Growing up watching and reading lots of western, one of the things which puzzled me was the term 'saddle-sore', used by the characters in reference to a hard and long ride on a horse. For one whom had his first (and only) horse ride at the age of 27, it was kind of hard to imagine anyone getting sore sitting on a horse. That is, off course, till yesterday.
Its been about 32years now since I stepped on the shores of Desaru, Johor. Then, as a young teenager, the family like many, were on vacation during one of the school holidays. Not much I can remember about it now except for a few things and sceneries such as a WWII bunker that stood like a lone sentinel guarding a beach there. Logic may point out that it may have been built by the British as one of the means to fend off the Japanese expected invasion from the sea. But if I remember it well, someone mentioned it belonged to latter. And I had thought of visiting it again just to take pictures and make some notes. Sadly, it will have to wait till another time, perhaps in May or June of this year.
As it was a quick dash down south(10hours driving to and back, with about an hour only on the beach of Tanjung Balau), where Emi has a small landscaping project going on there, the only thing I could do was walk on the beach in vain hope of taking some nice pictures; it is not Tanjung Balau is not scenic, but that novice photographer in Aje still have lots to learn. Timing, for instance, may account quite a bit for a beautiful photograph, such as those recently taken by Pak Idrus in one his recent postings.
Tanjung Balau may have once been a laidback fisherman's village with the tropical jungle (and perhaps swamps) bordering its interiors. Then, it could have looked like many of the coastal villages of the Johor waters. But now, the village is nowhere to be seen. Well, at least, not from where I was. Instead, in the middle of an open ground just beside the beach, stand a RM5.9 million Fisherman's Museum. Had I not been told of the Museum, I would have thought it was just another government office complex. Another thing I was informed about the museum, it receives very few visitors to justify its presence. Apart from the locals, the only human presence are of the nearby Felda settlers, and Singaporeans on holidays. Malaysian tourists, it seems, only come trickling few as the beach is quite way out, a local informed Aje. A surprising thing, however, is the presence of lifeguards here then.
When I first saw it from afar, I had thought it was a small lighthouse and did not think much about it. But when as had to park quite near the building, I was slightly amused to find that 'Baywatch', is alive and well in Malaysia (minus the babes). In fact, later, when I was walking on the beach, the personnel there sounded their siren to warn some other visitors from straying too far seaward.
Well, the trip though short, was quite worth it for me. As mentioned earlier, perhaps in May or June, I may bring my Emak and her sister, Makcik Yam, down to Desaru for a short break. This trip, may have been a recce of sorts for it then. If it does happen, insyAllah, it will certainly be more than the 2nights my Emak had planned for. Travelling with the elderly, one has to take into consideration of their body aches on long drives. Talking of which...
Driving a 4WD for the first time in my life, I found it quite enjoyable as the drive was made easy when compared to a normal car. However, I do have one small gripe about 4WD: the manufacturers, ought to put more comfortable seats especially for the driver. Even before reaching back home, my rear was feeling kind of sore.