Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Perak Trip Part 1: Caving in the Cathedral

I woke up to the annoying sound of a door bell repeatedly pressed, I dash out of the sofa to answer it as that is the one way to stop it that I could think of at that point, was way too tired to think I was tired mainly because I've slept only for 2 hours, was at a birthday party, got home pretty late and I still had to pack when I got home. I opened the door and found Aaron, still got to wait for 2 more guys and wake one up.

Despite the havoc, we managed to get on the road and found ourselves at the first check point in Sungkai, that's where we group up with our other comrades, actually we are late to arrive, we did stop by the road side because Linus saw a tree full of horn bills, all of us find it hard to believe, if someone were to tell me that he saw a tree full of horn bills I'd call him a loony but after seeing it for myself it has rendered me speechless.

So at Sungkai we group up, had our breakfast (Best wanton noodle!) and off we go to Gopeng toll where we are suppose to meet up with our caving guide. A quick chat later and we are off to the location but before arriving the guide decided to show us the local fire station... 3 TIMES!!!
The people in my car are already having second thoughts about this one but we manage to find the place eventually.

Gua Kanthan is located near Chemor, the main town in Kinta District of Perak, the biggest landmark to the place is the Lafarge Malayan Cement Quarry, some where in that area is an unpaved road that leads to an unknown location but you'll see the place on the left across a few ponds dug for farming fishes.

After putting on our boots and some basic gears, we hiked our way into the jungle heading for the cave's entrance. It was quite a short hike not more then 20 minutes till we see the cave, it is after we climb down to the entrance that we know why is it nicknamed the Cathedral cave, it's walls are tall and ceilings are high, we followed the guide deeper in to the cave, at one point we needed to climb our way down with the help of a rope, not much of a deal for me but I was feeling rather uncomfortable after seeing how the ropes were actually being pass as secure by the guide, I decided to give it a little "tweaking" as a precaution.

After climbing down a steep slope and we negotiate our way and found ourselves at a river like pond that is about 6 feet wide, the challenge now is to walk across it on a 4 inches by 2 inches wooden plank, the good thing is that it is next to a wall so you could actually hold on to that to balance while crossing.

Right after the "bridge crossing", we arrived at a point of the cave where at the very top of the ceiling there is a hole that lets in a single ray of light that lights up one small spot in darkness. That point onwards there is nothing worth mentioning, our guide wasn't close to decent in making the trip exciting.

So we turn back after reaching the end of the cave, bored and uninspired, the 2 dumb ass of the group decided to do something fun, on the way back Linus and I decided not to walk on the wooden plank to cross the "river" nor will we jump across.
We decided the best thing to do is to jump in to the water, there I learn a valuable lesson which is never jump in to any form of stagnant water, the mud under the water quickly stir up as soon as my feet touches the gooey bottom, in a cave like that, who knows how much guano is in there.

Have a Great Year,

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lock and Load: Gua Kanthan Preparations

Just finished packing for Gua Kanthan and Perak trip, this is gonna be a combo trip because it involves caving, camping, river boarding, and famous food hunting. While I was packing, I felt as if I missed out something. Well, I'm going to a caving trip and most of my caving trips I'ld prefer wearing my good ol' cargo pants, it took me 30 minutes to find them with a nasty surprise.

The best way to describe my beloved cargo pants is to say it's a soldier with plenty of battle scars, reliable and trusty, however the bottom part of the pants are really torned up yet I loved them as it is, it's material is light and comfortable, perfect for hiking plus it dries up really quick too.
What I didn't know was that my mom who was trying to be kind helped me "fix" my cargo pants by cutting off the entire bottom part off turning it in to a 3 quarter pants... I guess old trusty had lost all it's meaning.
Still I got to find a pair of pants that I could torture really quick so after going through my closet I found an old pair of pants...

Not as much pockets as the ones I like, it's made of a thicker material and I'm not sure if it could dry quickly.
Well, I guess there is only one way to find out.

I'll be back on the 30th to celebrate New Year.

Have A Great New Year

Thursday, December 25, 2008