Trekking and sleeping in the noisy Malay Jungle
We took a 3 and a half hour bus ride to 'Jerantut''. We stayed overnight to break up the journey and took a 3 and a half hour boat ride to Teman Negara the next morning.
We were in the center of Malaysia in the middle of the jungle with supposed tigers, elephants and small bears! It was 130,000,000 years old, thats pretty old! The boat ride was different, we were placed in a small narrow boat and we were sitting at the same level as the water, not above like normal boats. Fo 3 hours we sat on wooden seats with little comfort but it was worth it. The nature was overwhelming; birds, trees, insects, animals everwhere, it was nice to see a jungle that hadn't been chopped down.
We pulled up to a string of restaurants floating on the brown river (yes brown not blue... brown). We decided we didn't want to stay in a nice mosquito free hostel, instead we wanted to leap head first into the jungle!
We met a really nice German guy called George who luckily wanted to do the exact same thing we did. So we took a 45min boat ride further into the jungle, jumped off and walked another 45mins to our nights accommodation called a 'hide'. Picture a wooden shack with open windows on stilts. Just wooden bench/bunks to sleep on with no mosquito net. The point of this adventure was that you had a sleepless night trying to watch and catch the animals in the jungle! We arrived at the hide, a 7pm sunset and by 10pm we heard our first sign of life. Unfortunately our torch was not strong enough and we could not see exactly what was drinking out of the salt pool and making noise, it was the size of a small bear though, so you never know!
After a seriously uncomfortable sleep that made our backs feel like it had been run over by a bus, we awoke the morning after the night before. My arms look like I had serious bumps and mumps all over. Even with the tonnes of mosquito repelent they had still managed to eat me and Daniel alive! But we had to get going on our 6 hour jungle trek back to the main village.
Like the trek on Tioman Island, we cursed the entire time. Thinking, at the beginning we were lost as we had seen no sign to point us in the right direction. After 2 hours and still no sign we were ready to give up, we were drenched in sweat, covered in leeches and mosquito bites and with limited drinking water, this was a serious test of our relationship, patience and support. We persisted another kilometer and a sign that said 7KM to the village eased our anxiety. The humidity was intense, luckily we were covered mostly by jungle canopy, so sunburn wasn't much of an issue. Trudging through mud, swamps, gushing rivers and steep hills, after 11KM we were ready to give in. Dan had started imagining things and hallucinating about beer and his beloved recliner chair at home. I on the otherhand wished for time travel to have already been invented. When I am being eaten by leeches I wish not to be there and I think of a billion other activities I would rather be doing! However after it, the achievement of what I had just done meant the world to me. We always thought we needed to start getting fit, this was the best way. What was to be a 6 hour walk, we managed in 4 and a half hours, thanks to our fitness and pace. Daniel had been extremely supportive of me and helped me with the long treck. My patience had managed to stay calm and I was extremely proud of myself and Daniel, not just for the physical test but a mental test that we both achieved. In short it was hard but worth it.
We finally got to the village and got to sit down and have a coke. It was heaven. Although Teman Negara was a little bit expensive to get to and out of, it was worth it just to experience that little slice of jungle. Next was another bus ride to the Cameron Highlands. It was supposed to take 8 hours but because of a new road that had just been finished it only took 3 and a half, thankfully! So on the road again to the English tudor hills and valleys of the Cameron Highlands...