Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lost to Simpang Mengayau

Trip to Langkon, Kota Marudu- Kudat from July 12 to 17, 2010:

In the Langkon Estate

I was sitting in Imelda’s office room waiting for her to settle her works in the other department. She needed to meet and discuss some matters regarding the Langkon estate with the estate manager. After almost an hour, she entered to her office room and asking whether I already made payments to my helpers.

“Dency, have you done with the payment?”

“I paid both of them. Even, your assistant got RM15 for helping me to find the two workers.”

“Good. Dency, it’s 4.30 pm now. I apologize for taking so much time to meet with my estate manager. I have big issues with him. We should make a move now, or we will be late to see the sunset. I guess we cannot visit the Runggus Longhouse today.”

“Ah, don’t worry about that. We can visit tomorrow morning.”

Imelda and I said goodbye to all the staff in her office. We immediately jumped into her 4 x 4 Toyota Hilux. It is a rugged and pleasant car to drive. I did use her car to fetch my two helpers at their kampong that is 25 minutes drive from the Langkon Estate. Imelda likes her car, but she prefers to drive an ordinary car. For her, the 4 x 4 Toyota Hilux is better driven by guys. However, that the only vehicle that can be used in oil palm plantation.

The Rungus

Imelda asked me to watch out any signs to go to Simpang Mengayau. She forgot the way to the tip of Borneo even though she ever went there with her family members in the previous year. Along the journey, both of us talked about the Langkon Estate in Kudat area. From her explanation, I could figure out the size of Langkon Estate is almost the half size of the Kota Marudu area. Small Chinese and Rungus oil palm planters take over the other half of Kota Marudu. After 45 minutes driving, we reached the densely populated Rungus area. There are many Rungus kampongs within that area. The Rungus people still retain their unique lifestyle. Some of them still stay in traditional longhouses. Even some of modern houses within that area have traditional front porches. There are three villages that involve in one-village-one industry program. Each kampong will specialize either in gong-making, bead making and honey bee-rearing. Kampong Sumangkap was selected to focus in gong-making. The round shaped gong is an important Rungus musical instrument even to other tribes in Sabah. It is played during festivities and grand occasions such as weddings. Rungus people are also popular with colourful bead-making, and hence Kampong Tinangol was selected as a bead centre in Sabah. Kampong Gombizau plays a significant role in producing Kudat honey-bee both for the consumption of the local people in Sabah, as well as, visitors from outside Sabah.

Miss a signboard

By 5.30 pm, we reached at a junction to Simpang Mengayau. A golden yellow sky already blanketed the Kudat region. Imelda speeded her Hilux so that we could reach the tip of Borneo before the sun went down below the horizon. I as usual still maintained my role as a road navigator. We turned left at the next T junction and headed to north until we could find the following junction to Simpang Mengayau. Along the way, I could see many coconut trees planted along the road, and I assumed that many folks in Kudat involve in coconut cultivation. Among the coconut trees, I saw a Catholic church with its blue roof, a coconut factory as well as many bricks and wooden houses. After 15 minutes driving, I saw a white signboard, but I did not see any signboard to Simpang Mengayau. There is a T junction on the opposite site of the white signboard. I doubted at first, but I just brushed it aside. I assumed that the white signboard could be other signboard to other places. I let Imelda drove forward. The road changed from tar sealed road to gravel road. Suddenly Imelda asked me whether we were heading to the right way.

“Dency, are you sure we on the right track? I drove for about 25 minutes now since the last T junction and yet we did not find any signboard to Simpang Mengayau.”

“Yeah, you just drive. Maybe we will find the signboard. Hei, look at the farms on your left side. The owners killed some of their coconut trees by injecting the trees with chemicals until those trees do not have leaves and fruits. Among the dead coconut trees, they planted with oil palm trees.”

“Kudat was famous with its coconut industry during 70's, 80's and early 90's. The end of 90's, the owners start to replace their coconut trees with oil palm trees as oil palm is more profitable. That is a new trend in here. Everything is about money.”

We just moved on looking for the signboard till we were on a seal tarred road again. Both of us looked at each other. Suddenly I saw the Catholic Church, and I told Imelda that we were circling the area.

“Dency, you suppose to be my co-driver. How come you did not find the signboard? We are getting late now.”

“I did try, but I did not see the real signboard to Simpang Mengayau. Could it be the white signboard? Imelda we must go there to check.”

She increased her Hilux speed, and we reached the white signboard less than 15 minutes. We surprised to know that the white signboard shows the way to Simpang Mengayau. It was in poor condition. Even, the direction to Simpang Mengayau on the white board was missing. Due to that, I missed the last T junction to Simpang Mengayau. Imelda just shaked her head. She complained that the district board should replace the old one to new.

Final Destination

After entering the final T junction, we passed several villages and coconut farms. The sky was turning to gold reddish now. We both knew that, the sunset would be over for other 30 minutes. Imelda accelerated her Hilux hoping that we would reach the final destination on time. Ten minutes were over, and we saw a long white beach in front of us. Far ahead, we saw a big globe above a hill before the end of the tip. Imelda and I looked at each other and smiled. We knew we were approaching the famous tip of Borneo. At 6.30 pm, we reached at the parking area of the Simpang Mengayau Recreational Park. Without wasting time, we packed digital cameras and walked up way to the hill. We shot pictures of ourselves at any hot spots around the area. The sun was going down further. We stopped to take pictures for a while to watch the sun. We were so amazed, and I asked Imelda to capture that scene. The skies at that time looked like a swirl pink and dark blue cotton candy color.

Many tourists went down from the hill to the dark, rocky area which is the end of the tip. We followed them from behind and continued capturing pictures at that area. Wind was blowing hard, and the waves crashed against the dark, hard stones. The salty smell crept into my nose filling my nostril with the ocean scent. I looked around and amazed with God’s beautiful creation. The day was getting over. The number of tourists in the rocky area kept decreasing, but we were too occupied to notice that. It was almost 7 pm and the night blue dark sky was replacing the day sky. The moon shone brightly in the sky. We looked around and found that only both of us and a young Muslim couple at the tip. I was so hungry and asked Imelda to make a move to the parking area. On the way back, we checked all photos that we have taken. Some were in good quality, and some were not. Suppose, we need to attend digital photography courses so that we can take beautiful, lovely photos. Still, both of us satisfied as we managed to preserve memories at Simpang Mengayau, Sabah.


Puan Isah said...

Dear Dency, thank you for sharing your experience, Mak isah always love reading your posts.

Suka baca cerita tempat2 macam ya :)

Globalized Dayung said...

Mak Isah,

Trima kasih...ari Sabtu tok mek post crita terbaru pasal orang Bonggi kat Pulau Banggi Kudat...

tubik said...

wow...detailed post about the trip. Surely will send giggles for years to come! Cheers!

Globalized Dayung said...

Tubik....ya that's the main point!! Giggles to everybody...

George Sikien ak Sunow said...

Hi Dency, it's a pleasure reading your article in your blog.Very well written with perfect English. Notably you are on the highway to success. Strive & push yourself to the limit. Soon you will be called Dr Dency.