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Friday, November 14, 2008

My nature walks musing.

There is nothing more relaxing for me than to be close to nature, it rejuvenates me after a week of working in fast moving Kuala Lumpur. The weekly drive home of 3 hours every weekend is well worth it just to spend time with my family and surroundings that I like.
I am lucky to live near a jungle fringes, it offers a sort of sanctuary for me to recuperate before having a go again at making a living in the city on the following week.
Most of the time, I encounter all sorts of creatures in my walks and I wonder what they are thinking. Take for example this macaque, eating a coconut rather boringly. Is he thinking, “oh no, coconut again”?

Occasionally I am accompanied with a friend on my walks, who has I supposed nothing better to do. As I was passing this coconut eating alpha male monkey, I said “Wow, look at that alpha male macaque” and his reply was “What? Alpha Romeo cat?”

Perhaps I should also wonder what he thinks about in times like these.
For those readers wondering what an alpha male is in the animal kingdom, do find out yourself but I can assure you it is not an Italian car or cat.
Or how about this hyperactive squirrel I saw, jumping all over the place, is he thinking “nope, not here, not there either, maybe over there”?

Nothing beats this juvenile snake I nearly step onto, until then I never knew snakes can jump, this baby I swear jumped almost two feet in the air when he saw one of my foot approaching head on. It’s a case of camouflage working against its advantage, accident do happen when you are not seen easily.
Even butterflies do at times find me attractive or is it tasty? This particular butterfly finds it comforting to land and take a rest on my feet.

The presence of dragonflies is always a good sign. It indicates how clean and unpolluted the environment is as their nymphs needs clean unpolluted water to develop into adults.

Than there is this look alike pair of butterfiles of a different sub species together. I suppose that is how hybrids come about.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The coastal town of Kuala Sepatang, formerly known as Port Weld.

Kuala Sepetang formerly known as Port Weld is a coastal town located near Taiping, it was originally named after a former British Governor, Frederick Weld.
This coastal town which appears to be like any other coastal town in the country differs from the rest in that it has a rich history that goes back to the late 1800’s.

The first railway track in the country was laid here, although it was only a mere 12.8km linking Taiping and Port Weld. It played a very significant role at the time for the tin mining trade.
Taiping was the capital of Perak and centre of the lucrative Larut tin mining area, while Port Weld (now Kuala Sepetang) was an important port for steamers and trade vessels from Penang. The railway line was to become an important link for the export of tin to Europe and the United States.Construction of the line began in 1882 with two divisions of Pioneer Corps from Ceylon, the legacy of the Pioneer Corps from Ceylon can still be seen today with the Ceylonese Association building still present in Taiping town.
The line was opened to traffic on June 1 1882, apparently 60 years after the first railway line was opened between Stockton and Darlington in England.
Another interesting event I found during my search for more information on this historic railway line is that during the Japanese occupation, the rails was dug up to be used for the construction of the infamous Death Railway in Siam by prisoners of war.

Sadly today, there is little evidence the line ever existed, the only prominent visible evidence that a train line ever existed here is an old stone sign written in four languages.

Excellent fresh seafood can be gotten here and it has a seafood restaurant situated on the upper floor of a building overlooking the estuary where fishing boats disembarked and the day’s catch is unloaded and traded.

Seafood fresh from the sea.

The village is also very popular with its Curry Mee stall where the railway line used to run right beneath its concrete floor.

My brother in law and family having the popular Port Weld curry mee.

Kuala Sepetang currently has a thriving fishing community with charcoal making being the next
active economic activity.