Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gunung Berembun

Gunung Berembun is located at Cameron Highlands.  Peaked at 1,836m above sea level, it normally takes about three hours to reach the summit. We used the trail labeled as Jungle Walk No. 6 located right behind Kem Sungai Pauh.  The mountain is quite high but why doesn't it take long to reach the summit?   The answer is Cameron Highlands itself is an elevated land that is 1,500 meters above sea-level.  If that was true, we only climbed for about 300 meters?  Yup!  The next question; but then if it was only 300 meters why did it take so long to reach the summit?  The answer to that is the height doesn't matter much but the distance to reach the summit that matters.  The first CheckPoint; Persinggahan LBT is about 2 km from the campsite!   

I had a good sleep after popping in panadol and piriton due to sneezing.  The dusty tent must have caused me to sneeze incessantly.  I never got the time to clean the tent, after using it, I folded it and put it in my backpack and it stayed there until the next camping trip!  The temperature must have dropped to 15 ˚C that night , it was cold and the sleeping bag helped me a lot to stay warm! It was a sunny day when we started hiking at 8.30am.  The signboard at the entrance stated that the journey to reach the peak was 3 hours.  We were ready for that with enough snacks and water. And we left after a breakfast of burnt pancake!  
After going through muddy traps at the beginning of Jungle Walk no. 6, we were welcomed by breath taking view of the forest.  It was unlike any other forest area that we have been, we had the feel of being in high country with cool climate.  Any of our pictures may not be able to depict the beauty of the forest area.  We felt as though somebody had laid out carpet for us to walk on as the ground was covered with dry pine leaves.  However, the same feeling was gone when we came down as the dry leaves can be slippery!
This picture was taken at Persinggahan LBT, the first Check Point, about 2 km from the campsite.  It was also the end of Jungle Walk No. 6.  We didn't know that Persinggahan LBT was a Check Point with good facilities to rest, about 10 minutes before that we took our first 'take five' that lasted about 10 minutes.  On the way back, we stopped here again and we met a Caucasian couple.  They were already thinking of going back using Jungle Walk No. 6 (to Mardi) but we convinced them to go up the peak of Gunung Berembun.  When it rained upon reaching the campsite I wondered how they were like trekking in the rain!

Yes, it was only 3 hours but the trails were challenging too.  When we saw this window of light, we were excited as we thought the summit was just around the corner! Our excitement was short-lived as the summit was no where in sight and it was just a false peak!
When we reached this area, again, we thought that the summit was just around the corner.  And this time, we were right, the summit was just about 5 minutes away.
We reached the summit in 2 hours including a 10 minutes 'take five' in between.  Yes, another mountain conquered and a lot more to go!  From here we had a good view of Cameron Highlands (not sure which side though) and the temperature was slightly cooler even though it was already bright and sunny.  We rested for about 30 minutes by having snacks and taking a lot of pictures! As usual, going back was faster and we completed the journey in less than 4 hours. 
At the peak I saw this trail, it seemed heading to another mountain that I had no idea what it was! And I wasn't ready to explore either as we had other plans at the campsite!   
As a summary, if someone were to ask me, how difficult it is to climb Gunung Berembun?  It wasn't a walk in the park but it was close, perhaps slightly more challenging.  And I don't mind to come here again with my colleagues!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kem Sungai Pauh

How to Get There?
It's located in Cameron Highlands, inside the compound of Jabatan Hutan Cameron Highlands.  To those who are familiar with Cameron Highlands, the exit from the main road is at Smokehouse Guest House.  Upon taking the exit, you will pass Telekom Malaysia building until you reach a small round about.  Take a 3 o'clock turn and drive down until you see Jabatan Hutan at the corner. Upon entering, you will pass through a security booth.  Drive further inside by taking the first left turn until you reach a dead road where you can park your car.   

The place can be quite popular during weekend, therefore it's advisable to call them first to check whether there's any spot left at the campsite.  I was busy at the office and forgot completely to call them before going there.  Yet, I was lucky as there were not many campers at that time.  

We parked the car right at the entrance of the campsite.  The entrance fee is RM5.  However, they never came to collect the money from us and we left without paying.  The parking area is just in walking distance, therefore it's okay if you were to bring along of stuffs.   

The campsite is furnished with the basic amenities like toilet, shower room, surau, gazebo and BBQ area.  The water from the tap is supplied from the mountain, therefore it's freezing cold.  You must be adventurous to stay here otherwise you'd end up complaining there was no hot shower!  Unfortunately, the cleanliness of the toilet is not up to the mark.  The doorknobs were gone and the toilet flush was not working too.  It's also advisable to bring a lot of bottled water, the water can be dirty when it rains!

One of the many gazebos located at the campsite.  The water from the stream may not be as cold as those from the tap.  However, it's still freezing cold.  Nevertheless, I took a dip in the water in the morning before leaving for KL. 

The campsite was lighted at night so it's okay if you don't bring your torchlight.  And you can bring along your handphone charger too as the power sockets are available at some gazebos and in the surau. 

It can be chilly at night especailly when it rains.  Don't forget to bring along your sleeping bag.  Blanket may not be thick enough!

This is the BBQ area.  Please bring along your charcoal and portable stove.  It was funny as I bought my portable stove and gas but I forgot completely to take it out from my car.  We ended up buying new stove.  I am not a regular coffee drinker, but I must say when I had my coffee there it tasted so good.  Must be the weather!    

This is the bridge that links the campsite and the amenities area. 
We were here as we planned to climb Gunung Berembun.  The trails were located right at the back of the campsite and it's labeled as Jungle walk No. 6.  

I will talk about Gunung Berembun in my next entry!