Once every year for the past 10 years, the Tengku Mahkota of Johor Tengku Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskandar leads 30 Harley riders and 20 vehicles on a tour of the rural areas.
The four-day Kembara has evolved into an integral "mesra" programme to which villagers look forward for that is when they get to meet the Tengku Mahkota and his consort, Raja Zarith Sofiah and their children.
This year, I was invited by Raja Zarith to be part of her entourage in the Kembara. She usually accompanies the Tengku Mahkota on the first day. This time, the first day (Thursday, July 24), took us to Ulu Tebrau, Pontian, Batu Pahat and Muar.
The Tengku Mahkota's visit is the highlight for these villagers who make elaborate plans for their royal guests such as "taking part" in cookery competitions including food-tasting.
It is also an opportunity for the district offices to have the Tengku Mahkota present aids to the less fortunate such as bicycles for children and cash for the disabled and the poor.
The royal couple and their children -- this time Tengku Aminah, Tengku Abdul Rahman and Tengku Abu Bakar accompanied them -- joined the villagers for "minum pagi", lunch and "minum petang".
You can see and feel the excitement in the air.
I spoke to the villagers. And how their day was made!
But really, it is as much an exciting and thrilling affair for the Tengku Mahkota, Raja Zarith and their family.
It is something they all look forward to.
The Kembara Mahkota, however, is no walk in the park. Riding through the Johor countryside rain or sun, all day, is pretty gruelling. And for the non-riding participants, it can be tiring.
In the morning at Istana Pasir Pelangi before the launch (which was at Bukit Timbalan), the Tengku Mahkota personally made sure everything was in order.
(I have to go now. I will write more with the interviews and photos. And also how Johor Chief Police Officer Mokhtar Mohd Shariff was "pulled aside" by a disabled Bangladeshi who claimed that his former employer (Felda in Ulu Tebrau) had abandoned him. Now, I don't know Mokhtar, and unless he was pretending, he really seemed genuinely concerned and made sure his officer, Hasani Husain took down every word from the Bangladeshi, Mohd Syed Husain so that the police could find a way fo helping.)