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XXA1: Eliza’s story

by on May.01, 2009, under XMen News

eliza_tomMy dear friend in and outside of the rainforest, Mr Rate “Atek X-men 00″ Da Silva once told me during one of our extended off-road trips , “It’s not the destination, it’s the experience along the journey.”

This brief one-liner of wisdom is what I hold on to everytime I go off the civilised, paved road with the X-men 4×4 team. I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to participate in the recent X-men Xtreme Adventure (XXA) which was a full-blown triple extreme version of our previous outings, and it is every off-roader’s dream to go to the elephant mudhole… so, off course I said “YES”. It’s not everyday u can get the chance to go to the mudhole which would soon be under several hundred feet of water in the proposed Hulu Terengganu dam project. For this once-in-a-lifetime chance I thank Atek & Alyna who have inspired me and taught me the true spirit of off-roading.

The team members comprise a line of strong, seasoned and fully skilled individuals who can do it all – from cooking, mechanical trouble-shooting, tactical and technical off-roading and a multitude of other critical skills that will guarantee your return to the civilised world in one piece… you name it, they got what it takes to enjoy crashing in the mud and appreciate the beauty of the occasional leech and elephant dung in your face! Everybody simply knew what needs to be done whenever we face any obstacle. Their limbs seemed to be programed to grab anything from a ‘cangkul’, to a ‘parang’ or anything viable to be used as a tool to help clear an obstacle. The spirit and enthusiasm among the participants was testament to the love and interest they had for the jungle and the mud, creepy-crawlies, the scents and taste of off-roading picked up by all the five senses.

Although we didn’t make it to the mudhole, the journey itself manage to satisfy the hunger for off-roading and the joy of playing in the muds. The XXA proved that when you share the same passion nothing will deter you as a team and the trip strengthened the bond of friendship among a group of people who came from different sides of the globe.

A memorable tribute to the X-men’s strength and cunning was a stretch of jungle trail dubbed the Labour Day Highway which I only noted after I reached home and saw from the XXA website. On realising this achievement they had quietly wrestled from the jungle trail, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE came to my mind. Imagine a trail of slippery mud slightly wider than a bicycle path hanging on the edge of a crumbly slope of earth that was the accumulated dirt from an earlier landslide, and you have a picture of the Labour Day Highway. And for that I really take my hat off to Atek who always know how to build a viable path for the 4X4 to crawl on in a situation like this. After joining XXA I begin to really understand why people still keep coming back to participate in any trip organized by the X-men because Atek is there to weave his brand of jungle magic that people can have faith in to turn a bad situation into a better one. As for me myself, I will return again and again to sample more of that magic, whether woven by Atek’s hands or the jungle beyond the trail where real magic calls the die-hard off-roader.

Eliza/Tom


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