It was not a planned trip; not the trip that was planned to take place in early May. But alhamdulillah, we were nonetheless happy for it even if it meant that the May trip is now out of the question. The family - those that are here - managed to go for a short break together for the first time in more than 20 years, even though Emi and his family had to cut short the trip on their second night due to health problems. Ironically, the trip was largely sponsored by him.
When Emi asked Aje to drive Emak and Yasmin (Din's wife) to Desaru, it took everyone by surprise. Still, it was an offer not to be refused. Din, who was already there overseeing Emi's project had been there for over 2 weeks. With the works almost completed, Emi wanted to personally see its completion and decided to bring his family along. And as it had been from the past, he takes pride in showing Emak most of his works. Thus there we were; Aje, Emak and Yasmin. (Due to genuine reasons, pictures of Emi's project is not to be displayed).
For Emak, apart from seeing Emi's work, she gets to soak her body in the seawater and sand in a bid to cure her rashes. For Yasmin, well, she gets to be her beloved hubby. That, leaves Aje not knowing what to do there except for the plans he had in mind as mentioned in 'Saddle-sore Aje'. Never in his dreams did he expect to to encounter a sight which left him yearning for more.
The morning after the first night, Aje drove Emak and Yasmin down to the town of Sungai Rengit. Apart from being the southern most town on the Peninsular (and the Asian mainland), the town was supposed to bring back memories of Aje's first visit to the area some 32years ago. Sadly, things have changed quite a bit over the years; the imprinted picture of the estuary no longer exist due to land reclamation works and what remains is a sorry stream that's hardly worth a stopover, what else a picture.
Before going out on his own to capture memories of yesteryears' with his camera, Aje took Emak and Yasmin back to the resort. It was during that drive Aje spotted a huge bird with gleaming white feathers and a beak which distinctly belong to the family of Hornbill birds - Enggang! The Enggang, is a native of Borneo and never did Aje thought of being able to see one here in the Peninsular. With its long tail and and beautiful beak, it is said to be regal for a non-predatory bird. And truly, it was. However, it flew off before Aje could get a shot at it leaving Aje with his mouth gaping.
After leaving Emak and Yasmin at the resort, Aje went off on his own with his mind set to capture at least one picture of the Enggang. Queries with the hotel staff and several locals along the way, Aje headed for several spots which the birds (there is actually a flock of 8) have been seen, beginning with a small river near Sungai Sedili.
After patiently waiting several hours, a fisherman informed Aje that for the 25years he had been living there, he had never seen the bird at all and directed Aje to Kuala Sedili, another river further north, which Aje did. The hours which Aje spent there however, was not wasted as he managed to take a number of pictures of some beautiful Kingfishers such as the one below (more pictures at River Kingfisher).
The wait at the Kuala Sedili proved quite futile for Aje's quest. Yet, Allah s.w.t. being the Most Kind, rewarded Aje with another beautiful sighting, that of an Eagle (more pictures at Desaru Eagle); Aje, however, could not make out the Eagle type.
As the day was getting late, Aje made his way back to the resort filled with his resolve to search for the Enggang.
The next day, with his duties dispensed, Aje headed south, this time along memory lane of where his family once stayed during their vacation some 32years ago. He found the chalets, and the particular one where Aje aggravated his left leg condition with a jump over the railing of the balcony. Serve him right too for trying to show to a pretty young lass there. Wonder though, what has become of her now (more pictures of the area at Beach In Memory).
Yet, for the half of the day Aje spent looking for the Enggang, he could not find any. But in between the search, Aje found several spots of more birds as well as beautiful flowers. One in particular, had Aje amused. The bird (a robin?), had tried to weave a nest at a small branch. Entrhalled, Aje watched the whole process up to the point where the bird, inexperienced at the art perhaps, gave up within less than 30minutes. (More pictures at Weaving Nest).
As for the wild flower below, it caught my attention as it looks quite like a Venus Flytrap (Flowers Desaru 1, Flowers Desaru 2, and Flowers Resort).
To Be Continued (its 3.20am!)
Thursday, January 11
3 days ago