Berembum revisited

Last year I have written a post Closure about the Berumbun waterfall in the Lolo river, where I was hit, a few months earlier, by a falling piece of rock. As I wanted to show Aric the place where it had happened, I decided to go there one more time. My friend Rani was willing to join, after my own two mishaps last year and the tragic death of another waterfall friend, I have decided that I will only go to the jungle with a group of at least three people.

Another reason to revisit these two waterfalls (for the fifth time !) was that another friend had told me that there was a nice trail to these falls, avoiding the slightly boring access road to Gunung Nuang. And a nice trail it turned out to be! Well marked with the usual yellow plastic ribbons. After you reach the Lolo river, you have to cross this stream several times. Here is our track on Google Earth. The access road to Nuang in green, with the location of the pondoks along the road. The trail is in yellow with the location of the two waterfalls. Trail length is 5.2 km, we reached the falls after about two hours

Tracks on Google Earth

Here are the two falls. The Bomoh Ali fall (left) and the Berembun fall (right)

Bomoh AliBerembun

The weather was perfect, it was a very pleasant trip. We had lunch and coffee at Berembun. Access to Berembun is not that easy, you have to swim, then scramble up slippery rocks and cross the stream. Aric remarked that it is actually a dangerous waterfall, and he is right. NEVER do this when the weather is unstable, a flash flood would be lethal here.

Here is a picture report of the trip. We were not in a hurry and took time to take pictures. As soon as I reach a fall with a pool, I take a bath to remove the sweat from my clothes. I think it helps, but I still feel slightly ill at ease, always on the lookout for bees. Of course I always have my Epipen with me, but I hope I will never to use it. On our way back, Aric’s Adidas shoes started to fall apart rapidly, but he managed to reach the car, LOL.

Here is a YouTube clip of Berembun

And here is Aric on its way back. Berembun fall is just behind him around the corner. Big fun, but not when there would be a flash flood…!


Minimal Music

Minimal Music originated in the US during the sixties. It is tonal music, characterised by repetition and gradual transformation of musical phrases. In the late 20th century this minimalism became very influential, with composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

Probably the most popular minimal art work is the film music written by Philip Glass for the movie Koyaanisqatsi.   It can bring me easily in a kind of trance..:-)


Here is a trailer of the movie on YouTube . If you find it interesting, you should try the full score on Vimeo

In the Netherlands the most important minimalist composer has been Simeon ten Holt (1923-2012). His most popular work is Canto Ostinato (1976) The performers have a lot of freedom in the choice of instruments and how they combine the different themes.


I remember a magical performance in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, many years ago, on one of those rare sensual summer nights, with four pianists and the audience sitting in the grass. Heaven!

Here is a YouTube version of Canto Ostinato, lasting almost three (!) hours.  Sit down, relax and give it a try…:-)

Oh, and if you think that Glass only wrote “serious” classical music, try to get hold of his “Song from Liquid Days”. Here are Freezing, and Forgetting , sung by Linda Ronstadt

Computer migration

You may have have been wondering if all was well with me, as I have not written any post for some time. Don’t worry, I am alive and kicking. Just busy migrating my data to a new computer.

For some time my Dell laptop has been showing signs of old age. Time to look for a replacement. Another Dell?  Windows 8 with a touchscreen?

Not so long ago Aric has bought a MacBook Air, but he hardly uses it, not even in the kitchen to cut an apple , as he prefers working with the big-screen iMac. He suggested that I could take over this small(!) notebook, make it dual-bootable with both Mac OS and Windows 7 and buy a (wireless) keyboard and mouse. When I travel I can just take the MacBook with me

That is what I have done. Not really complicated, but it took time.First I had to transfer all my data to a new backup HD, then install Windows 7 and software on the MacBook. Here you see my desk during migration. To the left is the MacBook Air, in the middle my 22 inch monitor and to the right my old Dell.

Computer migration

The intermediate mess

Intermediate mess

And  the final result.

Final result

I have a backlog of posts, so be prepared…:-)

Taiping & Sabak Bernam

As you may have noticed, Taiping is my favourite town in Malaysia, so you will not be surprised that I am a member of the Taiping Heritage Society. They are not (yet) very active, so when they announced their AGM with a talk and a dinner, I wanted to attend. But the same weekend Aric’s mother was celebrating her birthday! The solution was to make a combination trip.

