Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gunung Senyum 2007 Day 1

Senyum was fantastic. I got to visit 3 new caves which I didn’t go the last time and it was the best among all the other caves there. We totally were smitten by Gunung Senyum and Jebak Puyuh and despite the leech bites, insect bites and the aches and pain; those who went on this trip can’t seem to stop talking about it.

We wanted to leave at 5am but some (actually one) as usual woke up late and we landed up leaving past 6am. It was a lovely drive and the weather was not too hot. Altogether there were 4 cars in the convoy (Daniel, Me, Andrew and Kham). We all kept to the speed limit except for Kham who insisted on driving at 80Kph on a 110kph highway so naturally he was left far behind. That was until we reached Karak highway, with its steep inclines which was not good news for my car… Not enough my car is slow on the slopes, it was also packed to the brim (overloaded) food, camping gear, Chelva and Dono. I couldn’t even pass 50kph at one point. So eventually all the cars over took me and Kham eventually very slowly over took me too. Damn Satria 1.3….

(*the sunrise on the way there)
I caught up with Kham once we past the hilly area and tried to encourage him to get up to speed …at least to the speed limit. I gave up after a while and decided to catch up with the others. After some TOP GEAR style driving maneuvers through some tantalizing corners we caught up with Dan and Andrew.

We reached Temerloh at about 7.45am but had to wait about half an hour for Kham to join us as we continued on to the Senyum turnoff where we stopped for breakfast. It toke about 45 minutes to reach the Senyum campsite and we immediately got ready for the first days hike at around 9.45am
(*Temerloh!!!!.Daniel clowning around while we were waiting for Kham)
Gunung Senyum is very close to the campsite so it wasn’t long before we were in Gua Angin a windy cave massive with luminescent moss and plants. Next was Gua Terang Bulan which was an even bigger complex with an opening where light streamed in. The last time I was here, a single beam of light came shining down to the ground…. Now that was cool…but this time it wasn’t as dramatic.

(**Senyum!!.................................. *Kham on our first trail)

(*Gua Angin............................*Its huge)
We then backtracked towards Angin and made our way up to Gua Taman Satu and Taman Dua. This place is full of stone formations which look like coral and plants. You really wonder how it got this way…simply Amazing!

Up the hill and down again will lead us to Gua Gajah, named after the wall surface that looks like an Elephant. We did not go in further because of a sign that read Caution! no entry!

A steel staircase leads us up to Gua Makam Tok Long. Tok Long was a legendary warrior (I think during Hang Tuah’s time) who used to reside in Gunung Senyum. When he died he was buried here. Out of respect I did not take any pictures of his tomb.
(**on the stairs leading to Gua Makam............*Silat Time)
Not far from Gua Makam is Gua Silat. This is where Tok Long practiced his ‘silat’ moves. After we did some silat moves of our own we stopped for lunch at Danau Impian.
(**Where we stopped for lunch................*Danau Impian)
After some chow and some much needed rest we headed to Gua Telaga Tujuh (7 wells, thks for the translation Fi’). The last few times I’ve been here all seven wells were dry but because of the amount of rain we have been getting this past few months it was all filled with water. Cool…
(*Telaga Tujuh..Group photo, rain enters Telaga Tujuh here)
Towards the other side of Senyum there are two caves which I wanted to visit. But when we got to the trail leading to these caves it was over grown with plants. And to top it off the rain had formed a small stagnant river which we had to cross. So just imagine this… 11 city folk being lead blindly into the jungle by a fat, tired Indian whose legs just gave way halfway and had to sit down for awhile… kekeke… im sure they were cursing me.. kekeke… It toke me a while to find the trail again of which I found by accident …. Some actually wanted to go back to the campsite. Luckily there were a few who wanted to carry on and convinced them to continue the hike.

Well…. we finally did find Gua Kelawar. It has the largest amount of Bats living in the area and because of this the cave floor is covered with Guano (Bat popo). Billions of different kinds of bugs can be seen crawling on the floor all devouring the Guano which leaves a dark chocolate powder like earth on the floor of the cave. When you shine your light on the floor it looks like the floor is moving… way cool.. like something out of Indiana Jones… of by the way… I think I don’t have to tell you how bad the smell was…
(*Entrance to the Bat Cave.... *Checkout Chin's Sexy shorts)

The last cave of the day was Gua Nisan. There was a tough climb that some of us took to get to the top a ledge… We got a good view of the entrance of the cave from there… very nice..
(*Clearing the campsite........................................**All done)
It took us just as long to get out to the trail which leads us back to the campsite … By the time we got to the campsite it was 3pm and boy were we beat. After setting up our tents we just lazed around resting and bathing. During that time it rained really heavy. And when the rain stopped, the girls, Kham and Lau prepared dinner. I wasn’t too happy because some of them segregated themselves from the group and ate by themselves. And the same bunch went to bed early while the rest of us sang songs as Daniel played the guitar ….Oh well…. Want can I say……

Oh yah… before going to bath I accidentally kicked a small tree stub……. I started bleeding from the inside of my toe…. And I thinking …shit will I be able to hike to Jebak Puyuh tomorrow?...

Anyway my toe did feel better later……. I couldn’t wait for next day… because the caves in Jebak Puyuh are a hundred and eleventy percent more better then the caves in Senyum.


* taken by me

**taken by Chin

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