25-Nov-2003 -- We drove to Malaysia from Singapore on Hari Raya Puasa to make our second unique confluence visit. Steve could not join Devin and I on this trip, as he was in Bangkok for business. As it turned out, we chose an excellent day to visit the confluence. There was very little traffic going over the Causeway and the weather was very mild.
We drove for about 2 hours NNE and were pleasantly surprised by the condition of the roads. We encountered some rain on the way up, but it stopped by the time we reached our destination, a palm plantation about halfway between Kota Tinggi and Mersing. We passed through a quaint little village with brightly painted houses and well kept grounds that wasn't even on the map just before we reached the entrance to the plantation. Many families were out walking in their holiday finest and gave us friendly waves as we passed.
We were only able to drive into the plantation a few hundred meters before the roads got too rough for my family car. We thought we had gotten fairly close, but as it turned out, it was a good 6km to the confluence. We were prepared for a hike, and walking through the plantation was quite easy. Everyone was off for the holiday, and their were only a few kids passing through on motorbikes.
The plantation is a maze of roads and foot paths, but we were able to keep a fairly straight course using the GPS. The roads we hiked were in good shape, and only a little muddy from the rain. It was overcast and cool (for the tropics), so we made good time. In just about an hour and a half we made it to the confluence. Again, we were quite lucky because the underbrush had been burned away, so even hiking off the trail was easy.
We stopped, took our pictures, had some fruit, chocolate, and water, and then hiked back. In retrospect, mountain bikes would have made the visit even easier, and would have been a lot of fun. Next time...
We got caught in a downpour on the way back, but it only lasted 20 minutes. When we reached the car, it started pouring again, and we were glad we missed that deluge. On the way back to Singapore we got caught in holiday traffic, and so opted for the Second Link (the long way back to the island, but ultimately faster). Although it took us nearly twice as long to get back, we still made it home for dinner.