Friday, March 13, 2009

Endau Rompin Day Two: The Hike to Buaya Sangkut

Legend had it that there was once a family of natives who lives at the foot of the mountain, one night the man of the house had a dream that a giant crocodile is coming to devour his son, seeing it as bad omen he quickly moved his house up hill.
Just like in his dreams, the crocodile came but it got itself stuck while climbing the waterfall. The man took the chance to kill the crocodile, used it's skin to make a big drum and hang it in the house.
However, one day while the child was playing under the drum, it fell and kill the child.

It's morning, everyone is busy either making or having breakfast, all I had was a cereal bar and oat meal.
"Everyone be quick, you got 15 minutes left before we go."
The distinct voice of Aurelius shouting for attention is heard, this means we better move soon or else we'll feel the wrath of the "Fluffy" one.

All of us assembled in to our own teams which Aurelius fairly arranged, my team is the first to go, not sure why but I guess that's because I am given trek leading duties. It's actually quite a simple duty especially when you have guides to lead, the only problem is that you won't be very popular at the end of the day for all the shouting and screaming that had to be done to keep the group together. Not gonna be funny if someone decides to stray ahead and get themselves lost, that will waste quite some time.

The trek to Buaya Sangkut takes 4 hours to complete and another 4 to return, I'm quite sure that I could manage that but I'm not too sure for the rest in the group. Of all 22 people, Henry was the only one to decided to stay at the campsite as he wasn't feeling too well at that time. I thought it'll be a good idea to have him at the camp site so that he could keep an eye and stand guard there.


Our trek started from a suspension bridge that is located right at the camp site, while crossing I yelled to the people behind not to cross with more then 3 at a time, for safety reasons.
The first 45 minutes of the trek came surprisingly easy, we arrived at a rapid where our guides signal us to take a break, some of the people in the group begun to head to the rapids to get themselves clean up, washing away mud and clearing leeches that might have got on them. I was more eager to move on so I asked the guides where is the trail? He pointed at a steep slope next to some sign boards to indicate the trail, I was shocked by what I saw, a very steep incline heading uphill and I wasn't too sure how far up it goes but it sure looks like one hard hike, we pushed on anyway. Crossing streams and rivers, the hike was long I try not to think much about it and kept my focus on the goal.


About 2 hours later, it is clear that almost everyone is stretched to their limits. Still we have an hour or more before we arrive at our destination. While taking a break I was told to allow the faster moving people to move on first. Not sure why I agreed to it but I guess I am also tired. When we continued on some of the faster moving people were going ahead, I stick back for awhile so to maintain visual of the people who's far behind, without realizing that a mistake has been done. The formation is broken, people were scattered along the track. This isn't good at all, we are at the risk of losing people. I pulled out my whistle hoping that it's not too late to signal the people in front to stop, as I was searching I realized that I only have my annoying duck whistle and it's not particularly useful in this situation.
I ran and shout, hoping to get a respond and estimate how far front those guys are, unfortunately I got nothing, no reply to indicate their directions or to estimate their distance, I tried shouting for a few more times, but stopped running entirely, don't wanna be wasting my energy now, got to save some strength to reach the waterfall and for the trip back too.


When I arrived at the falls, some of the group members were already there and about half a dozen were still missing. I asked the guide where were the other, and asked him to go find them while I put down my bag and head in the water to cool off from all they running, that's is all I wanted at that point other then lunch.
When the rest finally arrived, we had a little discussion about the issues we faced earlier. We both agreed that a bad decision was made and we had to do something about it. The solution was rather simple. We just stick to the old formation but have the slower people to the front, this is one of the method I am used to as it is easier for the faster moving people to slow down their pacing then to make the rest move faster.

The hike back was a mind game, it is another 4 hours to reach the base camp and we have dark clouds threatening us above our heads. Instead of telling myself not to think much about it, I kept my focus on keeping the group together, as a matter of fact Kenny who was having trouble previously is now hiking like a tank! Plus he is actually playing the role of trek leader, checking on the people behind him and getting the guide to wait for the rest.
Not even half way down the trail, it started to rain. The leeches will love this, it's wet and the whole group was getting tired, most will barely notice if they got bitten.

The rain stopped, we managed to arrive at the first check point 45 minutes away from base camp, this is when you can see the joy in our faces. Some of us are already seen by the river cleaning up or swimming around, it was an achievement for some of us and it is something to celebrate, not everyone could manage 8 hours of hiking.
As soon as we arrived at the base camp, we all started checking our tents for leaks. Most of the tents were badly flooded due to the lack of rain cover when it was raining earlier. Most of us weren't too happy having most of our things wet, lucky for me, my tent didn't suffer that much even with the rain cover partially opened.

After drying out the tents some of us decided to head to the blue lagoon for a proper swim/clean up. Blue Lagoon is a 10 minutes walk from base camp, it's actually a river but with clear blueish water, dive down and you can see the fishes swimming around you, an excellent swimming spot as the water is really deep.


Back from washing up, we started making diner for ourselves. Timmy and I decided to mix corned beef with pork cooked with some eggs to put in our bread, before we even started cooking Charlene offered me some rice with some of the food they had already prepared, I shared that out with Timmy so that I won't feel guilty eating while cooking. Our corned beef and pork turned out quite well, Charlene said that it looks like dog food, she don't have a clue what she is missing

After dinner we all started doing stupid thing involving a camera and a couple of flash lights. It's quite entertaining to think of what to draw and see the result, at least that didn't lasted the whole night, we did play werewolf too.


I slept out on the hammock that night, it was kinda scary but it is something that I wanted to try.

To be continued

Have A Great Day

1 comment:

Simply Audrey said...

Claps to u doing a good job as trek leader! Reading this made me reflect on how lucky all of us were to complete our wee escapade unscathed ;)