Welcome to the Jungle.
Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
122Trip End Jan 01, 2009
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After landing in the half horse town of Kuala Tahan we started to amass supplies for the trek. Food - check. Sleeping mats - check. Flashlights - check. Bug Spray - double check!
Day one was an hour long canoe ride up river before the hiking started. Then it was a pretty hard, but short, 1 hour trek to our home for the night, a raised jungle hut with wooden bunk beds. Neil and Jay got their first taste of trekking in the tropical rain forest, making Arik feel good that he wasn't the only one sweating a river. We walked between huge trees, dense jungle, and trickling streams
At night we did get to see one jungle animal. The spectacular jungle rat, which we found inside our food bag. Broom in hand Arik gave him a little jab to scare him off. Jay wasn't satisfied with this, since the rat had gotten into his food as well. So he grabbed the broom and in typical Jay fashion said, "Arik, I'm going to do what you should have already done". He cocked back the broom in his hand and then looked deep into the sad beady eyes of the rat before putting down the broom and admitting he can't do it either. Neil jumped up and grabbed the broom to start swinging - ironically only after the rat had ran outside..
The next morning was going to be a long one. 8km in mid-day heat. We started early with the plan to make lots of stops along the way. There were a few river crossings, one of which we picked up our first new friend, Mr. Leech. Over the course of the day we would pick-up quite a few of these little guys, sucking away at our blood. We sweat buckets of water and stopped anywhere we could to swim and cool off. By the time we made it to the second nights hut we decided rather than drag out the time in the stinky hut, we would be better off to hike the extra 3km today, so we could get on a bus in the morning which would give us an extra day of maxing and relaxing on the East Coast Beaches. Before getting back into town we interrupted a massive wild boar mother with at least ten little babies. The mother didn't see us until we were almost between her and the piglets, which for us isn't a good thing. Jay, the Aussie, was quick to pull out his Leatherman. Then Jay carved Neil and pointed stick and gave a short briefing on how to spear a boar. "OK Neil, now if you spear the boar, make sure you spear it good, because otherwise it might keep attacking us and we don't want that".
The last stop of the day was a wide section of the river where we cooled off and relaxed. 11km done!
It was really great to squeeze in another trek on the trip, especially since we've been doing lots of eating and little moving in the last few months. While we agree the idea of hiking for 10km a day with all your food and gear on your back isn't the best idea of a vacation, once we're in the jungle or out in the forest there is almost no where else we'd rather be. Of course the best part of a trek is still the end of the day or the end of the trek.