After grouping at Petronas Green Lane and then the open area just after Penang Bridge, we were on our way to Gunung Semanggol rest area for a quick bite. Wong briefed us and our next rendezvous would be Sg Siput to pick up Dr Syed who had made the journey all the way from Johor. Albeit some hesitation on the road directions, we eventually manage to arrive at our starting point in Lasah.
Pronounced as "Lak Sa" in Mandarin, it is a relatively small town in the outskirts and more well-known as the starting point for hikers to Kuala Mu. Having charted two 4WD, the owners were kind enough to allow us to securely park our cars at their house compound.
Then, the adventure begins....
En Route to Kuala Mu
9 people cramped in an unshaded 4WD, in a bumpy ride for 2 hours is a challenge by itself. As the backpacks had occupied most of the area, we had to stand for most of the journey. Often we had to watch out for oncoming traffic which in this case are tree branches and sharp-ended bamboos, then prepare to crouch or wind-surf as we term it.
Gin Chun occupying the most comfortable seat, being supported by me and Kazuo's backpack. Now we know how the bread got so compressed.
Zaidi sharing his hiking experiences and trying to keep everyone entertained with his Chinese hits. It did make the journey slightly less painful.
A section of the muddy terain we had to tackle.
The other group in a more ergonomic 4WD with hand-rails is seen here giving way to oncoming traffic.
Then disaster struck...Having delayed our journey with several wrong turns, the 4WD suddenly breakdown. Already half-way there and at no man's land, we were forced to cramp into the other 4WD, imagine that 18 people in one jeep? Not wanting to derail the jeep and delay our journey further, some of us decided to hike and leave our backpacks on the functional jeep.
Finally after 1.5 hours, we arrived at Kuala Mu greeted by the orang asli children. The guys posing with the children and a Ronaldo fan sporting his hair-cut.
Group photo before our hike.
After meeting up with our orang asli guide and porter, we were on our way.
We arrived at the first obstacle not long after. Traversing the bamboo stilts with the river gushing at your soles is not easy task.
After an uneventful 5-hour hike, we arrived at an open space right beside a river and setup our tents. According to Zaidi, the previous campsite that they were residing had overgrown with shrubs and we had to settle for this. We were to discover later why it's not such a wise choice to camp directly next to a river.
Fortunately we were able to setup our tents before night falls. After a quick wash at the river in freezing waters, we were getting ready to prepare dinner. Our menu consists of:
Main course: Spaghetti with baked beans
Beverage: Hot Milo
Hoping to catch a good sleep and tired from the earlier hike, we called it a day at about 930pm.
To be continued....