The Team – Me (Ann), Tham (Sting), William (SAS), Remy (Hunter), Suney, Salina, Robert Tee, Cheng Yuen, Chee Woo, Alvin, Siew Peng (KSP), Kim Seng (KS), Yong, Lai, Sabri (Bob), Saw Hoon, and Stanley. TEAM 17.
1843 We left Imbiplex (me, Tham, William, Suney who stayed in Imbi that time) to KTM KL by cab.
1910 Reached KTM station, had our dinner at A&W. Some of our friends – Siew Wan, Yin, Kian Chong, Kang, Kelvin, Anne Loy, Thong, Charlie, Looi and the late Shanker came to send us off. Wow! Looked like some sort of national expedition representing the country or what…
We took a group photo with them.
2030 our train arrived, Kuala Lumpur to Tembeling… the 17 of us boarded the train. “see you again KL in 10 days time…”
09/06/1991 Kuala Lumpur to Gemas to Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan to Melantai Camp
0030 reached Gemas for a 2 hours transit. We took the opportunity to have roti canai and hot drinks while relaxing and waiting for the train to continue its journey to Tembeling. Everyone was either excited or worrying about the Tahan climb as none of us was able to sleep. Some stayed in the coach, some lying around on the pavement by the rail track, closed our eyes but somehow unable to dose off.
0230hr our train left Gemas station to continue the journey for Kuala Tembeling. I managed to catch some sleep here.
0530 arrived at Tembeling. We were dropped off by the roadside (no station) and walked for about half an hour to the Kuala Tembeling HQ. It was still dark and we had to use our torchlight.
We had fried rice and coffee for breakfast. While waiting for the boat ride to Kuala Tahan after breakfast, some of us refreshed and snapped a few photos. Due to lack of sleep some of us were easily irritated and my goodness, the hike didn’t even begin yet!
0915 finally we board the boat for Kuala Tahan, we took two boats and it was approximately a 3 hours ride. Most of us slept during the boat ride. It was a beautiful river cruise with greeneries on both sides. We could hear birds chirping throughout the boat ride.
1230 arrived at Kuala Tahan, we took the opposite jetty where there is a floating restaurant. We had our lunch there, again fried rice.
1320 we crossed over to Kuala Tahan where we registered ourselves, took a few photos, repacked our backpacks and kept some of our stuffs at the HQ lockers to avoid any unnecessary weights on our backpacks. A little bit of chaos and arguments among some of us, anyway still able to contain ourselves, on one really ‘exploded’ yet. Then we met our 2 guides Zulkifli and Naderi.
1430hr!!! the hike, the journey, the challenge begin! To us, Gunung Tahan was already drilled into our head as a tough climb, only those who must be ‘super fit’ physically and mentally are able to make it. None of us are in this ‘super fit’ category! Furthermore its in the afternoon and lack of a good night sleep the night before, we were sort of already 50% down. The trek to Melantai camp is supposed to be one of the easiest enroute to Tahan summit but it looked like a never ending journey though we managed… ‘starting only mar…’, the weather was humid, the trail muddy…
1830 finally Melantai camp emerged! Wooo finally!!! As usual, the rules, first thing pitch tent, then took bath by the stream, followed by cooking dinner. None of us were cooking as we packed our dinner from Kuala Tahan. I think only our 2 guides were cooking. We only boiled water for tea.
10/06/1991 Melantai Camp to Putih Camp to Peleting Camp
0600 morning call… prepared breakfast. I still felt sleepy and tired actually but got to go.
0730 KS unpitched our tent.
0805 another day trek begins!
1130 we reached Malang for lunch. I took only bread with some dried meat and chicken ham. We refilled our water bottle – it’s a 5 minutes’ walk down to a water source where we scooped the water from a bamboo rack. The next will be what they said attempting the 27 hills to Bukit Raja.
1330 we reached Bukit Raja, no shade and hot. The surrounding area looked something like ‘burned down’. We rested for a while ( about ½ an hour?).
1400 continued to Putih Camp. It was downhill all the way. After all the climbs for the 27 hills, now downhill! Though downhill all the way, I remember it took us another hour or so to reached K.Putih.
