Friday, 22 June 2012

Kuala Lumpur and back to Krabi, Thailand

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 10.30pm, we looked into finding accommodation but everything was closing and what was open was expensive, so we stayed the night in the airport!
See me sleeping in the bottom r.hand corner with all our bags, the others are sleeping on the lazyboys.
The next morning took a bus to China town and lugged our bags to the first guesthouse we could see.
The room was budget with just enough room for a bed, and there was a fan (no aircon) so we had to acclimatise pretty quickly to the sweltering heat.

Petaling Street, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. View outside bedroom window
We decided to pay a visit to Batu Caves where the most popular hindu shrine outside of India is, (dedicated to Lord Murugan). Batu caves is a limestone hill which has a series of caves and cave temples, 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur.

This was next to the big shrine and the indians gave us heaps of free food to thats what I'm talking about!!

Petronas towers 451.9m high
(people basejump off this) It was $40AUD to visit the top so we decided to look from the ground.

We went for a walk to the lake gardens and found bambi! We spotted them through the fence of the deer park.

After a few days in the city we soon got sick of the pollution and noise and was looking forward to heading back to the countryside in Krabi, Thailand.

Ladies making skewer sticks for prawns on the barbecue.

We arrived in the afternoon to Krabi and for the whole week it rained torrential downpours solidly! So we started to go stir crazy and then luckily the sun came out.

A quaint little road in Krabi rubber trees on one side and I dont know what the other trees are

Some randoms cool wee house, there are alot of sidecars on scooters here

Dudley hooning past the rubber trees
We took a scooter to the tiger temple in Krabi, and had to walk up around 1300 steps of irregular sizes and very steep sometimes like climbing a ladder. For 2 days after, my quads were sore as!! I know I need to toughen up.. We were so lucky at the top there was free cold drinking water!! What a luxury! Speaking of luxuries, we only just turned the fridge back on yesterday, because being on the hard the power consumption is huge! The steel heats up far too much so the fridge is continually cycling, a drain on the batteries. So Dudley went and turned the thing around that sucks in air, so it sucks in from the galley and not from the hull. And now we can enjoy cold drinks and it tastes soooo much nicer!!
So if ever you're becoming complacent with things in your life, go without it for a few days and then you'll realise just how good you've got it!
View of Krabi from the top

Dudley at the top looking out over Krabi

This was at the top of the hill

arrrrggghh the tiger's got my head!

What have we been doing on Baikal you may wonder, well...working on the interior of Baikal, giving her a new paint job, sanding and fairing the walls and then priming and taping and painting area  work in the anchor locker, making a new hatch for the lazerette, replacing silicone around windows that were leaking, making a surfboard rack in the v-berth replacing a seal on the shaft, testing the header tank for leaks, replacing a heat exchanger, making brackets and the list goes on and on and on.
It is always a constant battle to find the right tool for the job....where did I put the flat head, the paint scraper, the adjustable crescent, we are living in a bomb shelter at present but it is slowly coming back together. THANK GOD!!!
The tools, paint, gloves, rollers, containers needed for the job . In the cockpit

Yeah a bomb went off in here.. we are getting rid of rust in one of the bilges, so had to remove the food, and also repainting the nav area means taking everything away from that area and putting it on the starboard saloon side.

See the cornice (primed in grey) around the edge of the back cockpit, it looks better than the steel edge you can see on the left. You can see the new hatch on the floor as well

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Epic mission, Temple Basin, Arthurs Pass

Kelly and I arrived at this cute wee batch, in Arthurs Pass, near the general store.We met up with Tim and Bia from Fox Glacier  (awesome people)  who joined us  in a  mountain climbing adventure up  Temple Basin.

The wee batch we stayed in Arthur's Pass
Tim and Kelly sorting their gear the night before

The funky kitchen in the batch

Temple Basin

We arrived at the Temple Basin Car park at 0730hours in the chilly morning air we begin our ascent to the base of the central buttress. The views are amazing, the day is perfect with blue skies and clear views of the Southern Alps.

