19-Mar-2003 -- Trip to Muadzam Shah.
Yes, that is the general direction of our destination where the 103E 03N Confluence should be.
BoonChee and myself left Kuala Lumpur at about 9.00 am. Crossed over 3 mountain roads to cover the first 120 kilometers. It was a good 2.5 hours drive by the time we reached Simpang Pertang. Heading for the direction where we targeted, this small town was almost a frontier where we could get a decent meal. The locals here do not eat out and we had to content ourselves with the only food outlet - Chicken Rice.
After the rest, the remaining part of the journey from this town would be on very straight stretches of roads. I was on the look out for the Negri Sembilan - Pahang state border. Nope! no luck. There goes one waypoint less for my records.
Very soon, we passed a junction showing "Kota Shahbandar", the situation lightened up. Palm oil plantations were looming pass on both sides of the highway. With this assurance, we kept our fingers crossed. The confluence is very near the highway and we prayed that there would not be any patches of uncleared jungle to deter our mission.
Soon we reached our first major landmark. The junction with the Tras-Pahang Highway -from Segamat to Kuantan. This is a major junction, with highway coming from the State of Negri Sembilan. At that location, by calculation, the Confluence ahould be around 10 kilometers away. The texture of land? Still cultivated Palm oil plantations. The major town in this vicinity should be Tun Abdul Razak.
We took the turn to the right and headed north to Kuantan Way. Very quickly, the next junction came by, on the left is one going back to Tasek Bera. Another 3 more kilometers, the pointer on the GPS showed the confluence was then left of the Highway and 500 meters inside a cultivated area. Taking a break in the field, we made a bee-line into the plantation. We found our 2nd confluence here at 1:00 pm, 228 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur.
The Confluence 103E 03N is located within a very well kept Palm Oil plantation. Should be Sector Karatong 10, we saw the sign some distance before. It is approximately 16 kilometers from the town of Tun Abdul Razak along the Trans-Pahang Highway immediately after the 115 kilometers Milestone to Kuantan [See picture 6] The plantation was well served with a network of hardened tracks following the contours of the land. Hardly more than 30 meters apart.
The land is very undulating with differential in heights of less than 8 meters high.
The confluence [picture 1] is under an endless canopy of old palm trees about 20 meters tall. Pockets of break in the canopy brought in sunlights. Ground hard and meticulously clean. Altitude 51 meters asl. Reception of GPS is good but unsteady. Accuracy was recorded at 11 meters. By coincidence, the location could be taken as marked by a discarded fallen log.