Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sado Island - Day 2 (Part 1)

The trip to Sado continues with Day 2.
It was Day 2 on our Sado trip but we didn't get up early to catch the sunrise. We was planning to get up early initially, only to realised later that the sun doesn't rise and set at the same place. At least we refreshed our memory for once.
Later we went to have our breakfast. It was a buffet again.
a combo of Japanese and Western style breakfast
After having our showers and packed our stuff, we checked-out from the hotel. By that time, the bus and the parrot have been waiting for us already. When we got into the bus, it was kinda quiet.
"Hey, you don't notice meh, so quite ler. That parrot still sleeping isit?" I asked my senpai.
"What la you! You don't siao la. Better don't say that out la. Why? You want her to start so fast isit?"
"No la, but feel like so weird when she don't talk ma."
Just when I finished with that line, the parrot greeted us with "ohayou gozaimasu". Then she continued by asking us how was the night, whether we had sleept well and also of course asking us "minasan, ogenki desuka?"
"See la! All also you pasal la!" I straight kena bombed by my senpai.
"What my pasal now? The parrot just woke up ma. Normal la to hear her start talking. What la you!"
That was just craps. So, for the second day, the first place we went was a gold mine called 佐渡金山 (Sado Kinzan). Before we reached there, we saw some wooden house which have been built for quite some time. I don't have the exact facts on the houses as I wasn't paying attention to the parrot in front.
the road sign spoilt the picture
this one is much better
Lesson of the Day: Always pay attention to your teacher talking in front (even though it's a parrot talking).
I guess the people in Sado have the kiasu blood in them too. Not enough with just stones, this time it's mountain. Before we reached the goldmine, we were shown a mountain which was two sharp edges.
It's called 道遊の割戸 (Douyuu-no-Wareto). It's actually an old open cut working of the Douyuu vein. It is believe to be the first vein outcrop that was discovered and it symbolises the historic background of the mine.
After reaching Sado Kinzan, as usual our sensei distributed the tickets to us.
the entrance ticket to Sado Kinzan
And we slowly entered a dark tunnel. The deeper we went in, the temperature dropped slowly and the colder we felt. It was like being in an air-cond room. The temperature was about 15 to 18 degree. It was nice and cooling.
the only tools they used were hammers, chisels and wedges
Then we came across some models showing the workers inside the mine. Those robots were not only able to move their head, hands and legs. They can actually talk.
Some are even better as they can reply your question. Try asking what is his name and he will answer you. Interesting, right?
a railway used for transporting the ore
hand-powered Archimedes pumps made of wood and bamboo for drainage
Then I came across a woman-worker robot. So, I thought of having some fun by ketam-ing with that robot. I didn't ask for her name. Instead I asked her like this.
"Oi, lu sudah kahwin ka?"
Yes, I was trying to test if she understands Malay. I though I surely won't be getting any reply from her. But then suddenly, she shouted at me.
"Oi omae bakayaro!!"
Opps, I just taught you how to swear in Japanese! But no worries. It just mean "Oi you basket!!" This is what you can get in an developed country like Japan. Swearing robots!
I guess I should get one of these robots and place it in front of my room. It will be a 24/7 free security service for me. I just need to feed it with some battery once in a while. Maybe if it serves me well enough, I'll buy him some food supplements and snacks too.
lighting, using candles are essential as it's really dark inside the mine
I will stop my ketam-ing session before I get into my crapland. Now let me give you some information about Sado Kinzan. This gold mine has been a continuous source of gold since 1601. Since its discovery and development in 1601, until its closure in 1989, a period of over 380 years, Sado Gold Mine was worked without interruption - a record in Japan and possibly in the world for a single gold mine.
The total estimated gold production here was some 80 metric tons. Gold veins of Sado Gold Mine are spread over an area of 3,000m (E-W) by 600m (N-S) and the vertical extension reaches as deep as 800m from the surface. The total extension of underground tunnels exceeds 400km - equal to the distance between Sado and Tokyo.
some workers coming out from a tunnel

