View of the surrounding area from the summit of Gunung Ledang
‘Tis the tale of the fly from Gunung Ledang.
It flew from Johor to one state then to another—
First to Pahang then to Selangor—
And survived to tell the tale.
“From afar, ah spotted the car, a Proton Wira;
Ah would’ve preferred a Bimmer or a Toyota,
But somehow ah was attracted to this one car:
The moment it entered the oil palm plantation, and
Rumbled and rolled along upon the red laterite path
to the Taman Negara office, ah wanted to be in it.
The wait felt like an eternity—daylight departed
As Apollo raced to circle the globe in his flaming chariot.
As the day dimm’d,
“Who was friend? Who was foe? Ah wouldn’t know.
Ah kept my silence and watch’d through my eyes
As figures real and imaginary, cold and wispy,
Rose and filled the airy realm.
At long last, Zali came—he and his buddy puttering
Around in a crikety-crakety old motorcycle—
He unlocked the boom gate and to let the car in.
“It was a long drive—some forty-five minutes—
Along a windy path. Ah stayed silent the entire time.
Ah am black like the night, but ’tis night was darker;
Ah saw not much further than the car’s head lamp allow’d.
“T’was a strange night—yes, it was—
In recent times, our days and nights on Ledang
Have pass’d by without alarming incidents;
There was no news of ants swept off by the wind,
Nor concern should the morning dew came late.
Yet on ’tis night, the rain came pouring from the heavens
Some two hours before the crowing of the cock.
The rain continued—quite unusually for four hours—
Before it slowed to a rather rhythmic drizzle.
“When the first few drops came, Uur, the guide,
Was abruptly woken up from his restful sleep.
He rose from his hammock, and sat like a hawk upon a rock;
Soaking wet, he waited for the morn to don its russet mantle.
“Amir and Mei claim’d they’d brave the cool dark night
To stand watch o’ver the palace tent.
When the first few drops came, they were caught
Sleeping on the job. They woke up, quickly crept into a tent
Found a spot each and continued to sleep
‘Till the morn had put on it’s ivory cloak.
“At eight, the humans finally emerged from their tent,
Had breakfast and continu’d their trek to the peak.
All this while, Ah was comfortably dry my Proton Wira.
Trekked about an hour to the peak.
They’d step on little dried twigs and leaves
Along a oft trodden path that’s muddy and wet —
Shoes slosh in the mud and when out it comes
Deep brown soggy soil sticks to its new found friend
“When the dust had settled, ah waited in my Proton Wira
T’was time to travel—eastward bound;
Leaving Johor Darul Takzim for Pahang Darul Makmur.
Ah followed the humans in search for ;
My thoughts could not be contained within me.
Ah’ve heard so much of the “Chicken Fish” grilled with petai
Ah could smell the stirred fried kailan with salted fish
Even though Ah was miles and miles away.
The car took a left turn at a junction to Tanjung Lumpur—
Ah’ve heard Ana’s Ikan Bakar Petai was by the sea,
And that’s where the humans were heading happily.
Alas, Ana’s Ikan Bakar was not where it used to be.
T’was gone! There, where it used to be, was only darkness.
Not even my distant fellow cousins stirred the dust.
Unsettled and somewhat defeated, the humans settled
For one of three other restaurant that was there.
T’was not a place of choice, but all were hungry.
And hungry people are never choosy eaters.
Ah wasn’t happy, yet ah stayed with the humans
And tasted what they ordered.
“Ah felt ah was a fool for not asking the citizens
Nor venturing around in search for Ana’s Ikan Bakar Petai.
When the humans departed after the meal,
Ah saw with the many lens of my eye:
Ana’s Ikan Bakar Petai across the main road;
Within it, humans mingled and jiggled—
The place was brimming with business!
Haish. How was it that ah missed it earlier on?
Alas, the fly’s whereabouts is known no more
For it has departed for other worldly adventures.
Amir, Mei Fong and the trusted guide Uur; photo taken “la-la” style, in which I was reprimanded for doing so.
I normally wouldn’t post images taken by others, but I’m impressed with what Mei has done with her pics. So here are a few; and if you want more, visit her site:
The Four Pillars of Gunung Ledang?
Gunung Ledang Overview
Elevation (feet): 4,186
Elevation (meter): 2,176
Latitude: 2° 21
Longitude: 102° 38
My First Summit: 14-15 April 2000
My First Attempt: 6-7 December 1997 unsuccessful; got lost
• Ophir by Amir Rashid
• Adventures of Gunung Ledang by Chu Mei Fong