Saturday morning...hubby prepared to go out with his photography kakis,together with alif, our eldest.
At 7.15 he asked me and adil to follow, saying i can 'jog' around while he took the shots. We were ready in 15 minutes! How to persuade adil to follow? He jumped out of bed immediately when his father said he could drive.
Hubby drove one car with alif and two of his friends while adil with me in the other car.
Stopped briefly for breakfast, journey took about one hour.
We reached Kuala Sepetang Mangrove Forest Reserve before 10am and were the first to arrive that day.
There's a long under-canopy walkway into the mangrove. There's also chalets for those who wish to spend the night.
I walked along the wooden walkway, reading notices about whats, whens and hows of the area and plant species.
The guys were busy with their cameras.....you can see in the picture that they're fully absorbed
After one hour they decided to move on to the charcoal factory nearby. I was like.. 'what r they going to shoot there?' perghhhhh.
As we were coming out of the 'forest', we saw more people, including a bus load of kindies entering the area.
While the guys were shooting (i did so with my camera phone), I talked to the owner, Ah Chin about the trade. I realized now that it is not as simple as i thought.
It started with logs (kayu bakau) being brought in by boat,via the stream within the premise.
The logs are then arranged in the igloo-shaped chamber. It has an opening that they break and seal accordingly. Then the firing started. The first fire has to be big. When it reaches a certain temperature, the opening is made smaller by sealing it with bricks/clay. This process slowly dries and "bakes" the logs and will take about 20 days during which temperature inside the chamber is monitored.
When the desired temperature/condition is met, the whole chamber will be sealed, and cooling down process begins naturally. This will take another 10 days. Ah Chin described this time as "cuti 10 hari", but i see they have 3 chambers so where got cuti maaaa.
Photo below shows the chamber fully closed. The logs are waiting to be loaded in.
10 days over, the chamber 'door' will be broken to enable the logs-turned-charcoal to be taken out. I asked him if it's hot, he said "panaslahhhh sikit tapi sudah biasa maaa..."
The charcoal is then transported to be packed for export. Ah Chin said 75% of his charcoal are for Japan export, woooowwww.
And the whole process starts again.
Photo below shows McK talking to the young, handsome Ah Chin (in blue t-shirt). When asked if he browse the internet(konon nak bagi lah add blog makcik) he has this to say..."wa tak pandai baca apa macam mau buka computer? dulu mak suruh pi sekolah, wa cakap ok, bila mak pi saja, wa lari" (i cannot read, how to surf? my mum ask to go to school, i said yes, when she turned, i ran away)
To those out there who'd like to find experience and have free sauna, i suggest you contact Ah Chin....wa garenti lu punya lemak semua cair maa
It's time to go home....we had lunch at a roadside stall in Juru, sorry i don't know the exact place but my hubby said its called 'Ikan Bawal bawah pokok'....hentam sajalah...good food, hot fried ikan bawal +other dishes. Pick your choice, head to the tables under the trees,order your drinks and walllaaa. Gendang gendut tali kecapi, dah kenyang perut sukalah hati...