the workers are taking a break
Now, I will stop being like a TV Pendidikan. Throughout the walk inside the tunnel, there were droplets of water dropping down from the top of the tunnel. When I asked my sensei about whether this mine is an authentic mine or just a model mine, only I found out that this is actually a real mine used some time ago.
When we were almost at the end of the tunnel, we came across the last group of robots.
praying in the gold mine
They showed how the people at that time have some ritual rites to make sure the safety of the workers and to ensure the supply of the gold will continue.
After walking through a short bridge, we entered an authentic gold mine museum. First thing I saw was a piece of huge stone.
it's not so big afterall
Notice the magnifying glass on the right. From there, you can actually see the tiny gold on the surface of the stone. Inside the museum, a number of materials related to the mine are exhibited including old documents, maps, tools and ore-specimens.
The 1:10 scale miniature model of Sado Gold Mine showed the entire operation of the gold mine as well as the daily life of the people at that time.
a ship model
the gold mine village
the ore are being processed
a closer look on how the gold are produced
After going through the models displayed there, I entered another gallery.
When I was nearing the entrance, it was already crowded with people. I know there must be something interesting ahead. Using my secret weapon, I slowly make my way into the crowd to have a peek on what the people are looking at.
the gold being displayed in the gallery
In case you are wondering what was my secret weapon, well, it's actually my height. It's very useful when you are in such situations. I don't have to become a chimpanzee, jumping up and down in such crowd. Only then that I realized that the thing those people were looking at was actually a piece of solid pure gold.
I tell you, it was not simply any small piece of gold. It's heavier than a large packet of 10kg rice. The weight of that piece of gold is 12.5kg. That would make it having an estimated value of more than 16million yen (more than RM500k). And it was just placed inside a glass display with a hole on one of the side.
a 12.5kg and 99.99% pure lump of gold
We not only got the chance to have a touch on the gold, but we could also try lifting it and taking it out through the hole. That was my first time seeing such a big piece of gold and of course, I didn't want to miss the chance to have a try.
What if we succeeded taking it our from the glass display? Well, you can actually take that piece of gold back home! So, I went and try my luck.
trying a Herculean task
one, two, three, lift!
Fuhh, I tell you la, I couldn't even lift a centimetre of the gold from the display. It was really heavy. But I think the fact that it was slippery when you lift it had also played a role. There were a few people who actually managed to lift it up until the hole, but it was just too narrow to pull it out.
Then one of us, Ridzuan had a try on it. His size was just almost half of mine, but you know what, he actually managed to do the impossible.
I kid you not. He took that gold out from the glass display, much to the amusement of everyone there. All were clapping their hands and Ridzuan became the star of the day.
well done boy!
He was later called into a room and after several minutes inside there, he came out holding a piece of gold. How good it will be if that piece was the one he had just taken out.
He told us that his name was recorded on a list and as a credit of achievement, he was given a 0.5gm 99.9% pure golden plate. Not a bad thing at all as a remembrance of the visit to this gold mine. So from this, I can say that even how strong you are, but if your arm is too big, you will never get to take that piece of gold out. There must be a balance between size and strength. I lacked one of that two.
After the golden experience at the gold mine, we continue our trip to see the Sado's skyline. We went up some mountains by bus until we reached the highest point - 942 metre above the sea level.
Most of the pictures of the skyline were taken along the way while the bus was moving. But still, the pictures were just magnificent. I'm not saying that it was because I'm too good in photography.
What I mean is that the view from the mountains were just breathtaking. When we reached the half way, we went down and have a better look of the skyline from an observation deck.
We were given only 15 minutes to enjoy the view including photograph time. Even in that short period of time, we still managed to cam-whoring there with the skyline as the background.
we were on top of the world
the sea behind me
this time, foggy mountains as the background
As they wanted to keep our trip moving according to the schedule, we headed to the next destination. I think I don't have to mention here again already that we continued hearing parrot language and hearing her singing.
By that time, sensing that we were hungry, she gave each of us some お菓子 (okashi) or candy. This is what we got.
some sort of jelly stuff but it didn't have pear flavour
After 3 parts of the entry on Sado, I keep on talking about the parrot who accompanied us throughout the trip, right? But I still haven't let you guys see how cute she was. So here is the picture which was taken while she was distributing the okashi to us in the bus.
Early warning. Please don't laugh when you see it coz she has a blow (sesat) face.
lelong, lelong! buy one, free three
You've just laughed, right? Anyway, I think she's cute.
Agree with me anyone?


Innocent^^Guy said... much meat for breakfast..

Eh bluff ppl wan? I thought you say can take that gold home? Sheesh...Japanese cannot be trusted!

That Malay guy really pro ler..haha 0.5g of pure gold, worth a lot or not?

Calvin said...

calvinsenpai: after you mentioned it only i realised that i didn't take salad for my breakfast. forgotten liao :P

since when i told you that japanese are the most honest people on this planet? you really thought that we can take it back if can take it out meh?

haha, like that i no need study like hell now liao lor. better sit there 24/7 trying to take that gold out!

that piece of gold my friend got was worth few thousands. not RM though! :P

anyway, if you have no money liao, go there try make some money la! :P

michelleg said...

bwahahah!! so bad lar. keep calling her parrot. almost can't tahan but then after looking at her pic. she does looked abit like a parrot :P

this time no pic of ur senpai but got sit with her in the bus wor. not bad :P

Calvin said...

michelleg: see la! samo want to say i'm bad. you lagi kejam la, say people looked like a parrot!

the senpai i talked with in the bus is a 'he'. by the way, who said no picture of her? see properly la. not one, but two!
#1: when i was lifting the 12.5kg gold
#2: when we took a group photo on the mountain

now that you have mentioned it, i realised that she appeared in each and every entry of the Sado trip. i'm not sure if it was intended though :P

-waiwai- said...

OMG... so nice man....
i also want to lah...
the picture also damn nice...

Calvin said...

waiwai: you want to what? hehe :P

Innocent^^Guy said...

I really thought can take back ler...I thought probably they thought that their physics law or bio law of that box will prevent anyone from taking the gold out. You know la, japanese smart ppl ma...Manatau bluff wan ah? WTH man..

Calvin said...

calvinsenpai: yes. physics law, maybe. but bio? not so sure about that though. initially, i thought about that too. but mana tau they did some miscalculation in the process.

actually, i'm just making up stories about taking back that piece of gold wan la :P