Edit Blog Post
Published: April 12th 2008
Taman Negara and floating restaurants at night
Taman Negara 17th & 18th March
Up bright and early and yet another long journey through the windy roads and rain forest of malaysia.
This time our transport was a mini van. The whole of this journey to Taman Negara was an adventure but not an enjoyable one it was scarey as hell!
First we were behind a wagon and it was obvious the wagon in front had no brakes and at one point going around a tight corner i was sure he was going to go off the road and plumet possibly to his death. How he managed to keep it on the road and on 4 wheels i do not know. To add to this it was obvious that our vehicle wasnt in much better condition and the suspension was making these loud knocking noises everytime we hit a bump and the van would not stablise it just kept bouncing around. At one point we hit a hole in the road hard, and the van felt like it was going to bounce right off the road. And there is more...much more......it get better or worse which ever way you want to look at it.
Richard (UK) and Peter (Sweden) outside our accommadation
were then going down a hill and fast approaching one of these big trucks that carry freshly cut timber / trees. The truck in front brakes hard, we braked but did not slow down...well not quickly enough. The driver was pumping his brakes, on his handbrake but still had to divert to off road to avoid hitting the back of this truck. Luckily there was an off road section and not a steep drop! By know my nails had all but disappeared and I needed a much needed tiger beer lol. After this very near miss the driver seamed to have sense and stop the van. Next i thought he will phone for another vehicle or roadside assistance.....not here in malaysia. what does he do? Starts the van up and off he goes again! We stopped off in a town and the magic grease came out...yes if thats going to help!!! must be like the magic sponge footballers get when they are injured! I think this was the longest 4-5 hour journey ive ever had. The next van we got was slightly better but the driver we got was a total lunatic. Im sure he was racing a ghost car
In the daytime - reminds me of the riverside villages you see in africa or The amazon
or trying to set or break some unofficial record. Anyway, we got there in 1 piece...luckily!
That night we had a bite to eat with Richard and Peter our new roomies - the guys we have previously met in Cameron Highlands who likes to go hiking with a bottle of gin each! As it was St Patricks day me and Lorna (irish girl) went to one of the posh resort hoing we could find a bit of life and more importantly lots of tiger beer. There was beer, very expensive but little life. We had a few beers, game of pool, bit of small talk then walked home to bed. Probably the quietest and most boring St Patricks day Lorna has ever had.
Got up early and went for breakfast - it was probably the worst breakfast ive ever had. The egg was burnt the toast was cold bread and the margarine taste like shit gone off and the tea taste worst than the margarine so lets say it wasnt the best brew in the world. The brew went straight in the river! If nothing else the food will give us calories for the long walk today. Over
the last fews days we had all had in depth discussions about the threat of leeches. Peter and Richard (swedish guy) hired all the proper kit. Me and Lorna just elected for tucking our pants into our normal socks and trainers to keep the buggers out.
Richard and peter took off extra early to do a big big walk. We were planning on doing the canopy walk thensee where it takes us. The canapy walk was pretty easy through well used trails and didnt really give me or Lorna a good feel for the jungle. We both Wanted something more chalenging even though lorna was more vocal about it complaining this is more like florida, disney land. We bumped into Peter and Richard and a german guy - we all hooked up and started a walk to the waterfall, up river and through some pretty dense rainforest and challenging climbs.
It wasnt long before Peter (Swedish girl sorry guy) spotted the first leech. On its back, front / head in the air detecting where its next meal is. Once it does that off it goes, suprising very quickly in your direction after its dinner. On this occasion we
During our long hike. Pose moment in my quality proper hiking gear. God i look a tosser in those clothes.
had spotted them and we could move on without any fuss. However it wasnt long until we all spotted the odd leach on our footwear, on our socks trying to burrow through to our skin. The real men, pulled them off without fuss. Peter the swedish along with Lorna would run around screaming in total fear AAARRRGGGHHHHH get them off me, get them off me!!!! We'll let off lorna as she is a girl, even though in reality her (and peter) only 30 minutes ago they were complaining that the walk we were on was like disney land and that she wanted to experience the real jungle. Well here we are. I guess she didnt like it after all!
After a hard 9km walk, Me and Richard (English Guy) arrived at the river crossing first - the rest were a good 20 minutes behind. We thought the river crossing would be more like a slow moving stream. The river was probably 20 meters across, 1 - 1.5mtrs in depth in places and fast flowing.....and we had to cross it with our electrical stuff and camera. We all did it and it was good fun and so so refreshing to
taking a dip and cool off - After the river crossing
be in the cold water. We were all really tired and had drank most of our water and food and as of yet neither of us had a way of getting back to the resort apart from using our feet. The plan was to try and get a lift in one of the many boats that bring other tourists up river to the waterfall, hoping there would be some spare places.
I needed the toilet for a number 2. Been holding it in for too long. Luckily there was a picnic area and a toilet. Let me take the word 'luckily' back! They were the smelliest toilets and worst toilets ive ever been in or seen and they were worse after id been to the toilet cos the flush wasnt working. I felt so sorry for the next person who went in there! lol.
After my experience in the toilet i discovered a leech on my back - yes my first leech! It was quite an exciting and strangly enough a fulfilling moment.
There was then a short walk up stream to the waterfalls. The waterfalls was not much of a waterfall, more like a rapid and
My first ever leech bite (on my back!)
a swimming hole. But still it was really nice, refreshing and good fun. Time ot go and cadge a life on one of the boats as it was now getting late. The first people to return to their boat was an old couple and there was ony 2 of them and space for another 2 in their boat. I tried talking to the guy but he blatently ignored me. As it turned out the couple were FRENCH (surprise surprise!_We even tried offering money to the boat driver and he was been really funny, unhelpful and just thobbed us off! We had a decision to make and quick as we werent getting anywhere with getting a life on these boats and we only had 2 hours of sunlight left and we had at least 9km of jungle to consider and tackle if necessary. Me, Richard and the german guy decided we'd walk through the jungle, this left Lorna and Peter more chance to get a lift. To be honest Lorna and Peter were very tired and would have only slowed us down in the jungle andprobably wouldnt have made it.
So off we went into the jungle. 9km in 2
Worst toliets ever. I could show you a picure of whats inside but its not for public viewing. If you want to see give us a shout
hours through hard leech ridden turrain. Its going to be touch. By now i was only wearing by trainers (no socks) and my shorts. My t-shirt was saturated in sweat from earlier in the day. I figured as we would be moving fast the mossies and leech contact would be minimum. We were running at times through the flatter areas, every half an hour we would stop for a water break. 1st stop i had about 4 leeches i could see around my ankles, these were burnt off. Even though we were making good ground we decided no more time to waste burning leeches off, they would have to fall off after they were full or wait till we got all the way back. We made it back just as it started raining torrentially and darkness fell. I inspected for leeches, i had about 6 on me on my ankles, in my shoes, god knows how many had fell off after feeding. I burnt one off that must have fed for a long time it was a right fat one. My foot bled for the next 4 hours and then again the next morning. As it happens just after we
left to walk through the jungle Lorna and Peter got the next boat and when we got back they had already showered and had dinner and drinks. Lifes a bitch!
After our long day and heroics in the jungle i was exhausted and couldn't wait to get into bed. I didnt have to wait to long to feel my pillow!
Not knowing what was in store for me and what good time i was about to have.........Roll on the perhinthians i thought, cant wait for the beach and relaxation and more :-)
Tot: 1.922s; Tpl: 0.064s; cc: 9; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0315s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb