Sunday, September 7, 2008

Calling all nature lovers day 1

The great outdoors beckon all those who are keen to explore the wonders of nature and of course, I couldn’t resist the calling as I succumbed to an invitation to visit a national park in Johor in late August.

Firstly, let’s just be reminded that although I seem quite extrovert to many people, I’m new to the world of running, hiking and climbing. After being motivated by someone close to me earlier in the year, I decided to take up the challenge and activated my life. By gosh, I am thankful for the idea and motivation as I developed a deep passion for outdoor activities, especially hiking.

So, when I went on my first camping trip ever (I know I am a bit retarded in that sense…in my twenties and have not even camped before, sad case), I was very enthusiastic and excited. As I packed with my sister, I realized that I’m not very equipped and totally clueless about a lot of things. The only thing that I had plenty around me were medicine I took from the hospital :-P

I was impressed as I climbed in Kilo Nov Sierra’s Prado cruiser and see the amount of gadgets inside a civillian’s car. The HAM radio was the most captivating equipment as I noticed how KNS and the other drivers seem to have a lot of fun with it. The only bummer was that we had to wake up at 4-5 am to meet up at rendezvous point.

After our ‘school-principal’ took attendance, we rumbled along the PLUS highway happily to the Yong Peng toll to meet up with the entire convoy of 4-wheel drives. I have to admit that the congregation of 12 gargantuan cars must be quite eventful for such a small town but knowing that this is the gate-way to Endau-Rompin National Park, the citizens must be quite used to big cars and convoys by now.

The rest of the day flew by very fast as I took two types of medicine for motion sickness and ended up sedating myself during the bumpiest drive of my life. Of course I didn’t feel like vomiting but the side effect was that I was so sleepy that when we started the first hike, I was literally sleep-walking.

Thus, I huffed and puffed all the way to the first two waterfalls, Takah Berangin and Takah Pandan. It was a well-deserved trek as we plunged ourselves in the icy-cold water…brrr and I woke up properly for the first time that day. Sigh..

The way back was a huge rush as we tried to reach camp ground zero before the fast-approaching night-fall. We’re all not prepared for hiking in the dark and thus I was a bit anxious about the journey back. I was hugely-relieved as we caught a glimpse of the vehicle trail which marked the end of the jungle trek. The rest of the night was a blur as we quickly cooked a not-so-halal dinner and got to know one another over the scrumptious meal.

So watch out for Day 2 as the narration continues….

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