I have been organising cycling, trekking and run events for friends and some meet up sites members but this trip was certainly different. We do not have to trek up mountain, cycle or run under sweltering sun. It is an eco-tour to Pontian in the idyllic south-western region of Johor and travelling in the comfort of a luxurious coach cabin. For this eco-program, I am charging S$70 nett per person, which includes land transfer, lunch, some leisure time for last minute shopping and a personalised explanation by the facilitators, among others.
The trip was scheduled on 29 Dec, Saturday for all 27 of us with me as their tour leader. Sheepishly, I must admit it was also my first such trip but I reckon I should not have any big issue ahead, after all it was just a one-day trip up north. Some of our regular kakis also came along. Kevin who is always so supportive and I only realised that he is still nursing a leg injury from his recent Hokkaido skiing trip with Y Trek. My running mate, Catherine and she brought along her parents too. Jacky, his wife and their two lovely boys though the youngest one is quite a rascal who was ‘taunted’ by me throughout the tour in light-hearted spirit, of course. And JK too who tagged along with Catherine. For the rest, it was my first meeting with them but soon, we will gel well.
Our next stop, Lee Rubber Plantation. This plantation is owned by the Lee family in Singapore, one of the founders of OCBC and it was one of the biggest pineapple exporters in the world then. The plantation is not opened to the public but Haleem is the man who is authorised to bring us on a private tour of the plantation. It is 10,000 acres of nothing but pineapples. In case, you cannot visualise how big is 10,000 acres, well, one acre is about 44,000 sq feet. We can only see rows of pineapple to the end of the horizon. I have not been to a pineapple plantation and this is certainly an eye opener for me. Pineapple is best grown on soft soil and it gives bouncy effect when one jumps on it. Soon, some were happily jumping on the soft soil next to the pineapples to feel that bouncy effect.