We were supposed to meet up at Suntex at 10.00am to have breakfast/drinks/lunch and get whatever stuffs we might need. Again, don’t ask when was this camping trip. I forgot but it was around October 2014. So after going through the Batu 9 Cheras toll gates, took the left exit and proceed to Suntex. I was late, reaching there 11.00am. William and Remy were already there in one of the regular coffee shop. We left about 11.45am.
After the Batu 9 Police Station (which is on our right), we turned left at the traffic lights exactly opposite the police station and continue towards Ulu Langat. There were several signs that says “Air Panas 10”, “Air Terjun something (can’t remember”). Along this road also there were several roadside stalls selling fruits like durian, rambutan and other local fruits. There were a few stalls selling grilled chickens. Then we came to a mosque with a few shops by the roadside. It is actually Pekan Batu 18. After this ‘pekan’ the road becomes a bit winding and seems narrower. It took us another 3km or so to reach the turn off (on the left) to Sg Congkak Forest Reserve (Hutan Lipur Sg Congkak).
After turning left leading to the Sg Congkak Forest Reserve, we seemed like driving through a narrow road with what looked like people house backyards. There was a river on the left as well with some make shift huts and stalls. Continue along this road; lead us to the private car park just in front of the main gate and registration office/counter for the Congkak Campsites. After the necessary registration, we drove in through the main entrance and proceed to zon 6. It was about 1.00pm then.
We found a site big enough to set up a big flysheet (20’X25’ or 20’X10’, something about that size, I can’t remember) brought by William as our working area. While William was busy setting up the work area with Remy, me and Ann set up our old 4men tent and a new 2men tent. Remy then helped us to set up his red flysheet over our 2men tent. I remember once we set up all our shelters (tents), it started to rain and got heavier for an hour or so. As the rain water started to seep into our working area, we were busy digging creating a drain around the working area and shifting our equipment and utensils . Luckily I brought along a spade which turned out to be quite useful. The heavy rain subsided for a while but continue with drizzle or slight drizzle till late evening.
While it was still early to prepare our ‘BBQ’ dinner and was drizzling, all of us jammed into the 4men tent taking the opportunity to relax. I tried to catch some sleep but unable due to the excitements after not camping for quite some times. So I started to look around the tent checking whether any leaking from the heavy rain earlier. One corner of the tent was wet and there was a hole there, bottom wall of the tent.
Around 5.00pm William and Ann started to prepare for the BBQ. Remy was assisting on and off. I was busy surveying the area, tried to figure out what I could do, after all been quite a while didn’t do any camping. I think credit should be given to William for preparing and marinating those BBQ stuffs from home and as our cook. Once he started to grill those lamb, smell damn good. We had lamb, chicken and sausages. So dinner was great, everyone enjoying it especially the lamb.
As it grew darker and night fell, time to light up the campsite. I think William had most of the gadgets. He even took a spare car battery for the lighting up purposes. He brought along a double camp chair, cool box, storage net, foldable outdoor table, BBQ portable grill stove etc…
The campsite where we were camping was good, with the stream just nearby. The downside of it was the toilet. There was one nearby our site but in very poor condition; no light and taps not working. We got to drive out (around 10 minutes or so) for a better toilet. We spend the night chit-chatting catching up on old stories and was drizzling slightly as well. As usual we had coffee and tea, some tidbits as well. I can’t remember how long we were chit-chatting but when we hit the sack, it was almost 1.00am or 2.00am. I was with William sleeping in the working area on our camp beds, Ann in the 2men tent and Remy had the luxury of having the 4men tent all by himself. It was too cold for me in the working area and around 4.00am I went into the 2men tent with Ann.
Again I can’t remember what time I woke up in the morning, but early around 7 something, still the last as William, Remy and Ann were already up and running around. They were starting to prepare breakfast when I woke up. This was when I tried out my new Kovac stove and the old blue canister stove we used to during our younger days expeditions. I boiled some coffee and made instant noodles (maggi). Those maggi instant noodles again tasted much better in the outdoors than at home, but then it didn’t interest the rest (William, Ann and Remy) as the breakfast prepared by William was much much better – scrambled eggs, sausages, toast bread, baked beans, fried onions and some left over stuffs from the previous evening BBQ.
Again, the food was great, thanks William! That morning Vivien dropped by with her son. After breakfast, we hang around a little while enjoying a ‘puff’ then I decided to cut off and removed the ground sheet (the tent floor) of my old 4men tent. I noticed some parts of it begin to rot beyond repair and tried to save those other parts that can be use separately like the poles and the floor. The floor I thought could be used as a ground sheet. The roof and the wall which was rotting can be thrown away. Honestly they are still with me till now, quite heavy hearted to throw away as this was my very first and only tent that served me well in all my outdoor expeditions. I bought it for SGD80.00 in the late 80s without a flysheet. I got a flysheet later. Yes, it never failed me, standing tall rain or shine in all my outings. I do not know what brand it is but it was a good tent.
The sky looked a bit gloomy and we decided to call it a day before it started to rain again. Vivien’s son was enjoying himself soaking in the stream. We unpitched our tents, hanged around for a while before driving out at around 11.00am. Besides the poor condition toilet nearby our campsite, I think Congkak is a nice place for camping, even family camping. It’s also a great place for beginners to get a taste of what camping is like as one does not need to trek, just park your car and the campsite is there. Definitely I will come again, for a 1 night camp to get out of the city or to test out my other camping stuffs. I think it would be more enjoyable during the dry seasons. Till then… …/tham.
(some other photos below, we took around our campsite)