Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scottsdale, Arizona October 2007

After the 18hours hop over to LA, I took a connection flight over to Phoenix, Arizona.

And this below are the pictures for the most fantastic looking and feeling hotel ever! Hotel Valley Ho.

More photos to follow...

Gua Tempurung Caving Expedition, 14th October 2007

It was the Raya weekend where Monday was off, so my colleague organized an outing among friends to Gua Tempurung.

We wanted to go for the grand tour which would take 3.5hours. But a detour to Bidor for breakfast caused a slight delay and the tour was fully booked. We still manage to take Package 3 which is a 2.5hours tour where half is wet trek and the other half is dry.

It was a fantastic outing where we had to sweat it out crawling in the cool stream pass low and narrow passages. Even though I was sweating but since it was very cool in the cave I didn't feel tired at all.

Shots from within the caves.

An upward shot towards the ceiling.....if you have vertigo, it's not advisable to look downwards when climbing those stairs all the way up.

A shot downward. My camera lens/sensors had fogged up. But if you looked carefully, you could see a "ghost" on the rocks ;-)

A chandelier looking formation. This photo fails to do justice to it's size.

Looking out at the entrance after more than 2 hours in the darkness.

The rest of the trip includes devouring delicious Ipoh food and of course a trip to the other famous temple caves in Ipoh....

If you are planning to take the wet tour, it's advisable to wear jeans - it protects your knees from scrapes and has good traction, but it can be heavy once soaked in water. Shoes, strapped sandals or crocs type of footwear should be good. Slippers aren't good cause it can float away while you are in the water.

We didn't find any lockers available so do not bring any or wear any valuables. Bring a torch light, preferably water proof. We had to deposit all our handphones and camera into watertight plastic pouches and I was the mule tasked with making sure it stays dry. It was tough as, we had to crawl and splash our way thru some narrow and short passage ways and I had to balance the bag on my back, while water is dripping down from the ceiling. Fortunately, all the electronic gadgets came out nice and dry, thanks to the watertight plastic bag.

Would definately visit this place again, given the opportunity.

France 10th Sept - 25th Sept 2007

View from the coffeeshop in Schipol airport while waiting for my connection to Toulouse.

While walking to my gate.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Airbus Country

Yes, I was back in France after 2 years. Toulouse specifically. The first time was during winter. This time around it's late summer.

Caught this A380 waiting to take off when my flight landed at Blagnac.

That's the new SIA A380 undergoing testing before delivery. Yup that's the first bird to be delivered.

This is the place where the A380 tour is conducted. It starts at the boarding room that is recreated to look like the engineering room where flight telemetry data is analyzed. After explaining the A380 program, we were taken on a bus tour of the Airbus manufacturing sites. We were then dropped off at the A380 plant where we got to see the assembled planes undergoing testing. At that time, we also saw the SIA A380 taxing back after testing at the other side of the airport.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to bring any cameras during the tour so there's no pictures from the tour :(

Another shot of the A380 taken while we were driving pass the airport.

The A380 taking off.

MAS Golden Lounge, 10th September 2007

It's always fun to go early to the airport, check-in and skip over to the MAS Golden Lounge. It has a very relaxing setting with comfortable chairs. Food is good and you get to pick your choice of hot, cold or selected alcoholic beverages.