Playing tourist in Kashmir

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A man from Uttar Pradesh that I met in Kashmir. He works at a brick factory outside Srinagar

I wanted to visit Kashmir. Heard so much about the beauty of this place but I could not find the right time.

I want to visit Kashmir in autumn.

Autumn this year, I was in New Delhi waiting for my connecting flight to Srinagar, Kashmir. I happened to read the local newspaper on the latest news about the current unrest and unsettled situation in Kashmir. The struggle has been going on for years … I heard.

As I landed at the Srinagar airport, I have to fill in pages of immigration and security forms. Full armed police and military personnel are seen everywhere in the town. Yes … I mean it, everywhere.

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Nomad shepherds preparing their cattle for winter

There has been a fresh attack recently killing few people from the public. You can feel the tension rising in the air and shops around the Srinagar town choose to remain closed for a few more days. But despite the unrest situation tourist still continuously flock here, undeterred by the chaos. Just like me and my friends …

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A brick factory located outside Srinagar

Kashmiris knows that their main economic source of income comes from tourism. Rest assure that tourists and travelers are well taken care of despite the unrest situation, my local guide said.

I wonder … why is it so many unrest or chaos places in our world?

I played “the tourist” this time around. Instead of wandering freely around the streets … I hesitantly followed the group leader. Yes, my heart struggled to tame down my curiosity and my feet were itchy to just walk around and explore my surrounding, the way that I always did whenever I am in a strange land. But if you decided to be in a group, it is best to just stick to the group’s tempo.

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Me sitting in front of our shikara enjoying the view of Dal Lake

But … honestly, playing “the tourist” sometimes is relaxing, just pure vacation.  No waking up early in the morning or staying at secluded location hunting for sunrises or sunsets. No walking aimlessly around villagers hanging around with what they said the ‘unpredictable’ locals. Food is well served … on time, no hunger, no gastric acid like always, lol. Well pampered accommodation … I even get my own hot water warmer beg, sweet. Not complaining though … I love it.

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View from the peak of Apharwat Mountain (3,950meters)

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Another side of Dal Lake, Srinagar

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Kashmir apples

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Dashing view of Sonamarg

I am not gonna continue ranting about how beautiful this place is but I would come here again in autumn of whenever years … just to spend more time walking on the streets and wandering around the villages here in Kashmir, enjoying human to human moment … In Sha Allah. I have all sort of plan now in my head on where should I wander and what should I do here.

Just a friendly reminder for photographers who plan to visit Kashmir. Staying light with your camera load is highly recommended as entering and existing Srinagar airport is quite a nuisance due to the tight security check.

I wrote an article about Dal Lake of Srinagar for NST Bots. Sharing it here.

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Am off now dear readers. Need to work on tonnes of my travel photos and put it on sale at Shutterstock, I need to generate extra money for this travel addiction of mine.

Bye.

Cheers,

MM


That’ll be fun

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keep your head up boys and survive the best way you could

For months I tried to find the excuse to re-visit my childhood hometown. Being born and raised during my teenage life in Tawau, Sabah, this place has a soft spot in my heart. I miss the food … I miss my old childhood friends and I miss talking in the Sabahan dialect too.

This time around, my excuse is … I am re-visiting islands around Semporna for the second time. Had a good deal return ticket from KL to Tawau and spent a few days hanging out in Tawau with my childhood friends while enjoying the weekends at the islands surrounding Semporna, hunting the light with some new friends.

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the sea gypsies of islands surrounding Semporna, Sabah

I miss the salty air and the beautiful endless open sky. As we were speeding off to Selakan Island from Semporna jetty, I can’t help reminiscing the old sweet years when I used to spend my weekend doing island hopping with my compact camera. Carefree years … when my camera was just so light and the years where I carried my flippers more than my camera.

I am feeling old … only old people reminiscing their old sweet memories.

My second visit to this beautiful place. The first time in 2015 when I was still fresh in this photography world, at that time everything looked new and exciting to me. Guess what … the second trip is as excited as before, I am born to do this … to wander around my surrounding and just fall deeper into my own world while doing … the THINKING, lol (so much to think about).

