I lugged my medium sized backpack to work on Friday, carry what would be our lunch and dinner for the next 2 days. My productivity level for that day could easily be the highest for the month, because I knew I had to leave work on time – to start on our outdoor adventure once again.
I thought I could probably reached JB City Square Mall in an hour’s time from Pasir Panjang but oh boy, was I wrong. I departed at 6pm, but only reached around 9+pm. And that was when I really appreciated the convenience of riding my bike.
There were 5 of us on the self-planned trip – 2 couples and 1 lamppost which is me! But it was all good, because I had the whole spacious back of the rental car to myself! Hohoho. Wenghao rented a Proton Exora 1.6L from Europcar (located at Aman Sari Hotel City Centre) at SGD162, which was pretty decent, considering that is our convenient transport to n from Gunung Ledang. So we set off from Johor at 10pm, and travelled that 202km for about 4 hours, reaching around 2am in the wee morning. The night was spent sleeping in the car and waking up to stiff bodies the next morning. #thingstodowhilewearestillyoung
The next morning we had a slow n relaxed start. We went for breakfast because the national park would only be open at 8.30am. There was much choice along the road just outside of the national park and we settled for simple fried beehoon with an egg, coupled with fragrant sock-filtered coffee! It was fabulous! What’s more, it’s damn cheap!
We all averaged at 9~11kg for our backpack, with 2 tents, cooking stuffs and water and food. I hope my weak back can survive! We started from Lagenda Trail and there are a total of 7 checkpoints before the summit. Campsite was at checkpoint 4. At first, we were damn garang and told the guide we wanted to scale the summit with full on backpack before returning to campsite to pitch our tent. We thought that might be faster. The guide was taken aback when he heard that and kept recommending that we head to checkpoint 4 to leave our stuffs there and have lunch before we proceed up the summit.
The map at the national park office to orientate yourself
The journey to the first checkpoint comprises 700 over steps, according to the guides, but on our way down, we counted only 600 odd. I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as you reach checkpoint 1! To CP1, takes about 20 mins.
Full of energy before the trek!
Like a pro with the walking sticks!
Yali's bandage wasn't from this trek, was from her previous motorbike accident.
After rest and drinking up, we marched on!
OK I was being naughty 😛
Yali trying on my Vaude backpack and agreed that it provided good support!
The campsite is just after these huge boulders
From base camp to campsite was about 2 hours long. The campsite was another probably 10 mins away from CP4! And we busied ourselves pitching our 4men tents and having our tuna sandwich and biscuits!
3 girls and a.... tent
Slacker! With the excuse that he is busy taking shots
The fishes at the river next to campsite are hungry for bread
After lunch, we started our ascent to the summit at around 1pm. Point to note, don’t forget to pack your motivational food and headlights into your day bag if you are leaving your main backpack at the campsite. Checkpoint 5 was not too far away from the campsite. In less than an hour, we reached. We spent quite a long time over there taking lots of photographer, and admiring nature at its purest! Our guide almost fell asleep.
Was trying to capture all 5 of them including the guide in their candid poses
See how strong yiling is! Resting a rock on her arm
OK we decided we were being too cruel by putting the shrimp out of water
So we added some water and moss to make it feel at home
I particularly love the 'selective focus' function on Samsung Note4's camera!
They said I looked like an imp or pixie!
Ophir has a KFC atop! Hungry, anyone?
The new sporty couple! 😀
Wenghao is not tired, just posing for the camera
And then after KFC was this super steep rockfall with 4 ropeline
Backstroke 50m GO!
At taman bonsai.. but all bonsai are blocked by our huge faces!
And then the climb up on all these ladders start!
Like a scene from The Everest
Finally w3 reached the summit! It's like you are on cloud nine!
And then it started pouring!
We checked in at the summit ariund 5 plus and did a 360deg video. If I manage to upload it on YouTube I will paste it here! But it was damn hilarious because Yali was perpetually 2 steps slowly and forever not in the frame!
It started pouring really hard, and we were drenched in no time. Raindrops pelted down mercilessly on our backs. Even if the rain was due to the start of the monsoon season, we still put the blame on Andrew, who brought a flask of hard liquor up the mountain. Rumours has it that all food n drinks that we bring up to any Malaysian mountain has to be halal, for fear of angering the Muslim spirits.
Night fell very quickly and we realised we only had 2 headlamps to share amongst 5 of us. The rain was so torrendous that we were sticking our feet into puddles after puddles. A few times, I nearly rolled over my ankle because of the uneven ground, but lucky all was safe. When almost reaching our campsite, we realised we can’t cross the river to get to the other side. Our guide called for help. Another more experienced guide led the way and brought us to bash through unchartered routes and finally cross a fallen log that had been lying across the river. The whole experience was made even more challenging by the fact that half of us was walking in the dark.
We finally reached back our campsite at 8pm and were famished. Luckily for us that Wenghao and Yiling bought chicken nuggets and that Wenghao had his non-stick frying pans. We couldn’t go ahead with our original plan of cooking chicken rice as we had to ration our leftover water since there was no way we were getting our water from the swollen river. We settled on anything as long as it didn’t require water in cooking/heating up – biscuits, muesli, tuna, combat ratio – and cooked instant noodles with the least amount of water possible.
Cooking in the tents, just like a deja vu from G. Tahan trek
We retreated early, as soon as we finished our dinner. Yali’s sleeping bag which made her backpack very very full n bulky, was our warmth provider throughout the night. Wenghao brought along a Quechua inflatable mat and I think that made Yiling fall in love with him a little more.. heehee
The next morning we had a sumptuous breakfast with our instant noodles and coffee and instant chicken pieces! The river was so calm it was like the rain yesterday didn’t happened at all! See my 康师傅 instant noodles which I got from my Shanghai trip! Heavenly!
After much tricking, Andrew managed to catch a fish.
We started our descent at 10 in the morning and reached the foot of the mountain around 12.30pm. By then, most of our bags were much lighter with the depleted food and water supplies!
Welcome back! Congratulations
So the whole trip was very economical!
Car rental (after splitting among 5) : SGD 31.40 each
Guide : RM 123 each
Tent : RM 5O for each tent, so works out to be RM 50 x 2 / 5 = RM 20 each
NS highway tolls and top up petrol : RM 50 each
And the rest was individual expenses. We probably spent more money eating at Kim Gary’s restaurant at City Square Mall. This trek rekindled my passion for outdoor sports and I hope to be able to do them more frequently! 希望我的腰要争气!