Monday, April 25, 2011

Gunung Bunga Buah

When a friend in FB invited me to this trip, I clicked 'Attending' without much hesitation, after all I had nothing planned on the same date and I have never been to Gunung Bunga Buah.  After a few messages, we decided that we'd meet immediately after the first Karak toll in Gombak.  In FB, there were 4 of only who clicked 'Attending', however, after breakfast I was told there was a group of 20 odd hikers joining us.  They had already parked their cars while we had our breakfast.  True enough, there were 31 of us after the final headcount. 31 of us of various fitness levels!  It was a big group and we expected that a few of us might not make it to the peak.  We started at 9.00am and  everyone was told to turn back at 2.00pm regardless where their locations were at that time.  Otherwise, they might not make it to the entrance under the sunlight! 

I read at one time that the access to the mountain was blocked as the land belonged to GohTong family.  I am not sure whether we were still using the same entrance.  The entrance that we used was just behind a row of shop houses at Gohtong Jaya.  We had to trek through vegetable farms before we started with the first ascend.  It was a steep slope and it took us about 20 minutes to reach the first checkpoint.  Joining the trip was a 12 year old girl who reminded me of my daughter when she was of the same age.  I helped her especially at some steep trails.  It had been raining non-stop a few days before that, therefore the trails were wet and slippery. 

After the first stop, we continued the journey along the old Genting road.  The road was already abandoned and inaccessible even by 4WD.  It took about 45 minutes before we reached the 'real' entrance to the jungle!  On the way back, we felt that the same road was longer and tougher.  To a certain extend, it reminded me the never ending trails of Nuang.  

This is a 'must' place for photo opportunity as there is cliff at the background.  It was foggy as it was still early in the morning and we didn't get to take that many good picture as the cliff was covered by fog.  

Typical wild orchids that can be seen on other mountains like Gunung Besar Hantu!

The typical trails all the way up!  The trails were almost as tough as Nuang.  Some said it was tougher.  At one point, there was a checkpoint that reminded me of Gunung Tahan!  Like Nuang, there was a false peak too,  It was  stunning view from here.  A few of us couldn't make it to the peak and they stopped here at the false peak!  We were told that the distance to the peak was about 20 minutes or 'sebatang rokok' and it turned we had to trek for another 45 minutes!  After the false peak, the trails were rocky like Bukit Tabur for about two hundred meters. 

I made it to the peak after a 3 and half hours of hard work.  I thanked my friend who invited me and told him that I made it somehow, he replied  'You're most welcome, friend. Some even say this was tougher than Nuang! And you didn't make it "somehow", it was with plenty of strength, pails of sweat, and with enough determination and resolve! Pat on the back for you!   And all those who attempted as well! And the weather was very kind to us - beautiful clouds, cool winds ... and best of all, no leech bites . . . although the few that were sighted were knocked out with Mosi-guard!!!'.  Thank you again, Henry!  I found out later on the way back that the 12 year old girl made it to the peak too.  Congratulations!

Crawly creature that we saw just on the way out of the jungle!

I was dragging my feet back and the 'never ending road' seemed longer and I could feel the pain from my recent slip disc.  It was still there and it hasn't recovered as yet.  That was the reason I said to Henry that I made it 'somehow' as I really had to struggle more as compared to other people who had no medical condition.   Anyway, my slip disc wasn't a severe one and it doesn't stop me from doing all my physical works, except it has slowed me a bit!

On the way back, I stopped over at Gombak R&T to clean myself and to pray.  Unfortunately, there was no shower room here for me to bathe.  I took the opportunity to take the picture of Bukit Tabur.  Yup!  It used to be my favorite hiking place.  And then I got my slip disc.   That was the end of Bukit Tabur being my favourite hiking spot!  Well, I think I am ready soon!   I will make it there before leaving to Merapi!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We were here in Tanjung Tuan by the invitation of our PD friends and Malaysian Nature Society to enjoy raptor watch.  Raptor watch is an annual event organised by Malaysian Nature Society to raise awareness on these preying birds that are migratory in nature.  They make a stop in Tanjung Tuan while waiting for the cold weather in the northern hemisphere to end and when the winter is over, they will fly back home to their habitat .  These birds come from as far away as Siberia.

The exhibition for Raptor Watch was held at Ilham Resort, just by the seaside facing Straits of Malacca.  Most people went inside Tanjung Tuan Wildlife Sanctuary to see the preying birds.  Armed with their 2 feet long lenses and DSLR, these people hiked up the tarred road to the lighthouse to wait for that opportunity to snap the picture of the preying birds.  As for us, we were there not only to join the raptor watch but also to do jungle trekking along the many trails of Tanjung Tuan Wildlife Sanctuary.  

It was a busy day for me, I dashed home immediately after attending a wedding reception of nieces in law (two of them at one reception!) and prepared the meal to bring along for the trip.  It was a simple chicken bolognese spaghetti that was ready in less than one hour.  The trip to PD took about 1 hour 40 minutes from Subang Jaya.  When we reached there, there were already huge crowd, some of them leaving the area after a few hours of raptor watch.  From the parking lot at Ilham Resort, it took us about 25 minutes to reach the campsite.  Each one of carried at least two bags consisting dinner, tent, water, etc.  The campsite was large enough to accommodate 60 campers and I got the tent ready in no time at all and there was god supply of fresh water from a well nearby.
I thought we were facing the west and expected to see sunrise.  Much to may surprise, we were facing the east at a lagoon area and I was delighted to see sunrise the next morning.  I slept in my tent and was restless the whole night.  I am always restless, tossing and turning in the tent when I go camping. That's why I always try to avoid camping. 
The light house here in Tanjung Tuan is known as the oldest in Malaysia.  From the raptor watch exhibition, we walked all the way up to the light house.  From here, we followed the trail down to the beach.

We were supposed to follow our PD friends for cliff climbing but we changed our mind and we ventured out on our own.  Upon reaching the beach area, I decided to trek along the rocky beach to go to the campsite.  It was a fun thing to do but I opted for the land trail after a while considering it turned out to be tough for my female colleagues.
This is the cliff that I'd climb one of these days!
We reached back the campsite about noon and after a long rest, we went back to our car.  It was an enjoyable experience for all of us.  It was the first time camping for some of us.  Personally, I don't mind to come back again for camping and to explore the other trails in Tanjung Tuan and to cliff climbing.