Cold showers...get used to them!

Trip Start Jul 17, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Dakili House

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, July 19, 2010

So off we set to Taman Negara, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest...130 million years old. The bus picked us up and took us to the first stop in Jerantut where we had lunch and then carried on to Kuala Tembeling where we bought out camera permits (you have to pay to use your camera there! Not expensive, but just seems silly) and hopped on to a long boat and started the 3 hour journey up the Tembeling River into the national park. Picturesque scenery as we winded our way up the murky brown water and about half way we pull up next to another long boat that has the engine pulled off the back and lying on the shore! So we wait with the other boat until someone has brought them a new engine. In the mean time Jack is teaching Jess and I how to skim stones across the river...first attempt was pathetic but by the time we were getting back on the boat I’d manage to get 5 bounces out a stone! 

We finally pull up and get out of the boat on to Mama Chop’s Floating Restaurant! We wait around thinking our accommodation is coming to collect us and our bags! Still waiting, I go and ask if we are getting picked...answer NO! So we walk to our hostel which in then end wasn’t very far at all, but looked a lot further on the map we were given! We’re greeted by a German guy in our room that only had negative things to say about his time at Taman Negara! Because of him, our expectations really weren’t very high so it made our stay here great as everything surpassed our expectations! 

First night, we go off on a night trek through the jungle. We see loads of different insects and bugs so not as exciting as you might think! The noise in the jungle is loud, like a constant ringing sound...we find out the culprit is an insect called a cicada. We reach a hide, which is positioned near a salt lick to attract animals. But as there are so many visitors that go to that hide every night, the animals decide to never go there. Pretty pointless task going if the guides know that there’s never any animals there!

Next day our 2 guides took us on a 2km trek up to one of the peaks. Our guides couldn’t have been more opposite, one of them had a permanent smile on his face and was really friendly, whereas the other one didn’t crack a smile all day! Walking in the jungle is so pretty, with the sunlight streaming through the canopy. Although the sun isn’t directly on you, the amount of sweat that insists on coming out of your pores is crazy. The canopy keeps the heat in so it’s like walking uphill in a sauna! We get to the top and the view is definitely worth don’t do it justice! We walk half way back down to the canopy walkway...30 metres high in the canopy although when you’re on it, it seems much higher! First getting on to it is a bit scary as it sways a little but you soon get the hang of it and its fun, just don’t look down too’ll see these long, quite thin trees are the only thing holding you up there!

Back to the hostel for a much needed refreshing (cold) shower! Down to Mama Chop’s for lunch where there is no alcohol on the menu. They’re not allowed to advertise it but if you know to ask for it then you’re in luck. Rapids shooting was the afternoon activity...wasn’t exactly rapids more like the guide sitting on the front of the boat and spraying water into the boat with the paddle. But it was definitely the most fun we had at Taman Negara! Even the guide who didn’t smile was laughing away! We spent the next 45 minutes riding alongside the other half of our group in another boat spraying water over each other, using anything that would act as a paddle (flip flops included). We all empty out of the boat and walk up into the Orang Asli (original people) village completely soaked! Must be weird for them to see a bunch of tourists turn up at the same time each day dripping wet! It did feel strange walking round their village, felt a bit as if we were all just there staring at them. They showed us how they made blow darts with poison on the end. We were then given the chance to have a go at shooting a dart at a target. Back up to the hostel to find out towels had gone from the washing line where we’d left them to dry! First time I’d used it as well!
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