1515 reached Kuala Putih, a very nice stream beside. We took a long rest, took our bath in the very clear stream water. After about an hour, we continued our hike. We crossed 2 streams or rivers (whatever you want to call them) before reaching Peleting. It was still early and bright…
1745 at Peleting Camp – again first thing first, pitched up the tents and cook dinner. Our group had cabbage and ‘tung choy’ ikan bilis soup, fried eggplants (terung), sambal belacan, ikan masin with chicken and beef curry. This time we had our bath after dinner. Here Robert and Tham had a slight ‘hoo haa, hoo haa’…
2130 time to call it a day…
11/06/1991 Peleting to Teku Camp to Wrays Camp
0700 morning call – had instant ‘roti canai’ and tea for breakfast.
0830 another day trek begins… the trek begin by crossing the 3rd stream/river. Today trail, we need to cross 5 of them before we reached Teku Camp.
1115 – reached Teku Camp. We had our lunch here, get ourselves soaked in the river, rested for ½ hour before continue our journey.
1210 – continued our hike to Wrays Camp. I heard before hand that this stretch is a tough one, about 4 ½ hours all the way up, up and up… We were advised by our guides to walk in groups or at least in pairs as this trail is known as ‘bear trail’. So starting was organized, but as we trekked further, most of us were on our own and quite far apart. It was a tough steep climb for me. Halfway through, me, Remy and Tham exchanged and reorganized our load to make our backpack more comfortable. The trail is tough but clean.
1630 – reached Wrays Camp finally. Thanks God! Water source was about 20 mins walk away. Here, for dinner we had ladies finger with sambal, ‘tung fan’ and mushroom soup, and again chicken and beef curry. At this camp, it was SAS and Robert turn to have ‘hooo haa. Hoo haa…’ what happened man!
SAS and Bob had to use their poncho as tent.
2030 – since it was a tough climb up to Wrays, everyone slept early. I tried to sleep early but can’t dose off. It was raining with quite a strong wind. Remy, KS and Tham were talking about diving.
12/06/1991 Wrays Camp to Padang Camp
0700 morning call… Baked beans, biscuits and tea for breakfast.
0900 after unpitched our tent, we started our hike. This morning our group was the last to leave the campsite. The rest already left earlier.
1015 reached Pankin and take ‘5’. From here to Tangga 15, Reskit and Gedong, we took quite a number of pictures because the view from Pankin onwards is simply fantastic especially from Gedong to Padang. It wasn’t an easy climb either but were rewarded with beautiful sceneries along the way.
1615 after another tough climb, we reached Gedong with more beautiful sceneries. We spend around 45 minutes around here enjoying the view and exploring the surroundings before continue to Padang. From here, we can see Padang Camp and it looked nearby, that’s why we he hang around here for some times, but it took us almost an hour or so to reached Padang Camp. The trail was quite slippery too.
1745 we reached Padang Camp. I just ‘dry clean’ myself because it was very cold here and windy as Padang Camp is an open area. Dinner was carrot and eggs omelet, eggs and ginger soup, and again ikan bilis, sambal belacan, chicken and beef curry.
As the day get darker, we could hear and sense rats started to come out from their hiding place. They were roaming around our campsite, some even came so close to our tents. We had to keep an eye on our food stuffs. Around 1900 it started to drizzle and get heavier. The weather became so cold that a few of us gathered close to each other under a flysheet chanting the ‘pow wow the Indian boy’ song with our own version. When the rain stopped later, it was a beautiful night. We stay up quite late, chatting while having tea and coffee.
2330 lights off, time to log off…
13/06/1991 Padang – G. Tahan Summit – Padang
0730 morning call… had a simple breakfast, can’t remember what we prepared. The sun rised pretty fast and soon it was a hot morning.
0900 we began our way up to the summit. Everyone of us took our own sweet time, taking photographs, enjoying the view along the way. It was supposed to be a 2 hours plus hike from Padang to summit, we took 3 hours 45 minutes.
1245 Finally, we were there! The Summit of Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia! We made it!!! We had some sort of a party up there, boiled tea, boiled coffee don’t know how many rounds, cook maggi. A 2 minutes instant noodles took us about 20 to 30 minutes to cook due to the strong wind. It was quite windy up there but good weather, clear sky and clear view. Thanks God again! We roamed around and exploring the surroundings. We spend almost 2 hours at the summit before descending back to Padang Camp.
1430 start descending to Padang Camp. The atmosphere was cool, and I noticed most of us including me had some sort of sunburn.
1745 reached Padang Camp. My nose was bleeding when we reached Padang Camp, small matter, probably due to the heat.
