Monday, April 26, 2010

Leech fest in Endau Rompin National Park

14 - 17 April 2010

We decided to venture into a national park next and the 4D3N camping package @ RM690 each by Journey Malaysia was just the thing.

Since the pickup was from Kluang, took the opportunity to call up my fav matie Paulie to see if we could bunk at his place. Paul stays in JB but his parents have a place up in Kluang so he said sure, we're welcome to stay. Turned out to be a funny story as his parents gave him the wrong keys and we spent half an hour climbing into the house trying to break in. His dad had to drive an hour up from JB to pass us the correct set of keys in the end. Malu only to let the old man drive so far.

Anyway, that's shy Paulie having breakfast at the Kluang Railway Station. Buns are not as good as I remembered it to be. Sigh.. franchising & commercialisation..

Orang Asli guide Lop & driver Man picked us at 10am from the station to take us on a 3 hour drive to the national park - the last 1 1 /2 hour of the journey was through 30km of half-sealed dirt roads with potholes the size of full-grown pigs. Urgh.. queasy.. almost puked.

Arrived finally for lunch at Lop's house. He led us to a small sampan which would take us an hour upriver to the start of our trek to base camp. The boat ride was my favourite part of the trip.

Our simple boat

The hour trek in to our Kuala Marong camp site was relatively easy although we were carrying our gears with us. The 2 guides - Lop & Choi - carried most of the stuff like our camping gear, food & cooking utensils.

The hour trek in to Kuala Marong camp site

Camp site's pretty basic. So different from the ones in Europe haha. No fancy campervans, laundry rooms or bars. Just a plain ground to set up camp, makeshift toilets, an area to cook and a few gazebos to lepak on. Oh, and no electricity. Besides us, the only guests there were 3 young Singaporean boys who left the next day. We basically had the camp site all to ourselves.

The Kuala Marong campsite

There is a nice part further up the river called Tasik Biru bout 5 minutes from our campsite where you can bathe in. Spent the rest of the day chilling there watching the Kelah fishes which are protected by the way. No fishing allowed here.

Tasik Biru, 5 mins from our camp site

Oooh! The orang aslis brought along a treat for us. 2 huge frogs!!! They skinned and cooked it for us stew-like. Yuums!!! Our meals are really elaborate too for the place we're in. Stir-fry chicken & veges, omelet, curry beef, etc. They even provided us with biscuits and tea during tea time.

Froggies for dinner... yuums!

They showed us how to look for and catch frogs too that night. Had to wade up the river in the dark coz I didn't bring a torch light. Silly me. These frogs apparently grow up to 1.5kg! Freakin huge wei! You gotta catch them at their hind legs. I tried catching a small one by covering him with my palm but let go when he squirmed underneath. Geli le..

We hiked to Buaya Sangkut waterfalls the next day. It's a gruelling 3 hour hike there and another 3 hours back. Trek was infested with leeches and I was so tired by the time we got back but felt good cause I finished it. Great exercise. Can feel my butt muscles tightening hehe. Built a bonfire that night and sat under the stars enjoying each other's company and telling stories.

Bloody leeches. I'm still itching - 2 weeks later. Infected pula.

Buaya Sangkut waterfall

It rained at 6am on the 3rd day and rain started seeping into our tent coz the fly wasn't secured properly. We decided to shift our stuff to the gazebo and slept the rest of the morn there in our sleeping bags. What a start to the day! But all part of the adventure..

Drying our clothes in the sun

Trekked to Upeh Guling waterfalls, quite a nice place 15 minutes from our camp. It's nicer than Buaya Sangkut but we didn't feel like taking a dip so just sat around enjoying the view.

Upeh Guling waterfalls

Trekked an hour after lunch to our next camp, Kuala Jasin. Camp site's not as nice as it's more 'modern' with lots of concrete and chalets (all unoccupied). Again, we were the only ones at the camp so we had an upgrade and set up tent on a gazebo. Place was filled with mozzies in the aft so we decided to trek an hour up the steep Gunung Jasin Barat. My poor thighs... but view at the top was good as we could see Upeh Guling falls (a tiny dot in the distance).

Headed back to KG Peta, the orang asli village on the fourth day. Lop showed us the various traps used by them to trap animals from mousedeers to elephants. Trapped Jerry in a cage too! Played with the blowpipes and I hit the baloon target! It was more plain luck rather than skill ;).

Orang asli devices to trap & kill various animals

It was a pity we didn't bring any money as I wanted to tip the guides. They were very good, friendly and helpful. It was a great 4 days in the jungle as we got to get away from it all and there was absolutely no pollution - machine or people - and the only noises we heard were the natural sounds of the jungle.

1 comment:

  1. I went here last few days! Awesome & thriller trip!Thanks for your info btw... I did read your entry before leave ;)


What say you...