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September 2nd 2010
Published: September 2nd 2010
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2 day jungle trek2 day jungle trek2 day jungle trek

jungle people
Welcome to part 8 of the blog.

After me and reuben had returned from our little trip into the jungle we found another guest had been moved into our dorm, he's name was Steeve, from Switzerland and he had booked to go on a 2 day trek starting the following morning. I woke up early the next day and managed to get a place on the same trek as Steeve. Reuben wasn't up for the trip so i left my bag back at the room with him and went to meet with the rest of the group. As well as me and Steeve there were 2 italian brothers, 2 english girls, a belgian girl, a dutch guy (bit of a twat) and our 2 guides Alias and K.

After packing all the food, water and equipment we would need into our day bags we jumped into a boat and headed up river. The boat was the same as the one we caught into Kuala Tahan but a lot less crammed, meaning I could stretch out, lay back and really enjoy the trip, it's a great way to travel! The boat trip took about an hour and a half, we
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Alias (left) K (right)
went upstream through 6 or 7 rapids, which the boat didn't seem to like much, it creaked and groaned as it fought against the current, evidently it takes quite a lot of skill to drive these boats through the shallow rapids. We stopped once to swim in the river then continued on past some more Orang Asli settlements, at one point we saw some jungle deer, bright orange in colour, coming to the riverbank to drink, they quickly dissapeared when they realised we were watching them.

We arrived at the jetty for the botanical research centre which was the starting point point for the trek at about 13:30. Once there K shimmied straight up a tree about 20ft high and collected a large bag of mangosteens to eat on the journey. We set off down a trail far less used than the one Reuben and I had got lost on with alias leading the way. Every now and again he would stop to point out something he had spotted, everything from spiky rotan plants and giant bamboo too huge millipedes and elephant tracks. It was hot work as we trekked over sometimes muddy ground, through sections where the canopy almost completely blocked out the sky, over streams on bridges made from fallen trees and up natural staircases carved out by roots and buttresses of massive trees.

We were all happy when Alias anounced we would take a short break by a stream, here he explained to us that the water in this particular stream was known for it's fertility boosting properties and if you dig around the stream and find a tree root that takes water from there it would act as a natural aphrodesiac, jungle viagra! We carried on and a few hours later came to a place called cave of the dancing leaves. We stopped here for half hour to rest and have something to eat, while we were here we all got to pretend to be Tarzan (or in my case maybe george of the jungle). A huge vine hung down from a tree near the cave and we took turns to swing out across the jungle.

We set out for the last leg of the trek, we only had a few hours before it got dark and we were really hoping to make the campsite while it was still light. At one point
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River tembeling
Alias stopped in his tracks and held up a hand for us all to be quite. He had spotted a clearing which had been recently flattened by elephants, they were still close, I could smell them! Unfortunatly they are very good at hiding for such large animals and we couldn't spot them. We made it to the campsite just before sunset, we were spending the night in a huge cave, at a guess I'd say it was around 80ft hugh and big enough to comfortably sleep 250 + people.

This cave is where the elephants come to sleep during the winter or when the weather is very bad and the river levels rise. K had actually been asleep there about 4 years ago and woken to find an elephant 3ft away from him, this is very dangerous as they cant see you on the floor and just 1 foot is enough to crush you! We made a fire and cooked up some veg soup and rice with our rice then sat around chatting until exhaustion took over and everyone laid out their rollmats and sleeping bags in an attempt to get some sleep on the hard rock floor. The only animals to worry about that night were giant rats running around a few feet from our heads and the bats that woke me up by crapping on my sleeping bag from 80ft!

In the morning we boiled some stream water for hot chocolate, ate some biscuits, washed in the stream and packed up carefully (if you leave any rubbish in the national park you get a huge fine) and set out again. It was much more difficult on the 2nd day, it had rained overnight and the trails were very wet and slippery, some were completely unusable and we had to find new ways around many times. We took a different route than the first day and with K leading we went at a much faster pace. We were all soaking wet, covered in mud and very hot, so it was with great joy that we reached a small river where we were stopping for lunch. We all got straight in the water to swim and muck about swinging on the vines and rope swing whilst our guides cooked noodles. We were ahead of time so we stayed there for nearly 2 hours, during which Alias made some paint out of stones he found in the river and painted jungle designs on us all.

After we left it took another hour and a half to reach Terrangun where we would wait for a boat. Along the way we saw more elephant tracks and some insane bugs, notably a massive stick insect, it was longer than my foot, with big legs that it used to crawl awkwardly along the forest floor despite the large blue and purple wings on it's back. When we stepped out infront of it, the wings folded in and it all but dissapeared.

The boat arrived at about 16:00 and we climbed in for the ride back down the rapids, we got back to Kuala Tahan just after 17:00. Everyone went back to their rooms for a much needed shower and change of clothes before we all met up at the Rastasy shop that night. Alias and K had promised us a celebratory party, they knew Rolley, the owner of Rastasy and had arrange for a few crates of beer to be delivered to this rasta hut in the jungle. I had met back up with reuben by this point and along with his new french friends we stayed at the hut drinking beer, smoking shisha and listening to a chinese guy play everything from nirvana's 'rape me' to some godawful boyzone songs, sometime in the early hours i dueley passed out!

Ive finally managed to upload pictures on here so if you'd like to you can go back through the older entries at see them!

Apologies for any spelling mistakes in this entry but i dont have time to proof read it!


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candles in cave
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down the river


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