Monday, March 19th, 2007
The Chiling Waterfall is by far one of the more beautiful waterfalls I’ve been to; so much so that it’s the standard in which I use to consider the beauty of other waterfalls. While I do not claim the place as being “my backyard” as some others do, it is not a surprise that I’m drawn back to this place quite often.
One For The Album!
On March 17, 2007, I was back at the Chiling Waterfall again. This time I was in a group of 39 people. They were a great bunch of people. Regardless of nationality–there were Malaysians, Mongolians, Iranians, Chinese, Canadians, Indonesians and others–they were all singing, running and helping one another during the short trek to the waterfall. Once there, most of them were happily splashing in the water.
But in such a crowd, I found myself rather isolated and lonely. At first I thought it was the people.
This is, after all, the first time in ages that I’ve trekked without some of my usual trekking buddies. I hate to admit it, but I miss them. No matter how much I’ve try to mix about and rope in new people, I am not as accepting as I’d hope to be. So here I was, with 28 other people, and I didn’t seem to blend in. Yes, Leon was there. Kourosh was there. So I should have been able to enjoy the outing.
But somehow it just felt different. And I got to thinking.
Maybe it was the bus ride. Perhaps I’ve gotten so used to traveling at about 110km/h (plus plus) that the bus ride seemed like a slow journey to death (and it didn’t help that I was reading Falukner’s As I Lay Dying, while the bus driver popped in a lousy copy–a pirated DVD no doubt–of Ghost Rider for all to see). Being in the bus, I didn’t get the usual adrenaline rush for the fear of the car getting crushed in a high-speed accident, the stares from fellow passengers whenever a wrong turn is made, the stomach-shake-up I get from Amos’ driving on windy roads, or having the need to bear with the shrieks that comes when Nee On drives too close to another car or motorcyclist. The bus was slow, but I could live with that.
So if it’s not the people. It’s not the vehicle or the drivers. Then what?
It’s the place. For the first time, I have fears that Chiling Waterfall, and the surrounding area will be spoilt. As we were entering the trail, we saw 3 persons painting a newly built concrete archway that will serve to welcome visitors to the area. Then, as we approached the first river crossing, I saw the horror. More structures!
The sight of the newly built structures as seen from the trail.
A bridge to cross the river
With all these in place, it would seem the floodgate has been opened. More people will surely visit the place. And I fear that this place might turn into another Sg. Tekala or Sg. Chamang. I’ve always loved the Chiling Waterfall for it’s access into Nature. But the sight of these structures only remind me of a civilisation I long to forget. There’s nothing I can do to stop it. Now that it is here, I can only pray that Chiling Waterfall will not turn into a dump, or a an area choking for fresh air.
More Colour Photos