1830 dinner time – fried French beans, ‘tung fan’ and ‘tung choy’ soup, ikan bilis, sambal belacan and sardine curry. After dinner we had a small campfire and celebrated one of our guide’s birthday. It was an enjoyable day for us today, everyone was happy.
2030 light off…
14/06/1991 Padang Camp – Teku Camp (our target).
0700 morning call. My group was the last to wake up! I can’t really recall what we had for breakfast as we were rushing.
0915 Trekking down to Gedong, then Reskit, Tangga 15 and Pankin. Then Wrays Camp and all the way down to Teku. The weather was very humid today as far as I could remember. It was also a long day as it took us 9 hours trek from Padang to Teku.
1800 at Teku Camp finally… After pitching up our tents, we soaked ourselves in the cool stream water, washed up properly. While 2 nights before in Padang, we didn’t really have a nice bath as it was very cold up there. Then it was time to prepare dinner. We had French beans again, eggs soup, chicken and beef curry. After dinner, all 17 of us and the guides had a meeting to decide which campsite to stop for the night the next day. The atmosphere was not very pleasant since the day we camped at Wrays Camp due to some ‘assholes’ trying to be smart or mr/miss ‘know all’. Anyway just for the record, no need to go too much into details. This is our blog, no place for those assholes! My group got some unhealthy remarks because we were always waking up late in the morning. OK fine, no problem. After all these ‘hoo haa’ then called it a day. I wasn’t in a good mood either tonight so I didn’t record what time we logged off for the night.
15/06/1991 Teku Camp – Melantai
0630 after the ‘brainstormed’ last night, this morning my group was one of the earliest to rise. Well done buddies! Not getting over from last night, therefore didn’t record anything we did this morning.
0800 after breakfast, all started to trek again with the first river crossing.
1045 I reached Putih Camp with KS. Here I learned that 3 members decided to leave the team and went off on their own. I also learned that the 3 of them were attempting to reach Kuala Tahan by evening or night. Chee Woo was not feeling well as he was vomiting on and off from Teku to Putih.
1400 stopped at Malang to regroup and rest. Once all 14 of us and the guides were here, and after a short break we continued to Melantai.
1815 reached Melantai and hey, those 3 so called tough ‘super fiddos’ were there. It seemed that they realized they were not going to make it to Kuala Tahan. Imagine, Teku straight to Kuala Tahan is quite a feat. Tonight is our last night in the jungle so we had communal dinner and shared out whatever foodstuffs we had.
2130 light off (actually should say ‘candles off’).
16/06/1991 Melantai to Kuala Tahan.
0730 morning call. Since it was the last day hiking and probably need only half a day from here to Kuala Tahan, we took it easy.
0930 packed up and headed back to Kuala Tahan. This was the latest time we start our trek in the entire expediton. The trail, I would say easy as everybody was tuned up from those tough climbs back there. It was quite a boring trek too, probably everyone was already thinking of Kuala Tahan, sort of like ‘so near yet so far’.
1205 Finally, I was back to Kuala Tahan! I made it! We chatted in front of the mini store, had some fresh canned drinks for the first time after so many days in the jungle. We managed to take a few photographs, then checked in to our hostel, clean up our gears, took shower (after so many days), and had some rest.
1530 Lunch at the nearby restaurant. Then we roamed around the resort, took photographs as well, and chit chatting sharing our experience throughout the whole expedition right up till dinner time. In between some dose off…zzzzzzz…
2000 Dinner time, also a farewell dinner from us to our 2 guides. Again story-telling while enjoying our dinner. This time it was our guides who shared their experience and stories.
2200 Our guides had to go off… we hang around for another hour or so.
2300 back to our hostel and lights off, this time really lights off, not candles.
17/06/1991 Kuala Tahan back to Kuala Lumpur, home sweet home!
0700 had breakfast at the same restaurant we had dinner last night. Then preparing to check out, get our gears and stuffs organized while waiting for the boat ride back to Kuala Tembeling.
0915 Boarded the boat, this time all 17 of us jammed into one boat. Our 2 guides send us off, thank you Zul and Naderi! It was about 2 ½ hours boat ride downstream to Kuala Tembeling.
1130 reached Kuala Tembeling. We took a van and a cab back to Kuala Lumpur.
1530 Reached Kuala Lumpur…
I thank all of you, 16 of you for the company, help and assistance throughout the preparations before and during the expedition. You guys and gals are great, even till now 2014!