Today was the day our Wilderness Explorer badges were well and truly reinstated. Dani was feeling much better, my blister was more of a rose petal tapping my foot as opposed to a hot skewer stabbing through my toe so it was time to get properly out and about. We checked the map (the real one in line with the Malaysian forestry Comission not the the one with the false trail numbers from the guesthouse at Wan's) and plumped for trail 10. It seemed and sounded from what we read like a fairly easy trail compared to some of the others up to a peak called Gunung Jasar. How wrong we were.
We made our way up the road from the guesthouse in search of Oli appartments where the trail should start only to find that Oli appartments didn't really exist and that after 30 minutes of walking up and down the main road we had passed the start of the trail several times after having found a local to speak to who pointed us in the right direction
After around half an hour the terrain changed into dense jungle. The fun little steps to scramble up gave way to gnarled tree roots to clamber up and fallen tree trunks to negotiate that blocked the path. We came across a sign where the trail split. To the right it turned into Trail 11 which was closed due to land slides and forrest clearing, sounded a bit ominous really. We continued up trail 10 which became increasingly steep now. It was a full on climb that slowed us down massively. We had to haul ourselves up the natural steps created by the tree roots with both hands at times picking our route carefuly like a climber would so that we didn't end up at point where we would have to back track on ourselves
Eventually after around 2 hours the jungle gave way and the steep incline leveled out onto sandy loose stone. Another 10 minutes of narrow cut gorges and tall bolders and we reached the top. I would like to tell you about the amazing views out over the hills into the distance, the rolling emerald green fields of tea that we saw and the views down to the small speck like towns and villages below us
We rested up for 20 minutes waiting to see what the cloud would do. Soon a few spots of rain started and it was time to move on. We didn't really fancy returning back down the same route, especially if rain was imminent given the steepness of the climb and how slick it would have been trying to descend the steep gnarled leaf covered root trail would have been tricky and I prefer to come down a different route to the one I take up. We had read about a trail down the opposite side which eventually gives way to a level path that loops back round to Tanah Rata. It didn't sound too bad from what we had read so we packed up and headed off over the peak and down into dense jungle again. As we started the climb down the heavens opened and the rain coats came out to play
Compared to the disapointment of the previous days attempt this had been a memorable adventure out. What we though would have been a couple of hours simple treking had turned into a 5 1/2 hour jungle assault course, great fun and very recommended. We have certainly earned our Wilderness adventurer badges back after todays fine efforts.
Wilderness explorers return!
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Tanah Rata, Pahang, Malaysia