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Published: June 25th 2010
By 10 am we were on the coach and departing Penang for Kuala Lumpur, it seems that all roads lead there, I wasn’t thrilled but it was only one night. As soon as we arrived at the bus station in Kuala Lumpur I arranged my bus ticket to Singapore a few days in advance, on my return to the hostel I checked in and arranged a trip for myself and the Australians i met (Megan and Simon) to go to Taman Negara national park. I contacted Sam, the girl I met in Laos and invited her to join us for dinner, when we met up I introduced Sam to her countrymen and we went for dinner in Kampung Baru, a spot none of them knew despite visiting Kuala Lumpur, we went for a few beers at the hostel and packed for our visit to the rainforest.
Yet again I had a Banana roti for breakfast and then we were on our way to the national park. The main bus ride took about 4 hours, we stopped for lunch and transferred to another bus which took half an hour to get to the Jetty. On arrival at the Jetty we collected our national park and camera permits before getting on a long boat for 3 hours which completed the journey. After checking in to the hostel and a bite to eat we decided to take a walk in the rainforest ourselves rather than pay for a guide. We wondered along and didn’t see much but we heard plenty - most of it i couldn’t identify and it was a fun experience. There were plenty of mosquito’s, mosquito’s normally love me, I must be like fois gras to them but in the jungle by god they had a banquet. I had one bite on my side that swelled to just over an inch in radius. When we got back to the hostel there were at least a dozen moths and butterflies in the room each with wingspan of at least 3 inches. All the insects are huge there. As there was no beer to be had and we had a lot of walking to do in the morning it was a case of early to bed, early to rise. After a breakfast of toast and coffee we made our way across the river and started our walk towards the Jungle canopy walk. After taking care of the essential Taman Negara experience, the largest canopy walk in the world. We walked one of the trails, in total we had walked about 12km by lunch which isn’t a massive distance but in 35 degree heat coupled with the humidity of the rainforest it was an accomplishment. After lunch we crossed to another part of the river which was much less affected by humans, there were no resorts, no partially covered trails, just a visible path where others had walked before and sometimes nothing at all. This was much more challenging and ivolved climbing through some steep and muddy gradients, walking around an army of termites and their hill and several massive trees standing well over a hundred feet tall with bases spanning over 8ft in diameter. Our intended destination was a cave which we found after walking to a small village ere a film crew were busy at work. We found the cave and thought better of going through it, it was dark btu light was visible at the other side but to get there we would have to crawl through some very tight spaces. Something im not a great fan of but beyond this we would have to avoid the bats that lived in the cave, the guano, stagnant pool of water and other general hazards of climbimg over rocks, with this realisation we turned around and im glad we did, about half way back i was feeling dehydrated, It was so hot and humid that during our walk I had polished off 1.5L of water and was down to my 500ml reserve. When we were descending one of the slopes we’d climbed earlier I found a giant vine. I couldn’t resist running at it and taking a swing. Its no surprise Tarzan and the apes get around that way, the vines are strong and besides that its fun!
At night we listened to some music on the laptop and had a laugh and a chat before lights out. The trip back seemed to be faster than the way there which was a good thing. I couldn’t face sitting around the hostel or going to the towers again. Megan wanted some alone time which was perfect, Simon and I went to the cinema in the mall and saw the A-team movie which was infinitely better than we’d expected.
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