For the last few years we spent new year by being a bit more outdoorsy instead of sitting pretty in new attires, getting drunk on F&N cordial and overheating the tv with nonsensical variety programs : we visited the Elephant Sanctuary and Deer Park , went cave exploring at Gua Tempurung and for 2011 it’s eagles, monkeys and kelip-kelip !
We left KL at about 4-ish, it was a long drive from KL to Kuala Selangor and traffic was pretty good all the way until we got to the town area of Kuala Selangor where we experienced a bit of a traffic jam.
After on the road for more than 1 hour , we arrived at Kuala Penambang. We paid RM40 per pax which covered 2 tours : eagle feeding and fireflies . ( I think this is the new year’s rate, on regular day, the fees are expected to be cheaper). Life jackets were been handed out and after putting that on – we look rather like a group of walking mandarin oranges . After making sure that the jackets were secured, we headed towards the jetty
Where eagles soared …The engine was stopped and Mr Boatman took out a pail which held chicken skins and threw some of them into the river, then we watched in awe as the eagles did a bit of a dive, dipped their claws into the water ( although it hardly looked like they touched the water ), put food into mouth and ascend. Repeat action a few more times..Some of the eagles tend to be a bit of a showoff and did a bit of acrobatic /exhibitionist flying. Sorry, I do not have any close up pictures of the eagles ( blame it on low camera skill).The journey/ tour last about 45 minutes.Before heading back to the jetty, we detoured to see the eagle nests perched on the tree tops, we also saw some white graceful storks standing pretty on the tree branches.
Most of us felt a bit wobbly after the boat ride but there was no time to waste ! We got into the car and headed towards Bukit Melawati.
We arrived just in time to catch the tram ( train) service. It cost RM2 per pax and the expression on my little nephew’s face ( he being a fan of Thomas and Percy) as he stepped onto the tram was priceless. On weekdays , cars are allowed to go up the hill but on weekends the road is closed to private cars and you could either walk up the hill or get on the tram The tram stops at the peak of the hill and one could get off or get on the tram.
At the peak, you will see the Altingsburg light house, this was built in 1907 and continues to guide ships sailing through the Straits of Melaka today. And then we saw them….the silver leafed monkeysThere are peddlers selling long beans, Menglembu peanuts , shelled peanuts and bananas for feeding to the monkeys.
It must have been a tourist packed day and the monkeys had undergone many rounds of feeding. Some of the monkeys didn’t seem interested at the food being offered resulting in tourist chasing after monkey to offer food rather than the other way around. After many minutes of observation, my conclusion on the primates preferences in terms of food , in decreasing order : banana , shelled peanut , unshelled peanuts and long beans. ( ehh..now i am a bit confused, shelled peanuts mean peanuts without shell or with ?)
A baby silver leafed monkey with it’s bright golden fur gave a huge contrast against the adult with its ashen grey coat. Confession : I snitched some of the Menglembu peanuts, they were nice and crunchy . My preference of food available at Bukit Melawati in decreasing order : Menglembu peanut, shelled peanut, bananas and long beans
Part II- fireflies and seafood.