Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Jerangkang

Jerangkang Waterfalls and Berkelah Waterfalls are next to each other. I have been to the latter and have proclaimed it the most dramatic waterfall in Malaysia. It truly is because I have been to numerous waterfalls and I can't find any waterfalls as close to being dramatic as Berkelah's.
Berkelah Waterfall - Oh So Dramatic

I have no idea what kind of vehicle that can be used to access this waterfall but I was told that a normal kereta is impossible. Hence, my Boneshaker was ruled out. FYI, "Boneshaker" is referring to my old Proton Iswara Aeroback. I once dated this stewardess and took her out with my Proton Iswara Aeroback. She dubbed it the Boneshaker after our date was over : (

My Boneshaker

Anyway, I chucked my mountain bike into my Boneshaker and drove all the way to Maran, parked at the roadside, reassembled my MTB and put on my back pack. My back pack consisted of my Coleman tent and food supplies. With enthusiasm and a heavy backpack, I jumped on the seat of my MTB and rode away. The iPod blared the song “Nobody But Me”, adrenalin rushed through my entire body like a bat out of hell and it was like the last scene from the movie "City Of Angels"
FREEDOM !!!!!!

30 minutes into MTB ride, I stopped and puked !!
Backpack in the background

Reason : Fatigue, a heavy backpack and lack of MTB training.

You see, I have been diving a lot and waterfalls have pretty much taken a back seat. Don’t get me wrong. I still love my waterfalls but for the time being, the underwater world is my passion. With the MTB by the side of the road, I waited for a 4WD with an open cabin to drive by. How do I know there will be one? I just know. And true enough after 10 minutes, a 4WD with an open cabin drove by. The driver is a Chinese man who manages a timber camp further down the route to Jerangkang. And funnily enough, he said he has never been to Jerangkang despite passing by the Jerangkang entrance so many times.

Prior to puking my guts out, I was already pushing my bike and three cars drove by. They asked me the direction to Jerangkang and never even offered me a lift. Their 4WD had no open cabins but a courteous gesture warms the weary heart don’t you think?

The old uncle dropped me off and I thanked him because he had the courtesy to give me a ride since I was in a remote and desolute place.

I was happy I had reached Jerangkang but I sighed when I saw six to seven 4WDs. Also, the three cars that did not offer me a ride just arrived and I rode pass them and said “ Thanks for offering me a ride”. They looked confused from my statement.

Crowds are my kryptonite so I locked my bike and trekked further up to look for a suitable place to camp. As usual, my requirements for a camp site :

1. Open Space - I’m a bit claustrophobic

2. Water nearby

And this is the spot I chose.
All by myself
Along the way to my campsite, there were numerous emerald jade color pools which made me jumped in over and over again. Who could resist these pools?

After setting up camp,
I decided to trek further up. In the beginning, I used the jungle trail and I hate...just hate canopies. Then, I came to a section where the inclination was very steep and decided to use the sides of the waterfall for an easier route albeit, a deadly one. One slip and …......

After one gruelling hour and having tonnes of confidence in my Teva’s,
I reached the top and was rewarded with an infinity pool. Love love love natural infinity pools. My last natural infinity pool was at Jangkar Falls with Michael Lo.

Such a coincidence that both Jangkar and Jerangkang Falls had an infinity pool and they share the same J, A, N, G and K alphabets !

Mucking around the infinity pool and feeling a little hungry and tired, I decided to swim to the other end of the pool before going back to my campsite. When I reached the other end, to my astonishment, there was another mega waterfall and rightfully so, the Jerangkang Waterfall.
The Jerangkang Waterfall
The Jerangkang Waterfall..Wonder what's beyond?

Coming down, I used the jungle trail because coming down via the sides of the waterfall would be suicidial. The time clocked at 5pm and I did absolutely nothing but swim, sat by the rocks admiring the waterfall, admiring the clear river water, admiring my tent and also admiring the feat of getting there by myself with all my gear. Good classic outdoor stuff.

Being alone once in a while is like refueling