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gypsy girls swinging carefreely

Timbun Mata, Bodgaya, Maiga, Selakan, Gusungan, Ormadal and a lot more surrounding islands that we can explore. The setting of each island looks damn good during sunset and sunrise. And, I noticed something different this time around with my new travel mates … they play with the drones more than their cameras.

A new way of enjoying our beautiful surrounding which is aerial photography. Now everybody can fly … me? I think I would just stick to my paramotor addiction. Flying with a group of motivated adventurous paramotor pilots and enjoying the raw aerial view with my own eyes, self-satisfaction. I get to feel the fear of the unknown circumstances while flying … while the drone players fear that they would lose their drone signal and later would lose the drone.

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a girl drying fish at the beach in Maiga Island

What makes a place interesting?

For me … it’s the people that reside in the place that makes the place compelling. In here the sea gypsies people are well blended with their nature. Life is simple.

But for a thinker … you’ll get worried just by looking at the children paddling here and there aimlessly. I always believe that every child needs to go to school, at least to learn reading, writing, calculating and reading the Quran.

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Zainab and her lunch for today

By giving that basic skill to our children we fulfilled at least the very minimal responsibility as a parent to them. Giving them the skills will help them make a better choice in life. It is up to the parents though. I saw a few schools here in some islands. Maybe they just choose not to send their children to school.

Ahh well … enough worrying, at least they are happy with their choice of life. As I said earlier … it’s a simple life, no ruffles.

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sunrise in Maiga island

I always want to say this at the end of my writing … that I want to visit the same place again and again. 3 days 2 night is not enough … it was cloudy during the 3 days that we were there and on the second day, we were chased by the storm during sunset at Bodgaya Island. I think a week would be good.

The cloudy stormy sky is the best time to capture time-lapse as the clouds would move rapidly. Sharing my time-lapse video here for y’alls. Amazing moment captured using my small gopro6.

And last but not least, belanja a picture of me under the stormy cloud for my fan out there (perasan … lol am being cynical here) and for those people who are not so my fan, please underestimate me, that’ll be fun. Annyeong …

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Underestimate me please, that’ll be fun

 

Cheers

MM

ps: if life gave you lemon, make lemonade.


Reciprocal kindness

I hate the word ‘busy’.

Oh … I have been busy, much busier than you (competing which each other on who is busier).

For me, the word ‘busy’ is like an excuse … oh, I could not spend my precious time with you, as my dear you are not worth my time, I would rather spend it with someone else which is more important than you. That is why you are so busy.

Hmmm … me being grumpy at my introductory paragraph. Excuse me … lol.

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A carrier horse in the middle of Peshawar market

Me? I have been busy too and like always I admit that I have been crazy busy catching up with I dunno, maybe work, life or just recuperating from my back-to-back trips. And … despite being busy,  I make times for my loved ones. The 3-ones that I always cherish, my pets too and my mom.

But …always a satisfying feeling despite how tired I am right now … ‘do what you love, love what you do’. I guess that I love myself the most when I am wandering around the stranger’s land more than when I am at home worrying about my unpredictable future.

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Kalash kids in front of their home

I was in Pakistan for the second time last July with my travel mates.

We wanted to visit the Kalash people of Pakistan. Took a domestic flight from Islamabad to Chitral and a jeep ride to the remote area of Kalash Valley, Northern Pakistan. Reside between the mountain of Hindu Kush, this place is geographically harsh but for a person who loves nature, ahhh this place is beautiful.

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I am not sure what is going on with these 2 children from the Kalash valley

In a country dominated by Muslims, this mountain people of Kalash is still holding on to their ancestor’s belief. Estimated around only 3000 Kalash people who are still practising the culture and their ancient pagan religion. Some of the Kalash people converted to Muslim, abandoning their traditions and adopting the Muslim lifestyle but still staying together around the valley.

The Kalash girls and women dressed up in a thick embroidered black robes with matching head gears and heavy bead necklaces every day. While the man adopted the same Kurta shirt as the rest of the Pakistani man. They have a colourful lifestyle and I think it is interesting to explore more about their culture.

