Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nature Escapes


I decided to jump into my old jalopy after work and head on to an unknown region in the East Coast for the sake of not getting trapped in the city. Trapped in the city means walking aimlessly in malls, watching repeated programs on satellite TV and having ridiculously expensive pretentious drinks in clubs. Although I don't mind some salsa moves during the weekends but the salsa fever will hit me when I'm ready.

Before reaching my destination, I stopped by a road side stall to indulge myself in a durian feast. Eight durians for RM5.00 and the bunch were just plucked a few minutes ago from the owner's backyard.
Mmmmm durians


It was simple and pure durian and not the mix and match durians strains like D24 and D25. I had 3 durians and was full to the brim and told the owner he could keep the rest. I wasn't going to lug 5 thorny fruits through the jungle.
I saw a van without a windscreen driving around and got in the van just to feel how it was like

The first part of the trek was rough as I had to climb up a narrow ledge and one wrong move or a slipped footing will plunge you down into the depths of a raging river. The harrowing climb was over in 10 minutes and I was rewarded with one of the most beautiful scenes I could remember. There lay in front of me, one side - fine powdery sand and the other side - deep emerald like flowing river.
Fine sand on one side and flowing clear river on the other.Magnifique!!

There and then, I decided that place would be my camping ground.
My faithful Coleman tent

I put aside my camping stuff and continued ahead to see what other natural landscape lay in front of me. As I trekked more and more, I realized that the landscape looks like Berkelah Waterfalls - the No.1 ranking waterfall in Malaysia (in my opinion) in terms of beauty and exquisiteness.
Mini Fall/Cascade

I love the outdoors

Natural bed

As I was walking by the ledge of the mini gorge and appreciating the surroundings, I noticed a whirlpool just by the edge of a mini fall. It looked like the whirlpool will always be permanently there. Check it out :

Another view

I trekked deeper and found huge boulders, boulders as big as a 2 storey building and there were all stacked up horizontally like a fort blocking any human penetration.

I tried to find my way over but I wasn't determined enough to do so as I was looking forward to turn back and set up camp at my shangri-la. Along the way, I looked up and saw a pair of hornbills flying above me and this was my second time sighting hornbills in the wild. Oh how I love this place.
Skinny dipping

I took a couple of dips in the mini lagoon and it was just heavenly. The whole area had no rubbish of any sort. Maybe this is due to the harrowing ledge in the earlier part that deterred people from coming in.

I gathered some firewood, dried leaves and other stuff to make a campfire
Dragging firewood to my campsite

and I managed to get a fire going during twilight. That night, stars were aplenty and the sound of the insects were deafening that it became pretty hard for me to fall asleep. There were of also flashes of lighting and it got me pretty worried about a banjir kilat.

M Night Shyamalan

I am definitely coming back to find the waterfall that I'm sure is just after the huge boulders. This place is just awesome!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Don't Be A Hero

I'm always very gung ho when it comes to water just because I'm a good swimmer. I'm a triathlete for crying out loud. But I learnt an invaluable lesson at a waterfall and let these videos be a lesson to you guys with the messages : DON'T TRY TO BE A HERO AND ALWAYS BE SAFE.

This video shows my first jump into a fast moving river but who can't resist jumping into such frothy blue looking waters right?
My First Jump..Pas De Problem(No Problem in French)

I enjoyed my first jump so much that I wanted to do a second jump into the oh so inviting river. This is where Mr Gung Ho came into effect and watch how I got into trouble
Unable to surface for 11 seconds

I tried to kick my way to the surface and I just couldn't. The force was too strong and by the 4th second I started swallowing water. Somehow or rather, I kicked really hard and managed to surface and gasped for air. Close close call. So remember, don't be too Gung Ho in nature..unless your name is Gung Ho. But what a sexy looking waterfall I jumped into right?