Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gunung Kutu

Gunung Kutu, Titiwangsa Mountain Range/Selangor, Malaysia

Date: 16th Oct. 2011
Summit: ~1080m
Trailhead altitude: ~260m
Distance, Out and Back roundtrip: 13.2km

Monetarium Auction 8.

Monetarium Auction 8, Oct. 14th 2011.

I went to a coin auction and bidded for the first time. The auction, held at one of the small function rooms in Marina Mandarin Hotel, is an interesting affair. It is like a club for old uncles, mostly in their fifties. Hokkien seems to be the major language there. The auctioneer was a calm and collected man, with a lot of good sense and humour. Occasionally, the auction routine will be broken by someone's mobile phone ringing. Sometimes, an uncle will even talk (loudly) on the phone, seriously discrupting the proceedings. There would be jeers from the others, and at one point, another irate uncle will be demanding that the talk-on-the-phone uncle be thrown out. Mr Auctioneer will always put out a smile, asked everybody to relax, let the talk-on-the-phone uncle finish his conversation, and reminding people not to get worked up take the fun out of the auction. 
The auction had a huge section on Chinese silver coins, many of them going at sky high price. For the old Ching dynasty and early republic era coins, I could understand the prices for their exquisite beauty and historical values. What befuddles me are the contemporary, mostly Panda themed coins going at crazy prices. This lead someone from the audience to remark that 'these pandas eat meat', instead of bamboo.
I had my eyes on a 1662 Charles II crown (GF grade), and when finally the item came out for the hammer, I gingerly lift up the bidding card that I have. The competition was more than I had expected. The coin finally went for $280 to another bidder. The second coin that I was interested in was a Spanish colonial era Mexico 1756MM columnarios. This time round, there were no competitors, and there, I won my first live auction item. More about this coin later.

Lot no. 360. Mexico 1756MM 8 Reales.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Woodcutter's trail - Seletar Reservoir - Woodcutter's trail

Date: 2nd Oct 2011
Distance: 15.7km

The original plan was to tag along TS Chua led SANL trek of the woodcutter's trail for half the way and then branched off to Seletar reservoir. However I woke up late and didn't hit the trail until 9am. After some chasing and back tracking, I caught up with the main group at the first stream crossing. I then made off on a side trail to see if I could reach one of the finger tips of Upper Peirce reservoir. Failing that, I went along a trail that seems to run parallel to the main Woodcutter's trail. The trail finally leads onto a crossroad with the main Woodcutter's. Across the junction is the side trail that runs north to Seletar reservoir. The trail leads up to a hill with the summit marked by a couple of big rocks, one of which had paint writing 'Half Cow' in chinese characters. The trail finally leads to the shore of Seletar reservoir. Nearby, another trail begins that hugs the Seletar reservoir shoreline. Sadly, this trail is litterful. If not for the litter, this would have been an extremely pleasant trail. I followed the trail to the first finger tip before bashing my way back to the Woodcutter's main trail, and subsequently back tracking to my car at Bukit Gombak.