Sunday, September 4th 2016.
by Izzati Khairudin
After three weeks, I'm finally back in KL! I was away in the United States to be with my husband (Hashraf Hashim) who is currently posted in Fullerton, CA. Hence, my sister Atiqah and my team in the office were the ones making all the final arrangements for the LifeOnAir tour. They kept me updated as much as they could when I was away. I was pretty excited to come home and be back with everyone. Our first school visit was in Putrajaya which I will write about in a later post.
I was informed that we had an allocation of 2 small bags each. Since all 8 of us are travelling in 2 Ford Rangers together with our balloon, there’s not much space left for baggage. The horror!! I managed to pack what is needed and not what I would want to have during my trip. I think at some point of the trip I will use my veto power but baggage allocation won't be it.
We arrived at the warehouse in Midfields at 8.00 am, all excited. We invested in a camera for Ajiem to shoot our journey, cause we were searching for a production team who would follow us (pro bono of course) but no one seems to be able to commit with us on our trip. Not letting that deter our spirit, we decided to do it in house. Throughout the years of running the annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, we have gone through countless rejection that we learnt to move on quickly after each one. So similar to Life On Air, ain’t nothing gonna stop us from doing what we love!
The team for the first leg is Amira, Akmal & Sopert as the balloon crew, Ajiem & Nini as the production team and Jun as our 'go to person' (aka the Quartermaster) and last but not least Atiqah and myself. There was a discussion about which route to take to go to Kuala Terengganu, Eqa (Atiqah) wanted to use the highway but Jun insisted that we should use the coastal road so that we could enjoy the scenery during our drive there. I decided on the coastal highway because I wanted to have stuffed crab at Kemaman for lunch. I know, my decision is heavily influenced on my food craving. So off we went and had our stuffed crab for lunch not to mention sata, otak-otak and keropok lekor for the road as we continued our journey to Kuala Terengganu (KT).
We were running late by the time we arrived in KT, and Jun has already arranged for us to meet Cikgu Zainuddin, the teacher in charge for SM Sains Kuala Terengganu at 5.30PM. We quickly checked-in at the guest house which was about 15 minutes from the school. We were surprised at how quaint the guest house was, thank you Balqis!
We met Cikgu Zainuddin at the field as scheduled and we did our assessment of the field and anchoring points. We were concern about the weather because the school location was less than 5km from the sea, and there’s usually more wind when you’re nearer to the beach. Weather forecast showed 4kts - 6kts for the following morning, so we just had to be on site to know for sure. I was dead tired by the time we got back and crashed, I didn't even join the team for dinner.