So Near Yet So Far

February 25, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Note from Itchyfingers
Dear Readers, so sorry to have gone missing for such a long time and kept you waiting! We have been extremely tied up with our little handicraft business, but we promise to try to update the blog as often as possible!

Sabah is part of Malaysia. But unlike Peninsular Malaysia, where we folks from Singapore can easily visit by driving in via the Causeway, you will definitely need to take a plane to go to this easternmost state of Malaysia – one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. It is quite near to fly from Singapore (about 2.5 hours), and Sabah is definitely one of the to-go places for Itchyfingers. It is so near, yet it took us so long before we finally visited…

When you talk about visiting Sabah, most people would think of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Borneo. And if you talk about visiting Sabah to Singaporeans, most would think that you are going to climb Mount Kinabalu, otherwise they would wonder what is there to do and see….Well, climbing Mount Kinabalu is also one of our to-do things, but this time, we were thinking more about checking out the flora and fauna, especially the Rafflesia and the many Pitcher Plants found only in Borneo.

From the airport, we drove to our accommodation at Mesilau. As one of the main purposes to visit Sabah was to see pitcher plants, Tisu Boy planned our stay at the Mesilau Nature Resort, approximately 2,000m above sea level on the East Ridge of Mount Kinabalu in Kinabalu National Park. Mesilau is home to the only population of Nepenthes rajah accessible to regular visitors. It is the largest pitcher plant which can grow up to 41 cm high and 20 cm wide! (Look at our masthead! Hahah…)

After checking-in, we were told to drive to Crocker Range Resort, park our car and then carry our own luggage and walk up our resort. We were puzzled why the reception had to kinda emphasize the walking up bit…After parking our car, we saw this…

Witti Range Lodge
Wow! So nice!

But too bad, this was the Witti Range Lodge, not our room….Only now we realised they named the rooms by the different mountain range…

For our more budget rated room at Crocker Range, we had to walk up this slope, all the way to the end to our Room No. 9!!!!

Imagine lugging our backpacks and daypacks to walk up…and Tisu Boy had his big camera bag to carry too! My hands were full and couldn’t take a photo. This was taken later after we settled down in the room and came out for a walk around the resort…

At the end of the path laid our little resort….

There was this path into the forest and a DO NOT ENTER sign. We wondered where would this lead us to. Only after reading the guidebook and later confirming with the staff that we realised this was the path to see the Nepenthes rajah! (Did Itchyfingers find the pitcher plant? Find out from the next few posts!)

A regular visitor at the resort was this little fellow…

A shrew…He was seen rummaging the thrash bags lying around…

Lotsa cute mushrooms along the path

Flowers too…

We also kept seeing a little thrush-like bird hoping around, but the roof of the pathway covered most of the light so it was not easy to identify or photograph it.

Bornean Whistling Thrush
But luckily we had a great view of this Bornean Whistling Thrush the next day at another car park…

We even saw the juvenile…

Just a walk outside our resort or at the car park near the restaurant, we could catch a glimpse of the majestic Mount Kinabalu Range….

Look so near, yet so far!

At times, it would be covered by clouds…

But I have no idea which angle would allow us to see the summit…

While taking photos, we were told by a couple that they just saw some red-coloured monkeys…Could it be the Maroon Langur? Excited, we rushed to the area they were pointing to but did not see any monkeys. We waited and kept a lookout and then we spotted some movement on a faraway tree…Then, we saw something reddish….But they were mostly too far and blocked by leaves!!!

We tracked and followed their movement to the back of another resort. My goodness! So cute!

Maroon Langur, also known as maroon leaf monkey, or red leaf monkey (Presbytis rubicund) is found on the island of Borneo and the nearby smaller Karimata island

Like their name suggests, these monkeys feed mainly on leaves and fruits. Not too sure what was this orange fruit they were munching…

This must be the highlight of our morning! :D

They stayed a while eating before retreating into the deeper woods…But Itchyfingers were happy!

We were heading back to our room to prepare our stuff for the afternoon when we heard some jumping around on a small tree. To our delight, there were some more langurs hanging around here!

They were so much closer as they were on this low tree, feasting on the fruits. But we were constantly blocked by the roof of the covered walkway! Only managed to snap a few shots before they disappeared again… :(

This time, we recognized the fruit they were eating was Passion Fruits! Could even smell it as they munched! Hahah….

Join Itchyfingers at the Cat Purrzaar this July!

June 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | 1 Comment
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In conjunction with the Cats of the World Photo Exhibition held at the Art House, Itchyfingers will be joining their Cat Saturday Purrzaars on the 5, 12 and 19 July from 11 am to 6pm. We will be showcasing our handmade kitty creation together with 18 other local artists and designers. So for those folks in Singapore, do pop by and say hello, and join us for a fun and purrfect Caturday if you have some time on your paws to spare!

Saturday Purrzaar EDM
Please note the photo and art exhibition will be ongoing throughout July while the Purrzaar will only be happening on the first three Saturdays…Cats do not work on Sunday! Wahahahah….

Itchyfingers’ room is invaded by kitties! Come and grab one of these woolly kitty pins specially prepared for the purrzaar! Can you spot some internet kitty sensation here? :D?

See you there!

Also see related posts:
> Itchyfingers at the Museum
> Urban Sensation! Festival

Blazed Through the Night

June 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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I don’t think I ever remembered smiling so much during a run…normally will only smile widely when there are photographers around, especially if you are those who breathe in or out through the mouth when running. But last Saturday, I was smiling a lot…

Itchyfingers were at the Jurong Lake Run. Just 11 days ago I had a bad fall in East Malaysia and suffered from a swollen shin and multiple big bruises on the left leg. After coming back, I did a 5km super slow walk and was glad that I could still do a slow 4km run despite the injury. But I wasn’t too sure if I complete 10km, cos the shin was still swollen though there wasn’t much pain….

A selfie of my still bruised left leg…The plaster covered the yet-to-recover abrasion. Will write about this incident in the coming posts…

Itchyfingers were at the middle of the queue to the starting line…

I didn’t wanna strain my leg too much so was running at a rather slow pace…The evening was hot and humid when we started running at around 6:30pm. But as I ran, I couldn’t help but felt so glad that I was still able to run…The fall could have been much worse…That really brought on a big smile on my face…hahah….

White-bellied Fish Eagle flew across as we ran onto the bridge. Coincidentally, I saw one here when we did our first run with Jurong Lake in 2012! Hahah….

When I finally saw the 9km distance marker, I was really so happy! One more kilometer to go! The sky had long turned dark…hahah…

isu Girl completed her run with a big smile!

This was the first time the organiser changed the race to a night race. But I think I prefer my experience running in the morning cos you can appreciate the garden better…

Cos at night, the green spotlights shining on the trees just made them look so eerie, as if a Pontianak (a female ghost in Malay and Indonesian mythology) was hiding among the branches…wahahahah!!!!

I think there were some MediaCorp artistes running with us since they are one of the sponsors, but I never seen any one of them. Maybe they were all so fast that the slower runners couldn’t catch up… :p

Second night run for this year…I think I still prefer running in the early morning to see the sunrise, rather than see the sun setting…so depressing, as if telling you are running too slow…hahahah

Also see related posts:
> Bring on the DARK Night
> Run For a Cause – Jurong Lake Run 2012


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