Thursday, 9 December 2010

Rainforest trekking ... again

Thursday 9th December 2010

MP3 track of the day: All by my self - Eric Carmen

Weather: Throwing it down until 10:30am, then the rain stopped in the early afternoon.

Last night Mike and I were in the 'Jungle Bar', at the hostel, talking to some locals until midnight. I then retired to my dorm however I was pretty cold and, just like in the Taman Negara national park, I put on more clothes.

I initially woke up around 8:30am, however I was still tired and the rain was throwing it down outside. I therefore decided to go back to sleep until 9:30am and have a lazy start (and a lovely hot shower) until around 10:30ish. At that point the rain reduced to a drizzle; Mike and I went in search of food before searching for a map of the area (which you have to pay for) and then finally heading off on a trek. Our destination, the Robinson Waterfall followed by the Gunung Beremban lookout and finally heading to Parit Waterfall.

The map was pretty useless with it not pin-pointing important structures (like temples etc); trying to find the start of the trail was difficult with us walking up two dead end roads; finally we asked a local and found this red and green blocked path (that looked like a long snake). It's one of the first pieces of development, on a walking trail, that I've seen in Malaysia and I wish they hadn't bothered as it made the path very slippy indeed.

On our way to the Robinson Waterfall some local tried to charge us ten ringgit ... just because; we ignored him and followed the path down to the waterfall. The waterfall wasn't that great and so we left pretty quickly and headed to the start of the trail to the Gunung Beremban lookout point. It's fair to say that this trail wasn't very 'well worn' and involved both Mike and I having to scramble up jungle paths with the early rainwater flowing all around us ... it was a pretty demanding hike in which I got very sweaty and very hot.

The other worrying factor was that we had hiked for around an hour and we hadn't seen a sign; like I said earlier that the path wasn't well worn; I tried to put to the back of my mind comments within my guidebook stating that tourists have been lost in the highlands for days. An hour and a half had passed and we still hadn't seen a sign; we decided to press on to the top as it couldn't be that far away.

Mike and I chatted along the way, looking for footprints, rubbish ... any sign of previous life. Finally we found a sign; the good news was that we were on the right track, the bad news was that we still weren't at the lookout. At this point we were a little dubious of the distances printed on the signs we found; this walk was only supposed to be 8km however we had been going or hours.

Finally, heroically we made it to the lookout ... and it was rubbish, seriously rubbish, it only focused on the town below. After a very short rest stop we started to decent down the mountain with me slipping over three times. As we were coming down a different path to the one we had taken up it was nice to see that this path had many signs directing us all the way back to the town (we abandoned the hike to the Parit Waterfall as distance wise we hadn't got a clue how long it would take; sun light was also running out). It didn't take long for us to get down the mountain and so we were in town hunting a sugary drink and some chocolate.

As our boots, socks and trousers were covered in mud and water, we retired back to the hostel to change and chill for the early evening before finding something to eat. Today has been a very cheap, but tiring, day; I've only spend about thirty ringgit (£6) and so I may do a tour of the tea plantations tomorrow (seems to be the thing to do here and lots of people at the hostel went today and they enjoyed it).

Until then Toodle Pip!

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