Father Sez

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Continuing a goal set in 2008 – low cost fun filled family picnics

Wednesday January 7th, 2009 by fathersez

I have mentioned that I am a little shy or maybe even embarrassed about publicly displaying some of my goals. One goal that I am not at all shy about is having low cost picnics or outings with my family.

The exact wording I used when I crafted this goal in 2008 was:- 

“To have at least 5 family outings in 2008 – cheap and enjoyable- Ulu Bendul like” 

Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul is a recreational park about 16 kms from my home. It is a protected forest area and the waters of the stream that winds round the park are cool and refreshing. We visited this park when I was recovering from the bout of malaria contracted during my travels in West Africa in early 2007. 

My wife, the 3 younger children and I went for this picnic. The eldest girl was then still in Wales and Azah was in her University. Since we had chosen a working day (though it was the school holidays), there were no crowds and we had the place almost to ourselves. We enjoyed frolicking in the cool waters (the streams at the foothills are quite shallow and the only swimming is done by some small fishes). It was then that I made a promise to myself that I shall have the goal drawn up. 

Alas, in 2008, this goal was not met. And I listed back this goal for 2009.  

We have plenty of these recreational forest sites all over the country. In Negeri Sembilan alone, where we live, the Forestry Department has listed 12 such sites. (The website is in Bahasa Malaysia.) These places are at most a couple of hours drive from my house. It would be easy to pack some food from the house, mix some drinks and have a frugal fun filled few hours frolicking in the streams and rivers. 

In addition, I had also bookmarked this great website on “Nature Escapes” where Rick has listed lots of quick nature trips that could be made by a family with young children. 

On the 1st January 2009, we took a drive to Hutan Lipur Sungei Gabai, about 35 kms from our home. Our intention was to go for a drive in the countryside and see the waterfalls.  

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The day was cool and the view spectacular for us city folks.      

  semenyih-dam.JPG

We passsed the Semenyih Dam on the way to Sungei Gabai.

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As you can see quite a number of people seem to have had the same idea. After all it was a public holiday.      

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Finally, we arrived and received a warm welcome.    

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The place was too crowded and we could only find a place really downstream. Still the flowing waters were cool and refreshing.              

Though we were not able to get to see the waterfalls (it was far too crowded), I enjoyed myself. In addition the children were also on their best behaviour and there were not too much “lets go home now” mumbles. And as expected the youngest, Ain, had the best time.  

We do not get quite the same feeling when we accomplish a goal like this as compared to, say, meeting a goal of paying off a loan. Meeting this goal is not an end. It is just one step in the long journey of building a stronger bond within my family. Still, I do relish the fact that I have taken that one step.

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