Walking up the track

After approx 1 hour we arrive to the haunted hut called Pages Shelter, nothing untoward happened here…

THERE IT IS!! Kelly pointing to where we were going climbing

Pages Shelter the haunted hut
Tim Soloing up the first pitch

Walking along the scree slope, imagine doing this in the dark!
We soloed up a few meters and then decided we should start doing some pitches (using the rope) So Kelly led the first pitch by placing camming devices into wee cracks etc and got us up to a nice posy for a bite to eat.
Kelly leading the end of the first pitch with the trag gear.

Kelly belaying me up, nice rope work there! Pilly the friendly Caterpillar coming along for the ride

As I was sitting there looking at the amazing view I heard footsteps which sounded like they were come from the next valley over, they were crystal clear…Kelly and Bia heard them too but there was no-one there. I reckon it was the ghost from Pages Shelter keeping an eye on us…

It was a nice sunny day


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3rd pitch awesome arĂȘte

On yer bike ya gimp!! Nice helmet Tanya!

Tim on the last pitch notice the keas
It all was going along nicely, soon we would be on the ridge where we could then walk off the mountain....
Tim was on the 4 th pitch, the poor bugger had been doing most of the leading and we heard him coming back and thought this isn't good.
He couldn't find anywhere safe to place gear so that we could follow him attached to a rope, he said there was a big drop off, and he just couldn't do it. Fair enough we thought, so we decided to begin abseiling back down the buttress....time was ticking along would be dark soon enough but we would be well off the mountain by then...or so we thought

Tim coming back down, we were up high enough that we were in kea territory
this curious fella was coming in for a closer look at us

Just don't you go anywhere near our rope MR!

This is where we bailed, Kelly beginning to abseil back down
While we were waiting for Kelly, we spotted some cheeky Keas biting old ropes..

Kelly abseiled down as far as she could go, not a great ledge but the best she could find  And less than 10m from a brand new tat (a webbing sling around a solid looking rock) that had been left behind by another party that had bailed as well.

So after we all got down to the place where Kelly abseiled to, there wasn't alot of room, but we were like SWEET a couple more abseils to go and we'll be able to walk back down the mountain!
So we pulled the ropes down, or tried to rather, they wouldn't budge!

The webbing sling not less than 10 m from us would have been the perfect place to be right now …unluckily we had a 60m rope and a 50m rope which means we couldn’t reach the tat and we had to stand on this very narrow ledge with very average cracks for a good anchor.. and flick the rope to retrieve it…result super stuck rope.

Tim and Bia got to work and had to prussick(climb back up the rope)  3 prussicks up 50m to try and put the rope in a good position so it wouldn't get caught on anything on the way down. It took 4 hours to try and sort the problem. In the end the anchor was extended by 15m -had to sacrifice a few slings :(  and this created less drag on the ropes so they were freed and came down, we were so relieved as it was getting freezing at this stage and pitch black apart from the many twinkling and shooting stars, that was awesome, and we were all wishing on those stars... Tim and Bia you're my heroes!
So after we all safely abseiled to the point we were in the morning, we donned our walking shoes and took off down the scree, at first I was a bit nervous, I couldn't see much, but Kelly taught me how to run down the scree and then I was away! But we had to navigate in the dark, we got lost a few times and  ended up too high in the valley and had to aim further down. We stopped for a rest outside Pages shelter.... to retie shoelaces.. fortunately nothing untoward happened and we made it back down to the car park at 2.20am, a 19 hour epic mission
It was pitch black here, while we were on the ledge for 4 hours

A breakfast well deserved, man I was tired
So Kelly shouted me out for breakfast , she must of felt sorry for me or something, her little sis trapped on a ledge in the dark for hours.. I  enjoyed the experience tremendously!!!!! Thanks VERY MUCH FOR A FUN TIME!!!