Metro East CG Retreat – Cameron Highlands (21-22 Mar 2009)

As promised, some updates & photos of our retreat to Cameron Highlands.  All who committed to the retreat made it except for CM who had to attend to some family matters.  We’re thankful for God’s blessings in enabling CJ & LC to be with us for this trip as their father had just recently undergone a brain procedure. 

All in all, the trip was a good introduction to Cameron Highlands (CH).  Yes – just an introduction :P  Let’s just say the trip wasn’t entirely as we had planned it to be.  I was indeed looking forward to the fun that we’ll have as a CG and being able to go around the place; enjoying the weather & temperature (of cos!).  Unfortunately, the car I was in broke down when we had yet to arrive at Kuala Kangsar.  We had to stop by the roadside and the rests of the cars drove past us – they called immediately after to check if we were ok.  At that point, we weren’t sure what was wrong and so we asked them to wait for us somewhere while we figure out what to do.  The Avanza’s clutch would not engage and there was no way we could make it up CH in such a condition.  In fact, we thought we could not leave the highway at all – didn’t strike us to use the 2nd gear jump start method to get out of the highway and exit to Kuala Kangsar.  Anyways, after much hoo-haa, cam-whoring, anxious waiting and what not; the tow truck from Toyota finally came.  We were all excited & jolly about our first towing experience.  What’s more, the tow truck is not the conventional type where you have to sit diagonally hanging in the car while being towed.  This one was pretty cool – we were pulled by a cable up onto the truck and then leveled down.  The entire journey back to Taiping was really fun cos we were elevated and we didn’t have to drive & could still enjoy air-cond in the car 😛

Lo and behold, there was more to come.  When we finally got to Taiping (i even napped while being towed) and the tow truck fella left the Toyota service center… Alas! We were told that the workshops are all close on Saturday & Sunday! There was no one around to fix our car and the earliest they can start work is on Monday.  To top it up, the earliest we could get the car would be Tuesday evening or Wednesday.  How great can that be right?  Not a good thing for us.  By then, we had already told the rests to go ahead without us.  After many phone calls & almost wanting to kill someone at Toyota, we finally decided to leave the blardee center and figure out way out.  It’s a darn long story from there – policies, uncertainties, phone calls, dis and dats… it’s crazy I tell you.  Not to mention how someone lost his cool and got everyone’s mood pretty down.  But Praise God! Daniel remembered we had an old friend who stays in Taiping and her husband is a mechanic.  Imagine how embarrassing it was for me to call her after not seeing her for so many years! Thankfully for her & husband, we managed to get the car out of Toyota and off to a nearby workshop (her husband’s fren).  We waited from 2PM till 5.30PM at my fren’s house (eating bread for lunch & watching Astro), the car was finally fixed and we could leave.  The rests were done with their day trips and were resting at the bungalow while waiting for us.  It was nice of them to postpone dinner to 8.30PM and waited for us.  Many prayers were said to ensure that we would arrive in CH safe & sound.  You know..despite all the tension & frustration, it was truly a blessing that we discovered the car problem before heading up to CH.  Imagine if this problem happened when we were half way!  So, praise God for watching over us & granting us journey mercy indeed :)  Oh…and thank God the rain stopped pouring.

Anyways, we finally made it up to CH & it was so good to see the rest.  Grace was pretty sick after the winding road up & I was barely surviving myself.  But we were just relieved to finally get there and knowing we can all have a proper meal & SHOWER! We rented two bungalows at Rose Cottage.  The 3 married couples stayed at the 1st Bungalow which is very English while the 2nd Bungalow is kinda…Chinese 😛 I didn’t get to see the place properly until the next morning.  Basically we were all just very tired after a scrumptious dinner.  After our showers, we had coffee, tea, Ruffles (Melvyn couldn’t stop eating it!) and sour strawberries.  Some decided to continue watching Jack Sparrow while most of us decided to dive into bed early.  I obviously was one of those who opted for the latter.  Sad to say, I didn’t really get much sleep.  Woke up early in the morning and went outside to take some pictures.  Kinda pointless if I don’t even know what’s out there after enduring the entire journey up to CH rite? 😛 Will let the picture collage do the remaining illustration..

We went for service at a local church nearby.  Real cool place.  A very small church which has a shape of a dome inside.  Some pictures for ya to see :)  A cozy & small church indeed.

After church, we went for lunch together.  The folks in my car decided to go for shopping at the market and the rests went ahead with some visiting since they had already done their shopping.  We were suppose to meet at BOH Plantation at Sg Palas.  Well………………..It didn’t happen for us (again!).  We didn’t notice the turning to the plantation and unintentionally drove all the way down hill.  How unfortunate can that be?! Hence…that was my introductory trip to Cameron.  We drove – broke down – waited – drove again – ate – shower – slept – shower – church – lunch – market – drove – home.

Oh well, I’m still contemplating whether or not I’ll go back to Cameron.  Honestly, the winding road is a real put off *Sigh*  Will see…

I’ll write about my day off another day.  I really should be resting my head now.  Laters..

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