LE CIE DU RAID in Sarawak
|part 2 Ba'Kelalan expedition||
The Feroza 'leading' the 2 car convoy reads "LE CIE DU RAID"- which means 'the adventure company' in French. When it comes to extreme adventure, the French leads the world with Raid Galouises, extreme ice climbing and canyoning adventures high in the Pyrenean or Alpine mountains. But this time round, it was mellow affair.
Outdoor Treks Sdn Bhd - aka BORNEO4X4 conducted one such 'raid' with 4X4MONDIAL (action) Magazine France on 18 & 19 July 2008. The objective of this trip was to shoot 4x4 expedition in tropical rainforest scenes. Philippe Grielen who has been in the business of writing, photographing and reviewing trips and vehicles for over 20 years. Philippe, Pascal and Pier met with our guides Malcolm and Eunice and headed over to Batu Kawa bridge where we did the pre trip sticker ceremony.
Philippe and group would drive the Daihatsu Feroza 1.6 petrol with Le Cir Du Raid on the windshield, the French flag and Action 4X4 Magazine stickers. The guide car was a Toyota BJ73. We headed up to Singgai where we did a loop with environs befitting of the rainforest. The undisturbed meter high triangle weed made for a super picture. There were also a few 2 car convoy shots too. Up hill and down hill and also on the flats. It was a slightly overcast day and that made for better pictures with the heavy foliage of the secondary forest here.
The Feroza is a rather stock vehicle with a 1.6 petrol power plant that consumes about 50sen a litre. It had Bridgestone Desert Dweller MT Tyres. The Feroza is a rather smallish car and the tyres gave it more height. There was a 4,000 lbs Ramsay electric 'key chain' winch that it inherited form a Suzuki. Inside, it had Suzuki Vitara seats and a good working air con. The 3 spot lights on its front gave it a safari look. The 4X4 system worked well and this made an excellent 2 person expedition car.
The escort BJ73 is decked out in borneo4x4 fashion for expedition drives. Two seater - Honda accord seats, PTO winch, Maxis MT 31.5 inch tyres,VHF radio and the work. It's waiting for the air actuator control for its lockers.
The group visited Bau for lunch and found out the true story about old 4X4 springs. The springs are heated and hammered into machetes - parangs. These are the most essential tool for 4X4 off roaders as it can cut almost anything from small tress for bridge building to clearing a camp site. There were many models on display from Bidayuh style to ones specially for cutting up animal carcasses.
Mr. Fu is a second generation parang maker. His shop was started by his father in 1937 and it make the best parangs. He gave a demonstration on parang making. It took less than 5 minutes to make a parang.
Jalan Gunung in Bau put the rain in 'rainforest'. It poured by the bucket loads and there was water puddles everywhere. Instead of a dirty car, we ended up with clean cars as the grass and bush help wipe the vehicles. After the rain, the temperature dropped and there as low clouds. The green of the forest was highlighed. After short visit to Fairy Cave and more photo taking, the group headed to Camp El and spend the night there.
The following day it was off to Lundu on the Lundu - Biawak Trail. There were wide opened areas, hills and different types of terrain befitting of a real rainforest expedition for the 'people on adventure'. The trail finally ended up in Sematan where the last pictures were taken on the beach before heading back to Kuching.