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My article in NST on how to photograph other culture

Summer has just started when I touched down in Islamabad.

It was interesting as I always choose to travel to certain places either during the end of winter, spring or autumn and never in summer, as I prefer staying home in my hot and humid 24×7 country more than experiencing the heat of summer of another country.

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Morning chai at a street in Peshawar

In Chitral and Kalash Valley, the summer heat is the same as at home but the air is drier and windy, which made it bearable. But in Peshawar during Summer is … wow! challenging, due to the greenhouse effect temperature during the daytime is very warm (38’C feels like 42’C).  Walking along the small alleys in between markets with the heat is not something that I look forward too but well … I survived Peshawar.

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Busy street of Peshawar’s old city market

I always wanted to visit Peshawar.

My late university professor was from Peshawar (he passed away from dengue a few years ago). He told me that tomatoes in Peshawar are as big as mangoes. It makes me curious. Where got such thing as tomatoes as big as mangoes. I told him that one day I would love to visit his hometown, Peshawar and check out the tomatoes. And he said, ‘Please don’t go to Peshawar, that place is a dangerous place to walk around’.

My curious mind will never listen to NO. Oh … and I checked out the tomatoes, the size is still the same size as our tomatoes back home in Malaysia.

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Busy street of Peshawar old city market

Walking on the street of Peshawar as a woman with a camera is not easy as you need to adhere to the local custom. Proper dressing is required. I wore my favourite black abaya and yes, it helps with the heat. But my gender becomes a hindrance for me to walk alone on the street and yes, I need a male companion to be able me to walk around the market. Thank God my local companion is very helpful and friendly, so my wandering process went smoothly.

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Morning crowd around my hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan

When I am at home now, recuperating, I asked myself … what do I remember the most about Peshawar?

Uhhhh … the food.

I tasted the best lamb stew ever (better than in Xinjiang). The food tastes different from Islamabad, Chitral or Skardu. I was told that food in Peshawar is delicious due to the influence of Afghanistan, as Peshawar is just 57km away from the Afganistan border. And now I wonder … about the food in Kabul. Is it good? Hmmm curious mind.

I overstuffed myself with lamb and chicken every day, 3 times per day in 11 days. Never in my life that I’ve been eaten overload of animals in a day … Masya Allah. A happy Masya Allah actually as I lurvvveee lamb. I need extra energy for the walking (aka wandering) and extra strength for me to carry my heavy camera bag, lol.

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My breakfast … roti

What an experience.

I could see myself exploring Pakistan again and again. Maybe I should start strengthening my knee and my legs so that I could hike up on those beautiful mountains surrounding Skardu and enjoy the smell of the glaciers. I should start tomorrow … lol  In Sha Allah.

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A little lady from the Kalash valley

Time for bed. Catch you again on my next post. Bye for now …

Cheers

MM


Getting serious …

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Taking up a new challenge out of my comfort zone

I have been putting this off for almost a year. If I want to improve my photography skill then I need to be serious about my paid job too. So, I started buying my studio equipment slowly since last year, bought my studio lights last few months (coz I couldn’t decide which one suit my pocket and my style).

I want to master studio light and take awesome B&W portraits. And, I kept on justifying all the ringgit out from my pocket for this purpose … to master light and shadow under a controlled environment and I need to have all these equipment. Dang!!

Got my favorite dark grey ash backdrop fixed and I start taking photos of my most best-loved subject … baby!.  Yes. I am all geared up for my next learning experience. Learning by doing. My studio blog is up and running at kameramatsuda.blogspot.com (jom follow),  my facebook page is done (jom follow), my spirit is highly motivated for this (am having bad flu right now) and let’s do this Matsuda.

Mastering a new skill.

If you are interested to have me capture your intimate beautiful moments with your baby, children or the whole family, please feel free to get in touch me via email at salliza.salleh@gmail.com or Facebook or Instagram.

Cheers

MM


Strike of luck

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A moment when I passed through this fishing boat

What does photography teach me?

As I add more months and years to my photography experience, I learned about the role of “stroke of luck” in my artwork. Unplanned moments or shall I say accidentally moments that just hit the “jackpot” or a rewarding moment that made my day as a photographer.

