Kelab Juara ATRAC Malaysia (KJAM)
travel to Cameron Highlands

The Kelab Juara ATRAC Malaysia convoy taking a breather along the Simpang Pulai Pos Slim road on the way up to Cameron Highlands.

This story was contributed by one of my Highlander Newsletter reader, Mr Amirrudin Yusof who went along with the Kelab Juara ATRAC Malaysia (KJAM) who planned a convoy of Proton Juara to the Cameron Highlands on the 18th of August. Mr Raemond and Mr Chung who were the convoy leader cum convoy marshals who thought up the trip challenge and also to dispel the myth that the Proton Juara was problematic and that it has the capability to climb up hills like Cameron Highlands.

The organization took about 3 months to plan as it involved many people. Any trip that involves several families wouldn't be easy if you just think of planning a family trip consisting of your entire family clan! Well, this one consisted of 10 Proton Juaras of various colours, made up of 10 families with a total of 35 persons going for this trip. Think of the planning process!

It was a 3 days / 2 nights visit starting on the 18th of August to coincide with the Merdeka celebration as well as the school holidays and in a fashion, to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2007. They even managed to snag some sponsors for this trip with Shell, Proton, DIGI, Tourism Malaysia and Delkor to help finance this event. Hey, I wouldn't mind having a sponsor or two for my holiday trip! Of course in return they have to provide advertisement by placing the various sponsors' stickers on the Proton Juaras.

The KJAM Convoy Marshall, Mr Raemond and Mr Chung.

The members rendezvoused in Ipoh and waited for each member to turn up. You could feel the excitement swell as each member turned up one by one. A customary group photo was taken to commemorate the group outing with a patriotic flag of Malaysia and a Proton logo flag. Finally it was time to make a move and with the officially flagging off, it's time to make the much anticipated trip to Cameron Highlands!

The climb up to Cameron Highlands was smooth going using the Simpang Pulai / Pos Slim way to go up. Of course with a convoy of cars you can only go as fast as the slowest driver amongst them. After all, not every person's driving skill was the same. Though the convoy did make a brief stopover along the way, the climb up was uneventful and many enjoyed the view of the highlands as they leisurely made their way up.

With so many people, the best way to accommodate them all was to rent apartments. Even with the apartments it couldn't house them all in one location and they had to split up into two different location with some staying at the Arabella Apartments in Tanah Rata and some staying at the Desa Anthurium Apartments located between the Golf Course and Tanah Rata.

Despite the many comments about the highlands weather not being as cold as before, the group still felt cold during the night; coupled with the fact there was heavy rain and strong wind did make the highlands' temperature pretty cold and chilly. Brrr…

There weren't any fixed activities for the trip as the group just went to have a relaxing time with no plan and itinerary saved that it was a just simple three days two nights free-and-easy take things as they come kind of holiday trip. No pressure and stress of "must do this, must see that" scheduling. And so…

The next morning, the group enjoyed the usual Malaysian favourite meal of Roti Chanai with Teh Tarik for breakfast with the usual jovial rounds of gossip and socializing. After breakfast, they spend sometime at some strawberry and vegetable farm spending a good deal of time selecting and picking strawberries and marketing for fresh vegetables. No doubt they have ample space in their Juara to accommodate for their purchases! Perfect for stuffing it with their week long household supply of vegetables. As for those juicy sweet-corns the Jagung Mutiara was simply delicious and best eaten while they were warm and fresh from the steaming pot. I'm sure they had plenty of second helpings.

Next stop was the Boh Tea Plantation at Sungai Palas visiting the new tea center and having a great English style afternoon tea. The group enjoyed sipping afternoon tea with the superb view afforded from the cliff hanging balcony, truly a remarkable experience, plus not to mention a quick run through of the Boh factory learning a thing or two about processing tea. An enriching experience, no doubt. The information panels along the hallway at the Tea Center provided interesting information about tea facts too.

On the final day with the second flagging off at Brinchang, the convoy picked up a trio of foreigners. Not sure how it happened but foreigners were very gamely and I suppose grateful for the lift and they get to sit in the Marshall's Car! The guests were surprised at the spaciousness of Proton Juara car and of course get to experience Malaysia's warm hospitality and courtesy first hand.

Mr Amirrudin Yusof and family posing by the Bharat Tea Plantation.

On the way down using the older Tapah route, they stopped by the Bharat Tea Plantation for a quick cuppa before saying good bye to the lush greenery of tea plantation. The route down was winding but there was no problem with the members. No motion sickness whatsoever. The convoy made a brief 15 minutes stop to admire the Lata Iskandar Waterfall. Parking was rather problematic and there were throngs of people milling around either admiring the waterfall snapping a couple of photos for keepsakes or playing in the pool at the foot of the waterfall and getting their feet soak with cool running waters. Or perhaps go bargaining with the shops for a beautiful crafted flower pot or souvenirs.

After a long winding route down the convoy reached the foothills and the weather was much warmer. Still that didn't deter the group from having a splashing time at the Kuala Woh recreation park spending about one hour exploring the area and dipping in the hot spring. The children just loved the open space roaming around freely with their screeches and yelling. Ah, children! Must have been an eyeful for the parents to make sure they are not up to some mischief somewhere.

Finally the group made their way back to their respective homes and brought back with them not only the vegetables but also precious happy memories and experiences of the trip.

The group really had a good time even though many of the members met up for the first time. The camaraderie and the common interest of owning a Proton Juara and not to mention the relaxing atmosphere of Cameron Highlands made it a very memorable experience. In fact they enjoyed it so much the members were clamouring for another trip and plan to make another excursion to some other adventurous destination. The group leaders still hasn't decided where yet, but I'm sure they will think up of someplace to go.

Apart from the fun and relaxation, they also proved that the Proton Juara was not to be looked down upon and that it was quite a capable car able to climb up the inclines of the highlands, able to ferry quite heavy loads (the vegetables, the luggage, the families and three guests were a testament to that, eh?) and of course fuel economy.

Travel story written by Jan
with info and pictures provided by Amirrudin Yusof
24/Sep/2007

PS: They have a website at http://www.protonjuara.com, go and have look see...

The Kelab Juara ATRAC Malaysia group photo taken at Tanah Rata Cameron Highlands.

Posted on 24-Sep-2007

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