Friday, June 30th, 2006
The goal was the peak of Gunung Bujang Melaka in Kampar, Perak. But it seemed that
our my trekking record stays: I seldom reach the peak on my first attempt on any new mountains.
We forgot a group photo at the campsite and had to settle for one along the trail.
Like the last few treks when only Adrian, Nee On and I went, we didn’t get to where we were supposed to. But we’re getting better at reaching our goal, our destination. Unlike the time at Fraser’s Hill when we simply hacked our way through a jungle because we couldn’t find the mountain trail, we actually made it up to approximately 850m on this outing. The mountain is only 1234m tall (some say it’s 1242m), so we figured it’d be relatively easy.
Wrong! We only reached Kem Lebah after trekking 5 hours with our backpacks. That’s almost as difficult, if not more difficult than getting to Kem Pacat at Gunung Nuang. Seems like we underestimated the mountain. Then again, it has been nearly a year since I had a proper trek, and the other two have had a lapse of more than a year since the trek up Gunung Nuang in April 2005. But by all logical calculations, it was to be expected. The chances of us reaching the peak were like 45,232,452 to 1 when one considers that of all the peaks of all the mountains I’ve even been on, I made it to the top of fewer than five mountains on my first attempts.
One of the many beautiful cascades on this mountain.
Although we were embarrassingly slow by our usual standards, I enjoyed the trek up Gunung Bujang Melaka. The trail is clearly marked and shows signs that people hike up this mountain quite often. The path is not wide, and it is one of the cleanest I’ve been on. For the most part, we could hear the river nearby; we crossed about four little streams. Hearing the river is always a good thing; it assures me that I was less likely to get lost, and even if I do, I’ll not die of thirst.
I’m not sure if it was because we were unfit, or the hot afternoon sun that made us sweat so much. After toiling for nearly five hours, we were at Kem Lebah. We filled up our water bottles at a nearby river and decided to move on, but we couldn’t figure out which one among the few possible trails from the campsite led to the top. There were a number of possible paths that eventually lead to nowhere. There was this one we tried: it brought us across a river and then disappeared. What a waste of time that was. There was this other one (the last one I tried): No sooner does one start on this path, one can see a fading time-worn no-entry sign on a tree trunk. If one ignores the sign and trekked on, there is a path with a gradual slope leading up (to I do not know where).
Having tried a few paths, we were also hungry; not even the famous duck thigh noodle we had at Bidor can keep us going for more than five hours. Our stomach insisted that we stayed. Plus, we reasoned that it’d be dark if we reached the peak. Our “guide” points out that we would need about three hours to the peak. We eventually set up camp, swept the place clean and made the site as homely as possible, cooked a marvelous dinner (yours truly did the cooking again) and slept for the night instead.
Spring cleaning with a tree branch.
I suppose if there were more people on this trek we could have moved at a faster pace. In one of our conversations we agreed that if Noelle were with us, she’d have just kept on circling around us when we sit for a breather. She wouldn’t have let us set up camp at Kem Lebah, too. She’d pester us so much about getting to the peak as quick as possible that we’d get up and walk rather than be humiliated by a girl.
Rock Sculpture #1: Do I need a degree in Architecture?
The next morning, we headed down instead of up. We chose to dip in the cool waters down at the base and leave the peak for another time. Just like I’ll always remember that it was most likely to rain whenever I’m on a trek with Ian Wikarski and Don Mah, I’ll always remember that I’ve rarely reached the peak when I’m just with Nee On and Adrian.
8.54 points for the jump into the pool.
9.99 points for the photo taken. Agree?