WE will rock, we will rock! That must surely be the motto of the Convent Klang Old Girls Association. A recent weekend trip by its senior members to Kuala Gandah and Sungai Lembing in Pahang was full of fizz and energy. The gals, ranging from those in their 70s to the recently-retired, sang, danced, rode elephants and scaled waterfalls, ate and made merry.
Before the group left at 6am on Saturday, Seremban's famous siew pau was distributed to energise those who had tumbled out of bed in the wee hours. A rest stop at Bentong for a rev-up breakfast was next, then we were on the road to Lanchang. A sing-along session kept everyone awake till we reached the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.
The video session on the translocation of elephants was an eye-opener and many had tears in their eyes over the plight of the elephants. Feeding the baby elephants was exciting - some of us even placed the sugar cane sticks in their mouths. Four adult elephants came out to perform and I was thrilled to find one that shared my name!
Several brave ones among us climbed onto the elephants' backs for a short ride and we laughed hilariously at those who clung to the mahout for dear life.
After that, it was off to Mentakab for lunch, where the deep fried fish served with a special yam sauce had all of us drooling. A twoand-half-hour journey then got us to Sungai Lembing, where the road to River View Resort was narrow and winding. We held our breath as our 45-seater bus crossed the hundredyear-old, low wooden bridge and negotiated the sharp bends to the eco resort. After a sumptuous barbeque with the best chicken wings I had ever tasted, it was time for a karaoke session! The seniors certainly knew how to have fun as they belted out old favourites and sashayed around, swinging their hips.
The next morning, we were up early again, to trek-up the Rainbow Waterfalls. After home-made noodles, "water tofu" and aromatic coffee, the band of adventurers set off in four-wheel drives to the base of the hill. After an hour-long ride which "jolted and jiggled every organ you had", as one "old" girl put it, we arrived at the base. It was crowded as day-trippers from Kuala Lumpur were already there, having made an overnight drive up to Sungai Lembing.
Rainbow Waterfall's attraction was the rainbow that formed at the base of the falls when the sun rose in the morning. It took another 45 minutes of hard climbing, holding onto to a rope and clutching at roots and branches before we reached the top. Unfortunately, the rainbow was elusive that morning as it was misty and cloudy.
Four of us who did not go to the waterfalls decided to explore Sungai Lembing town. What an eye-opener it was!
Our resort host acted as guide and took us to its 50-year-old Hanging Bridge, which swayed and moved as people and motorcyclists whizzed past. It's definitely not for those with vertigo, though my 70-year-old sister made it across and back!
Our next stop was the beautiful Sungai Lembing Musuem. Set atop a hill, the old colonial mansion, home of the British tin mine boss, has been lovingly renovated and gives visitors an idea of the role of tin-mining in this town. It has a fantastic, panaromic view of the green valley below.
We laughed as we saw reminders of our youth in the old typewriters and clocks and oohed and aahed over the bedroom the late Sultan Abu Bakar used to occupy whenever he visited the
We checked out the tunnels leading to the "oldest, deepest and largest subterranean tin mine". It is being upgraded and is expected to be open next year to tourists who want to experience what it's like to work underground.
Then we ambled through the Sunday pasar pagi, chatted with Lynas protesters and enjoyed the town's local smooth, fragrant coffee and local cakes before returning to the resort, in time to welcome the trekkers back. The group tumbled off the 4WDs, clutching their hips and knees, sodden with sweat. They were proud they had made it up to the waterfall, in spite of their aches and groans and moans!
After lunch, we set off for Dragon Temple, where a huge "dragon's tail" starts from the entrance, with adjoining body leading into the temple. A 15-minute walk took us to the dragon's "mouth", where you can caress a crystal ball and pray for good fortune.
Back on the bus, a movie entertained those who could not sleep, before our stop at Bukit Tinggi for dinner at seven. Two hours later, a happy but tired group got off at Klang.
The seniors of the Convent Klang Old Girls Association keep in touch with tours like this, as well as social gatherings and charitable activities. What an engaging way to grow old together, singing, dancing, travelling, socialising and doing community work. Yes, we rock!
Resource: The Star, Page: 12
Date: Wednesday, 29 August 2012