It was 100% totally luck. I was in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Just that.

I always see it as a gift … a gift from the invisible hand, the Planner. Each time I came across such moment I feel grateful and contended.

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A moment when I passed over a pond filled with wild buffaloes

So each time when I am sad and feeling unlucky … I would scroll down and browse through my lucky moments. Telling myself … for each moment that I am at lost, I would experience more lucky moments as a reward for my perseverance and my patience.

I take photography personally. Most of the time I captured my own moment … moments that related to me. A way for me to learn and understand about life. To calm my soul when things don’t work accordingly, as the Planner always has a better plan for me. I just need to trust Him.

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A sunset moment when the golden light decided to be generous

“Art depends on luck and talent”

Whenever you came across that lucky moment, you need the talent to be able to recognize such moment and you need the technical skill to decide on what and how to properly frame it. How do you do it?

Practice makes perfect.

Sleep deprived. Need to doze off. Bye …

Cheers

MM

ps: TEDx Talks about  Mastering Change by Michael Yamashita.

 


Eid Fitr Mubarak 1439H/ 2018M

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Now I understand the reason why writing will always make me feels good. I always wonder why does it feel good to pour your thought out for others to discover?

It is an opportunity to be heard and it feels good to be heard.

And the soul-nourishing month of Ramadhan has ended while the joyful Syawal has begun. It’s interesting to observe how people around you interpreted their belief system. Am not talking about the belief system between different religions but I am more concern about the different interpretation of the same belief system.

Islam is just one belief, one teaching and one God … don’t add yourself as another interpretation of other arrogant God.

If you believe that a religion is beautiful then your interpretation of that religion should be that beautiful too. If the teaching of a beautiful religion is to worship the Al-Mighty while at the same time to look for the best in human (as we humans are created as an equal Khalifah on this earth), to bring out the best in human-being and to unite people of various races in the world … stick with that teaching and please interpret this beautiful religion rightfully.

I felt frustrated with the arrogant believer that think that they are better off in front of Allah just because they have better religion knowledge (they believe so) than the rest. If you think that you have more knowledge than others please SHARE in a well-manner more civilize way. Not through a barbaric way as we are now living in an informative and intelligent era. Everybody has their own limitations and challenges … the sincerity of the heart matter the most; the HEART MATTER …

Sorry for the long ranting … I got distracted by the MAN who thinks that part of his leg is already firmly planted on Allah’s Heaven. Well … the more I see the more I want to ask why? And, a woman who always asks WHY is a nuisance for such MAN MADE FOR HEAVEN (so he think so).

Sharing my thought and my latest article in NST about how to capture the spirit of Hari Raya (eid) from a photographer’s point of view aka my point of view.

Eid Mubarak to all my readers.

Cheers,

MM

ps- The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer is friendly and befriended, for there is no goodness in one who is neither friendly nor befriended. The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.”

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 5937


new tool for my art

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Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Kuala Ibai, KT/ XT2 16-55mm f/2.8

Bought XT2 Fujifilm camera before my trip to NZ last few months and I paired it with a 16-55mm f/2.8 Fuji lens. My shoulder is not that strong anymore and I don’t consider carrying 2 DSLRs while traveling is traveling ‘light’.

I hope that I made the right choice as migrating into a new camera system is expensive … at least for a freelancer like me.

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Horses at Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Last month Fujifilm Malaysia organized a trip to Kuala Terengganu and I tagged along with the other 100 over Fujifilm camera users, gathered together to capture the essence of Kuala Terengganu. A very interesting trip and it was an opportunity for me to learn more about this new tool in my hand. So, I took a few photos of the event and share it here.

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Batu Rakit beach, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Bought my D810 way back in 2014 and it was at her own ‘class’ during her time. And technology has changed a lot since then. Cameras are getting lighter, user-friendlier and super fast nowadays … I feel old and left behind with my old D810/ D800E. But quality wise, my images in my old camera is still superior compared to XT2 though 😆 … sour grape!

