MOUNTAIN OF FOOD EXPLORACE II – First Day (July 18, 2012)
All that we knew was that we’re gonna face more than a dozen challenges. We didn’t know that it’s gonna be all about running and sweating. Especially us from Indonesian, we’re pure food bloggers and we’re so decadent so that any sweat caused not by eating would be a sin. We’re punished for it but surprisingly, it was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had and I’m thankful for it. Not because of the calorie burns but our togetherness as fellow food bloggers and our first time doing so abroad.
Anxiety ruled my morning as I had to accompany my wife for breakfast while searching for my partner in the process, inside the jungle of extreme busyness of First World Café where hundreds or more people had their breakfast rush. We went downstairs straight at 8 am while we also need to be at the World Club Lounge, God knows where, at 9 am as a team!
Clad in the Wrangler tops and jeans, I was definitely ready for the challenge but still can’t help with the anxiety. Lucky that both me and my wife found a small time in-between all the rush for a bite or two. Moreover, I also found that my teammate, Evelyn, happened to be on the table just behind mine alongside her Malaysian besties.
The World Club Lounge challenge
We headed to the uppermost floor of First World Hotel for the lounge and then told to enjoy our time there for breakfast! But we already had one downstairs while cannot help to feel that the lounge is a better place to enjoy the breakfast. Less crowded, cool, and we get to choose our dishes easily. Unfortunately the organizer hadn’t told us earlier that we could just actually have our breakfast here instead. As a result, we’re too full to savor anything at that moment.
As a substitute, we just enjoyed the remaining time before the next challenge by getting introduced to one another, had our coffee and cakes, and laughing together. Meanwhile the organizer distributed the Fuji Film digital cameras for our documentations while doing the explorace today and tomorrow.
Then came the time to finally open the second challenge and we’re required to devise an ‘energetic’ breakfast, present it to the stationmaster, get your dish approved, take a picture of it and then finish it all altogether with your partner. Evelyn and I decided to put more proteins in the dishes, leaving the carbs behind, and not to forget that we have to properly equip it with cutleries and a drink.
Successfully fulfilling the task, we head for next challenges such as to scour all over the peak to find a Travel For All store just nearby the Genting Skyway to decode a password for sponsored jackets, had our pictures in front of the skyway, the store, and finally it’s lunch time. We got one of the challenges wrong so we had to travel all the way back to First World Café while in reality, we only had to just visit the Coffee Terrace of Hotel Resort just nearby the Skyway.
The Hotel Resort challenge
Anyway it was okay and we had a nice lunch at a restaurant famed for its six live kitchens representing different dishes from local dishes, peranakan, Western, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian. I had some interesting bites involving ostrich meat and other rarely found dishes in Indonesia. Not much of a surprise for a restaurant reviewer for me but it’s always good to experience something new.
The restaurant also has an observation deck overlooking the surrounding hills, which was something new for me as back in Indonesia, Puncak has never been developed into something very elaborated like Genting for instance.
The Theme Park and Chin Swee Temple challenges
Finally it’s time for more challenges to come involving pictorial guessing and another fast travel to the neighboring Hotel Theme Park for more clues. This time finally, we got ourselves admitted for adventures down at the outdoor Theme Park! The challenges are mostly photographical. We’re supposed to enter rides, sometimes taking turns to take each other pictures. The rides were the Spinner, Carousel, Space Shot, Corkscrew, and many else. It was all fun but quite exhausting and we’re at a point where we cannot really enjoy the rides anymore. Until finally it’s time to head back to First World Hotel to head back for the next destination!
We’re waiting for the bus to take us down at Chin Swee Temple for the last challenge of the day and to have our vegetarian dinner there. The Chin Swee Temple was indeed exotic and beautiful as it overlooked magnificent landscape especially the view from the 9-storey pagoda. The statues and the plaza were also amazingly huge but it started to rain and we were already worn down because of exhaustion. Definitely, the dinner will seal the deal for that day.
It was a pleasant dinner, a very Chinese-styled vegetarian dinner with the Lazy Susan in the middle of our table to really save our energy of reaching the dishes we wanted. It’s already around 6 pm at that moment and we all head back to the hotel to call it a day. But suddenly the organizers distributed 4G Yes! modems to all of us for our blogging needs but unfortunately to be returned back again before midnight. I was actually a bit disappointed since they could have just lent it until the end of the event so that we can make use of the gadget better and help our blogging needs better. In case of any damages caused by us, then it’s our responsibility. As simple as that. But that’s what we call in Indonesian ‘pesan-pesan sponsor’ and then we had to make time later tonight to return both the cameras and the modems.
Finally, the first day came to an end and tomorrow we’ll head for the next hotel at Awana Resort far downhill for more challenges and a new hotel experience! It’s gonna be rough tomorrow but I guess I’m up for it!
Pictures will be added soon!