I am a celebrity get me out of here

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Agoh Chalet

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, September 25, 2009

Nigel: After the jungle train from Kota Buru, we spent a night in Jerantut before we headed off to Taman Negara, which is one of the national parks in Malaysia. The bus we were to get on to go to the park was very old looking and comfort was not number one priority, but the journey was OK and after an hour we had reached our destination. On this occasion we booked our accommodation in advance as we were unsure how busy it would be. The place we choose was a small chalet which was situated just outside the park, it had very basic amenities but for what we paid for it we couldn't complain. However what we didn't realise when we booked was that we had our very own alarm clock that was in the form of a cockerel, that would wake us up very early in the morning. The National Park is surrond by rivers that is only accessible by boat from where we were staying. You pay around 20p per person and the boat will drop you off on the jetty the other side. Its only a small stretch of water and takes less than a minute. Also situated on the side we were staying on were several floating restaurants and shops which were a bit difficult to get to as most of them you had to wade through water. Once you are in the park you have to buy a pass to enter and a photography pass which seemed a bit expensive but it was
well worth it when you get in. Our first sighting of any wildlife was a couple of monkeys that were swinging in the trees not far from the entrance. The park has several different areas that you can go to and when you pay the entrance fee you also receive a map outlining all the activities,walks etc. including there distance to them. We had heard that there was a canopy walk which is the highest canopy in the world. The first day we decided to go there a little later in the afternoon so the walk wouldn't be too tiring with the heat. The walk is a lot longer than we anticipated, but we managed to get there after about 40 minutes only to find it closes at 3pm. The most annoying thing about it was the park people didn't tell us that it closed at this time and neither did 2 other people that had come from there. One thing we did see interesting along the walk was a tree had fallen over and the roots and base were still sticking out of the ground. The picture of Alison shows how tall it was. It was massive. The next day we went back to the canopy and we did the walk across. There are 2 sections of the canopy but on this occasion only one was open to the public. You walk along a very thin wooden & roped bridge which is connected to two large trees and supporting ropes come off it. There are 4 sections you walk along and once you reach the end of one bridge you have a platform you stand on until you get
your composure back. It is perfectly safe but you do feel slightly apprehensive when you start to walk across. The main selling point of the canopy is that you are walking just below the tops of the trees and you are able to see the jungles wildlife. Yes you guessed it just like every other time we have looked out for wildlife we saw nothing.This may have been because of Alison's screaming in fear as I started to rock the canopy. We did have a stroke of luck when we walked back.Halfway along the path there is a viewing platform which your able to go up and look out. We had been there 10 minutes or so and 2 wild deer appeared from the bushes and they come out and foraged for food.We let them eat for a little while and then we got the double barrel shot gun out and blasted them both and we had them for tea. Joke..

Alison: My feelings about going to Taman Negara were mixed. I was excited about jungle trekking and potentially seeing some wildlife but I had read that the jungle has many leeches which I wasn't so keen on!! The books that we have say that when trekking you should have roper walking boots, long trousers and long sleeved tops to prevent the leeches attacking you.
We had reasonable clothes to wear but only flimsy trainers. Mine were especially rubbish because I had only brought Puma pump style trainers which left the top of my foot exposed. There was an option to hire boots but we thought for the first walk we would try out the trainers we had and see if the area was as leech infested as the book made out. I put on some thick socks and tucked my trousers in to them. Not a good look but I didn't care as long as the leeches didn't get me! The canopy walk went well in our gear and there wasn't a leech to be seen so we started to relax. The park brochure also reinforced our new ease with the jungle as it said that there are now very few leeches as a result of the high number of tourists which
have already carried them off. On the second day we decided to do a more adventurous route to a cave which houses hundreds of bats. Again we opted against hiring gear to save a bit of
money. The route was a lot more physically demanding and difficult, especially since it had rained the night before. As we got deeper in to the jungle I noticed worm like things on the floor that stood on end as we walked over them. I had never seen a leech before but on examining them, we concluded that these worm things must be them. I felt slightly uneasy but every inch of my body was covered apart from my face and hands so I felt pretty safe. After 2 hours of walking we found the cave and were a bit shocked. We thought it would be a massive cave that you just stroll in to with loads of other tourists but in fact it was a tiny little hole for an entrance with no one there. We clambered over some massive rocks and peered in to the darkness. Luckily someone else turned up and was brave enough to take the plunge so we followed their lead and walked/crawled in to the darkness. It was very scary. Bats were squeaking and you could hear them swooshing (not swooshing as we know it Fay.....now that would be a weird sight!) past your head. As we got further in to the cave, we shone the torch up expecting to see a tall roof with bats way up high. I almost had a coronary when I saw hundreds of bats hanging
upside down from the roof about 2 meters in front of me!! It was an amazing thing to see and we got some brilliant pictures but I was glad to get out of there. On a slight high from the bat cave, we decided to walk a little deeper in to the jungle to check out another observation point that was on our map. The path was really treacherous and wet and I noticed some really dark stuff on one of my socks. I thought it was just mud until I absent mindedly reached down to itch my foot. When I touched my sock, I felt something big and squidgy and my reflex reaction was to just grab at it through my sock. When I looked at my hand, it was covered in blood! Honestly,
it was one of the worst experiences of my life. Being that far in to the jungle knowing that leeches had been able to get through my socks all along was awful. The walk back was very traumatic. I kept having to take my socks off and tear leeches from my feet at regular intervals when the ground was dry and leech free. There was a lot of blood and I still haven't reached the look back and laugh stage! Somehow Nigel managed to escape any leech attacks. I think they could smell my fear! I now have a lot more respect for the jungle and am never going in there again without all the correct equipment. The Malaysian jungle is really nothing like the New Forest!!  One thing that did cheer me up a little bit was discovering that the final of the Swedish
version of 'I'm a Celebrity' was being filmed not far from where we were walking. We were too far away to see anything but we had a bit of a nosey at the crew area. Those celebrity's are hard core to endure even one day in that jungle!!!!!
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