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Young warriors/ XT2

After using this XT2 for over 3 months now, I kinda like this small camera. Small yet a very powerful tool. The XT2 camera ergonomic feels just right in my small hand. The lens is superb too and the price is still within my budget (to be honest , I don’t prefer spending my money on gadgets … I prefer spending it on my traveling instead)

This investment would last me for a few years, so I keep telling myself each time I decided to add more Fuji compliance gadget to my collection. And, with all the technology advantage embedded into this new camera … it’ll help me focus on the only one important thing which is my CREATIVITY.

I compiled more photos during this Fujifilm X trip in my Matsuda’s Zenfolio. Please check it out here but it is still not complete yet as I take time looking at my photos and decide what should I do with it … yes! not a pro yet in organizing 😂😂

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Pak Ali kite maker of Terengganu/ XT2

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My new tool XT2 Fujifilm with 16-55mm f/2.8

Gotta run … bye.

Cheers,

MM

ps: … saving my money to get myself the new Nikon D850.


Blessed Malaysia

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Blessed again. After 15 years with doomed leaders. The last 5 years was the worst, watching the news and listening to the political dramas for almost every day was heart-wrenching … cringing without being able to do or say anything, helpless.

The air suddenly feels pure again. The morning light today looks beautiful than usual. Alhamdullilah.

Our beloved father of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir is back again in the office. Looking physically old and fragile (at 93 years old) but the smart mind and the sharp tongue is still there … as intelligent as ever.

May Allah bless you and grant you with years of life in good health and always under his protection 24×7. May Allah bless Malaysian too … witnessing fellow Malaysian from every age group casting their votes, waiting patiently for 48 hours to see the outcome of our struggles and our prayers … a proud moment to be Malaysian. We were united as 1 Malaysia regardless of race, religion and belief system. Bliss …

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voting is a responsibility

Time for us to rebuild our tarnished nation. I don’t mind working hard for a country that gives me the freedom to be the best of US … not milking or enslaving us RAKYAT for the sake of a greedy self-interest leader. Enough ranting … time for work!

Welcome back Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad … I love you ☺️

Cheers

MM


Circling KLCC

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KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned. We saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced during the time that we took up the job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

But we always wanted to fly circling around KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Had a goosebump when we started our flight that morning.

Flying in a congested city area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us.

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View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added a great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

 

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i love this …

 

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings, a bit scary though but the view is always worth it. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it in S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

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The other side of KLCC

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Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

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I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel more alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


LOTR moment at Tongariro National Park

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A seagull checking on me while I was staring at the view of the Wellington Habour

I am in Wellington at this time being. Accompanying my daughter for her first-year University registration here in the city. Spent 2 weeks here with her, exploring the city and its surroundings while at the same time trying to make her comfortable with this new place where she would call her second home for the next 3 years.

Well, I got bored with CITY easily, flipped through the Free guide to NZ Arrival magazine that I took from the airport … the turquoise color of a lake in South Crater valley of Tongariro National Park caught my attention. But … naaaah! 8-hours walk of a total 19.4km would kill me instantly … so I think.

Then … I got really bored and kept thinking of that National Park. The view of the mountains … Mt. Tongariro 1967m, Mt. Ngauruhoe  2291m (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings filming locations) and Mt. Ruapehu 2797m … make me more curious as I can’t hold it anymore and I purchased my Intercity bus ticket from Wellington to National Park station for the next day trip and booked my 2 nights stay at YHA hostel, National Park. I said to myself … fine, I just have a look at that place and walk around the easiest walk while enjoying my favorite air … the mountain air, hmmm nice … it feels like home.

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View in front of the hostel where I was staying. Well, look at that … thick clouds covering Mt Ruapehu. Not a clear weather to do the crossing

I don’t mind travel alone as I don’t have the urge to talk or even binge talk to anyone because most of the time my mind is always fully occupied with my own thoughts and imagination. I tend to forget about my surroundings too. My first time in NZ … ohh I love New Zealanders as they treated me more as a co-human than as a strange Muslim lady with a head covered wandering loose alone.

New Zealanders are super cool and very helpful too.

