

1. The Sitorus of Borneo
Photo courtesy of Alphonsus Loinsang
I was getting ready with the BBQ while Sarah already feeling weak looked on. Sabrina and Alli enjoying the cool weather, my wife was looking for something interesting to shoot on the surrounding area.

2. The Birders in Action
Photo courtesy of Alphonsus Loinsang
Ronald joined us the next morning and arrived at 6.15am! He told us he left K.K around 5.00am and I am still wondering how fast he was driving... His interesting birds can be found here, while Chai's with his reliable spotter here.

3. The Sitorus
Photo courtesy of Alphonsus Loinsang
We were checking for some bird activities on the trees when Alphon took a picture of us. She has two interesting blogs which you can check here. This new passion proves to bring us much closer to each other!
She was enjoying herself and caught some beautiful birds during our trip. Her flickr is here which is worth checking! Constantly improving with her bird shots while have and eye for different subjects!

5. The Beastmaster
The man himself, Alphonsus Loinsang with some of the most amazing bird shots which you can checkout here. Dress to kill, and equipped with a Sony H5 he's got the best approach-get as close as you can with the birds before you release the shutter! Not an easy task hence why he got the nickname "Beastmaster"!
My annual leave is almost over. Not too keen to go back to Labuan, but got to do it. The plan of the next trip keeps me going I guess. Hopefully everybody will be available on our next trip which I also hope to be soon!
Meanwhile, please stay tuned for the bird shots taken which will be published in my future posts!


Anonymous said...

that's great that you children are nature lovers.

i have been thinking of camping in crocker range park for years. do you know how much it costs? any info will be very much appreciated. tq..

Jason Bugay Reyes a.k.a horukuru said...

hehehe nice one my friend !

Jordan Sitorus said...

hehehe, next time i'll bring my compact camera as well. Nice actually to see these kinds of photos