In Taiping we stayed in the Furama hotel, as usual. Close to the Lake Gardens, beautiful and fascinating any time of the day. The famous Raintrees were flowering with pink flowers.

Rain treeRain tree flower

When you go to Wikipedia for the Taiping Lake Gardens you will read there about the “golden rain trees (Malay angsana) (Pterocarpus indicus)” Golden? They must be wrong. And they are. Yes,  the angsana is also called raintree and has yellow flowers. And there are beautiful angsana in Taiping.  But the trees along the Lake Gardens are NOT angsana but Albizia saman! Same family, but different species. Pink flowers. Click here for a detailed explanation.

The THS meeting was hold in the Flemington hotel. The talk, about Bukit Larut, was given by two speakers, Dr Chan Ah Lak and Ooi Beng Yean, both dedicated birders and nature lovers. They are contributing pictures to my Birding in Malaysia website, so it was a good opportunity to have our picture taken together.

Meeting THS With Chan Ah Lak and OBY

The next day, on our way back to Sabak Bernam, I showed Aric a waterfall near Beruas, which I had visited with CNY. It is a nice curtain fall, easily accessible.

Here is Aric, enjoying a shower

Aric taking a shower

In Sabak Bernam we celebrated the birthday of Aric’s mother. As usual some of his uncles were playing mahjong and although I can not play the game myself, I was of course willing for the picture to behave like a real Chinese Malaysian, and join them…:-)


Of course there was the traditional birthday cake and a delicious seafood dinner.

birthday cakeBirthday dinner


Journal 12-3-2013

After CNY many people organise an open house to celebrate the new year with their friends. On 23-2 I was invited by KcLiew (third from left) and his wife (center with the bottle). The food was good and the company pleasant. I feel very much at home in Malaysia..:-)

Party KcLiew

Another invitation came from my friend Keong, to visit his recently opened outdoor shop in Subang Jaya. He is very interested in parang’s and traditional Orang Asli techniques. I wish him all the best with his shop! It’s near Sime Darby MC, have a look when your are around.

Keong shop

A few days later it was 100 (actually 98) days ago that Aric’s father passed away. In Taoism this marks the end of the mourning period. A suitcase is prepared with everything (clothes, shoes, money) the deceased will need in the afterlife. All fake of course. After prayers and food offerings to the ancestors, this suitcase is burnt on a pyre made of (fake) money.

The pyre

Quite impressive. As I am getting older, I value rituals more and more…:-) I published a  separate post about the event: 100 days

Because of Aric’s family situation we had not made any trips for a long period. We decided to go to Melaka, one of our favourite destinations. This time we stayed in the Puri hotel, beautifully set in a restored Perakanan house in the Heeren street. Here is the facade.

Puri hotel Melaka

Since Melaka became a world heritage site, a few years ago, the town has become more touristy. Not always to its advantage, many traditional old shops have now become art galleries or Nyonya style restaurants. Here is a report about our Melaka trip.


Waterfalls in Perak

A friend asked me yesterday on Skype if I was alright because I had not posted on my blog for a few weeks…:-) My answer was that I had been too busy to update my blog. The CNY celebration, meeting friends, a trip to Melaka, visiting waterfalls, etc.

Not chronologically, I will start my update with a trip, made with Paul and Rahim, last week. It has become a tradition to go waterfall hunting with them. For example in 2010 to Ulu Besut in Terengganu. This time I wanted to go to Kedah, but I realised that it would mean a lot of driving, so instead I decided to (re)visit a few lesser known waterfalls in Perak. We made it 3D3N trip, staying the first night in Taiping, the second night in Lenggong and the third night in Batu Gajah. As usual we were not only looking for waterfalls but also for nice food…:-) Here is a collage of the waterfalls we have visited.

Perak waterfals

A detailed report about the trip can be found here . The Kait waterfall, lower right in the picture, is quite spectacular and tall, about 45 meter! Here is a YouTube video of the fall

Nex post will be about Melaka, no waterfalls there…:-)