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The view of Mt Ruapehu without the thick clouds

The weather was not very good on the day that I arrived at the National Park. Raining with thick fogs surrounding the valleys. While contemplating either I want to do the crossing or just hang around and breath-in the natural ‘mountainous’ air, a group of people popped into the hostel front desk returning their gears. They just did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the rain and the thick fogs … and with their red and cheerful face even when they were soaking wet. Damn it … I said to myself.

And this guy from Thailand with a wide happy eye just bluntly tell me … hey! have you done the crossing? If you haven’t, you better just do it … even if the weather is like this … it would be worth every single second.

And guess what … I paid the 40 NZ dollars for the National Park return transportation and rented a waterproof boot, a walking pole and a raincoat. I fixed my mind … I am all in. I need to see what the havoc is all about. Well … well … well … bare in mind that I hate trekking, I am not well trained and I am not even sure which box to tick in as Lucy … the front desk lady passed me a form to fill in … which level of mountain trekker am I? should I tick the beginner box? As I am not even a beginner lol coz I am the type of person if given a choice where to park my car at the shopping mall … I would always choose the one very very very near to the entrance door.

Well … done with that. Lucy asked me … what makes me want to do this? And I said … hmmm, I just wanna get over this. This curiosity bugs me … and she laughed.

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The park signboard … I had a goofy feeling while looking at this

Omg … It was a beautiful sight as I first stepped in the Mangatepopo car park but as I looked at the signboard (above) I got scared again. Urghh I am gonna die … I told myself lol.

Overall, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is worth every second of the 8 hours walk despite the thick fog and the occasional rain. I managed to click a few photos with my iPhone while struggling to keep up with the trails.

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The beginning

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Moving forward with the running water sound coming from the stream along the way

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The moody and wet surrounding has that calming effect on me

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And the horror parts came … the trail starts ascending

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And this view as I looked down at my trails

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This is the point where we start descending and trolling along the longest 11.3km in my whole entire life. Honestly … I never walk this far in my entire life

As I continue for another 11.3 km trails to Ketetahi Carpak the weather started getting irritated. The fogs thicken, the temperature started to drop further down (9-12 degree) as the raindrops started to clouds my glasses … omg, I was standing on a narrow trail between 2 very steep craters while my feet were shaken due to lack of sugar aka energy and my glasses was clouded. The sulfur smell filled the air.

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This is the turquoise colored lake that I saw in the magazine, the one that makes me want to visit this place

I was tired … near to the ‘I want to give up’ mode. But this place even in its worst weather is uniquely beautiful and I couldn’t help wondering to myself … how would this place look like if the weather is beautiful?

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Passing a flat crater before trekking up again in thick fog

It was all foggy and raining the whole journey down towards the carpark and I didn’t take many photos as I was super-super exhausted. This trail is not for beginners but maybe for intermediate trekkers. You need to be well prepared if you decided to do the crossing. It was so hard for me and I still have sore muscles all over my body now (after 3 days).

I nearly cried at the very last 6.3km … as my feet could not take it anymore. Other trekkers passed by me one after another leaving me alone struggling with my incapabilities. Oh I hate that feeling of being left behind … but I kept my chin up and walk slowly imagining myself doing brisk walk at my most favorite park.

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Struggling even to lift up my iPhone, ohh I am not fit … something that I need to work on

Would I do this again? Yes … I definitely would do this again maybe in December when summer is here. I want to capture the beautiful landscape of this place in its most beautiful setting but I am gonna make sure that my body is fit enough to do this … so that I could see more and enjoy more of this place.

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I saw colorful plants along the crossing trail … very interesting

 

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The trail from my STRAVA 

 

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My shaky feet with that rented waterproof boot after the 8 hours journey. Yaaay! I walked 19.4km for 8 hours … victory!

I took the next day bus to Wellington with a victory and blessed feeling. Alhamdullilah, thank you oh Allah for giving me the opportunity and the will to do this. I love it …

I plan to explore more of NZ during this 3 years, taking it slowly and meaningfully. Learning to improve me … while inspiring my children and people around me to do more in life than just merely living. Anybody can do this … just do it, no excuses.

Bye for now

 

 

Cheers,

MM

New Zealand: Tongariro National Park February 27th to March 1st, 2018