Friday, February 16, 2007

Corporate air cadets 8 day camp

Recently back from an 8 day camp with air cadets - mostly in their early 20s. we did some hard jungle trekking for 2 days, carrying 8 litres of water to get us through. Challenging navigation in thick jungle with nasty huge thorns. the latter ripped my 2 pairs of trousers to shreds. Fortunately, you can buy trekking trousers here quite cheaply. Mostly, we went off tracks, followed creeks and ridges.

Then we did community service by helping a local farmer clear an area. We then had a bit of break while the group of 18 cadets did an overnight solo in the jungle near base camp.

After, went for 2 days sea kayaking via mangroves, then out a small opening into the sea, where we paddled to Pulau Langoon (Langoon island), where we had a very relaxing camp on the beach with campfires. Saw a huge black scorpion right next to my bivi spot. yikes.

shared all this with 2 other trainers - Jason , from the USA who has 6 years experience in outdoor ed. and Sandra, a local chinese Malaysian.

The group was fun, but exasperating occasionally as were a bit silly , and were hard to keep together on the kayak trip. I had to threaten to capsize those who went past the lead kayak, a number of times, to avoid us spreading out over 1km. incredible spires of rock on the islands, quite a few yachts moored around. quite hot, but ok with hat. cooler than Cairns at this time of year.

Just met a French yachtie near the pier - the real yachtie look, long hair, necklace. Says there are lots of French yachties around here, as the paperwork to stay here is simple compared to Thailand. he stays 6 months here, using Langkawi as a base to visit other islands, and Thailand. Then goes back to France to work - currently renovating a large building to let out several flats. His base is the fish farm we went past with our kayaks , where he moors for 60 dollars US a month. Got all his electronic and scuba gear stolen while in dry dock in front of the marina building, Rockhampton, Australia... his boat is called "Fripon", so I'll drop in to see him if I see the boat.

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