It is not easy to be a Nature Lover.
I thought by hugging the big trees, keeping a piece of candy wrapper in my handbag instead of throw it out of my car window and refraining myself from plucking the leaves/ flowers on the streets entitles me as NATURE LOVER. Plus, I’ve done camping in Alaska during summer adds up the “Nature Lover” in me.
This year, I am able to train myself to be spent time lesser as a mall rat and open up to ‘rough’ activity like glamping (glamour camping), jungle trekking and hiking. Be with real nature such as cold ass river, pacat dan segala binatang in the jungle. Rough ke nokk..
And I liked it.
Sleeping under the vast tent for two with decent bunk bed complete with fan and fake grass carpet? What not to like! As soon as we arrived at Tanah Aina, all I can think of is my husband! I knew he loves camping A LOT and I can’t wait to show him what camping looks like in here and I think we are about to sit on a same page! I like camping, he likes it too, soon we will built a very happy family and be all camp wilderness!
Last month my office decided to bring all of us to Tanah Aina, Raub Pahang to experience ecotourism service and program. Once we arrived, we were transported into the camping site with truck.
Dah macam pendatang haram la rasanya (felt like illegal immigrant)
..and once we arrived at the reception counter, we were greeted with nice rose syrup with lemon grass cold drink and cold towel. Felling spa sangat.
I was saying to myself “I can do this kind of camping anytime”
The package we bought was a 1 night stay with full board meals and PACKED with activities arranged by the resort:
Jungle trekking after lunch
Night walk after dinner
Morning walk before breakfast…
within few hours after arrival, suddenly we were in the cold ass river
…climbing the slopes of the hills to get to Fountain of Youth’s waterfall..
crossing a small river…
get soaked in a small river..and so on. The jungle trekking lasted for 2 hours with 45 minutes walks and little climbing and 1.5 hours swimming and watching others taking a plunge into 20 feet deep emerald waterfall pool via “leap of faith” platform jump – which is Tanah Aina’s main highlight.
But I didn’t take the jump 🙁
..and I thought my boss joking about RM 100 reward if we manage to make the jump 🙁
p/s: not my arm though!
since I quit jog for quite sometimes already, that 2 hours jungle trekking really worn me out. I slept like a highly drugged boar that night. what about Night walk? All of us skipped it and arrange our own fun games instead. And sleep like a boar.
Next morning, we took a morning ‘walk’ which almost gave me a heart attack. It was a constant incline walk to the peak of small hill for the sunrise watch. I felt like a 75 years old auntie. I had a chest pain while climbing halfway to the peak.
Anyways, I manage to climb up to the top just to find out the sky is too cloudy. So no sunshine. It sucks when I imagined it will be like a sunrise which I experienced on the top of Borobudur Temple in Jogjakarta!
Afterall.. feels like the jungle and I can be best friends already… So I decided to upgrade the experience.
The next 3 weeks after Tanah Aina, I got an invitation to join my Russian extended family to Cameron Highland. Knowing that we will be staying at the hotel and the jungle trek will only takes half day, so I said to myself, Why not?
“Jungle Trekking in Gunung Tangga – the search of Rafflesia“
It sounded very interesting to me because I thought Rafflesia only can be found in Borneo’s deep forest. So I agree to it which later, it makes me swear to stay away from any jungle/ forest activity for a year or TWO.
I should have backed down when I saw this type of jeep picking us up at the hotel.
Anyways, they made is so fun and cute by putting ‘crown’ made by paku pakis on our head. That stupid crown made us feel like a little tribal and so we are ready to take up any challenge.
Looking at its steep starting point made my thought screaming. “what the hell am I doing here, over the weekends?” My idea of weekends is staying in bed until afternoon, cook my favorite meals be lazy and continue sleep again or playing with my cats. That is why I named my weekends, “Caturday” – be lazy like a cat and playing with one.
Gunung Tangga “Tangga Mountain” situated at the border of Perak and Kelantan, sit at 6609ft high between Cameron Highland and Gua Musang to be exact. It s a secondary forest and currently is care under private organization to preserve it from animal poaching, logging and extreme farming.
After 20 minutes or so we were allowed to stop for a quick rest. Trust me, I was panting like a dog in that picture.
And damn, our guide keep telling us it is not much far left, only 30 minutes more to reach our destination.
Since I didn’t hear any complain from these people, so I just whining on my own, do the screaming in my chest.
along the way, we saw few things which is not available at the shopping mall, or on the streets. This is wild ginger flower.
More and more climbing. I tell you, 70% of the route is climbing, 20% down slope and 10% is a flat ground. ONLY 10%.!!!!
and these people made it like walking in the park on a beautiful day. Seriously! Some of them only wear Crocs rubber shoes without the socks on!
So this is flat ground I was talking about.
…and milipede here is much bigger than milipede in the city
we had a 5 minutes stop again and listening to our guide explanation. So I took my time to pose with this big tree. After 1 hour, our guide still told us it won’t be that far left. 20 minutes left! 10 minutes left!
we went down again..
The good thing about this program is that, YOU CAN’T QUIT! You have to continue by all means. Even crawl.
and up. Still, I didn’t hear a single whine from these Russian! All I heard is “ohh this is so beautiful! I like it!”. I mean, seriously, I knew they don’t go to gym or jog. They eat fat food just like me. Or is it the Vodka makes them so energetic and strong??
They keep the excitement about this climbing constantly and even got their face a mud paint from the river we crossed to make it more tribalicious.
AND FINALLY!! Finally we found the flower when my tears are about to come out. Well, the flower isn’t bad at all. It took 15 – 18 months for Rafflesia flower to grow up to its full size and only last of 7 days before it dies 🙁
No, this flower isn’t poisonous. The reason why you can’t touch it is because your touch can shorten its life span.
If that flower has a malicious intention, it simply can swallow me alive with that size.
After a few minutes posing with the flower, return back to our jeep using the same route, again 🙁 But, I guess it is better since instead of constant climb, we are now going down. But my ankle already killing me.
On our way down, we stopped by at few rest stop and served with fresh water trapped in the young bamboo.
Another things that is so scary about this expedition is, you got forest bees flying and sit on your arms, neck, legs, sipping on your sweat. You can’t slap them like mosquitoes or else you will get the sting. All you can is to constantly shake your body like having ADHD.
At the end of the climbing, we were told that, there is no specific mileage for this program. The route can be as far as to the tip of the mountain depending where the flower is. So I guess we were lucky enough to be able to see the flower within 2-3 hours climb.
After 1 hour walking down back to the foot mountain, I swear to myself that no more climbing and be near any forest for a year or two. That’s how to describe how tired I was.
So, I don’t know. By having this feeling, does it make me a Nature Hater instead of Nature Lover?
Well I don’t give a fuck anymore. At least I’ve been there and done that.
NOW all I need is a beach vacation!!!!!!
Nature's wonder at its best! Attribution : brewbooks. Image: Tropical forest (here). Mists descend slowly. Moisture rising from warm creeks. Embroiled in mid-air. Shrieks of cricket fill the air. With bird chirpings in tandem.
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