Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gunung Besar Hantu

Wan, Azix, Liza, Azizah, Dee, Lyn & Mahfiz (front) - photo courtesy of Mahfiz

In my quest to fill up my time as much as possible, not leaving a single moment wasted, I join a group of outdoor friends in From there on, it turned out that we are constantly planning for activities. Sometimes, not all can be fit into the schedule.

Last weekend was the most interesting so far. We went for a mountain climbing in Negeri Sembilan. The mountain is called ‘Gunung Besar Hantu’ or Big Ghost Mountain (with direct translation). It is the highest peak in Negeri Sembilan at 1,462 meters. Situated about 100km from Seremban.

We started our journey on Friday night, 24th Oct’08 and came back on Monday morning, 27th Oct'08 during Deepavali public holiday (I'm sorry my Hindu friends, I missed visiting you guys this year).

A night in Jeram Gading

Friday night, 24th Oct'08 we started our journey from KL Sentral to Ampangan, Negeri Sembilan to meet up with the group leader, Mahfiz. He's one of the key person from an outdoor group in Negeri Sembilan area, namely Kenaboi Adventure. We were hungry like a wolf, so we ate first at the Ampangan area by his suggestion. Our initial plan was to have a BBQ night at one of the camp site. It turned out that our plan didn’t materialized. So instead, we spend the night in Jeram Gading playing cards till the wee hours accompanied by Wan and Lobbo as sentry.

Talking about Jeram Gading, we reached the place at around 1.00 a.m. so nothing much to see but darkness and water flowing in the river. However, from my torch light, I can tell, that it is an awesome place if ventured in day time.
Jeram Gading ('gading' means ivory) derived its name from incidences whereby elephant tusks were found in this area once upon a time in history. It used to be a resting place for Malay Rulers when travelling between Jelebu in Negeri Sembilan to Pahang State. And it is also a place of Malay religious ritual of 'Mandi Safar' (bathing in the river or sea to wash away bad luck).

Kg. Chennah

Morning 25th Oct'08, 7.30am we headed for breakfast at Kg. Chennah in Jelebu. We had 'nasi lemak' and bought over ration at the nearby groceries. We met with Amir, another key person from Kenaboi Adventure. Mahfiz managed to persuade him to guide us to Gunung Besar Hantu.
At the coffee shop, we got to see the simple kampong life. It facinated your soul that even a cat could attract your attention :)

Around 9.30am, We went to Amir's house to prepare for equipments and to start packing our bags. It was a cute kampong house that anyone would admire. We got to know his mother, Mak Long who was very humble and friendly. She took us all into her hospitality with warmth embrace of a mother. Dee and Azix, two of our team members arrived at around 10.00am.

Our friends, Man Tibet and Lobbo who were assigned to take us with 4WD to the trekk has been arriving at Mak Long house before Dee and Azix but still we were stuck waiting for our pack lunch to be readied. We forgot to order earlier. It took so long to get it delivered. The menu was 'Cendawan Kukur' and 'Chicken Chilli'. Around 12.15noon we managed to get into the Toyota Hilux, heading to our starting point of hiking.

Kg. Tohor and a ride on 4WD

Our next destination was Ponak Camp Site to stop for lunch. Before we reached there, Mahfiz and Man Tibet stopped at a nearby aborigine village, i.e. Kg. Tohor to get ourselves a few stick of Lemang (glutanuos rice with coconut milk cooked in bamboo). It was made by the aborigine people of Temiar Tribe which inhabited the Jelebu area. Coincidentally, they are also celebrating their festive day. All cheerful and colourfully attired especially the children.

We got ourselves what we aimed for, the lemangs. We head straight to Ponak Camp Site to stop for our lunch. The initial plan was to have our BBQ dinner there a night earlier, but since we were too late, it has to be canceled. The place was breathtakingly beautiful. Suitable for leisure camping with BBQ, guitar and camp fire. Sigh... I wish... (that was meant for a repeat).

Getting to Orchid Camp Site

At 2.00pm we reach our starting point. It took us about 30 minutes to get ready with our things, photo taking and prayer citing. The aim was to jungle trekk to Ochid Camp Site which is about 900 meters above sea level. That will be the place for us to camp that night. We targeted to reach there in within 4 hours time.

So off we go... my goodness, I realised how unfit I was. The sometimes muddied trail gets into your psych and it slowed you down. You got tired easily. This can't be happening to me. I just feel so dejected by the fact that my body was failing me.

Sg. Kering (taken by MahF15)

On the way to Ochid Camp, we took a stop in Sg. Kering at 3.30pm. A very beautiful river with clear water. We replenish our water supply over there. Then head straight again to our destination.

We reached Orchid Camp Site at around 6.30pm. When we reached there, we met up with 82 campers who just got down from the peak of Gunung Besar Hantu because they trekked a day ealier than us. We barely had enough space to build our tent. Lucky that Mahfiz talked Jeman, one of the other guide to relocate his tent to some other place. With only 8 of us, a fly and a ground sheet were more than sufficient for the night.

Wild Orchid which grows in abundance; the origin of the camp site name
(Photo taken by Wan with Sony DSC200)

The 82 camper.

As usual I was the designated cook for the night (only cook in the jungle, not in real life). It was nice to contemplate the jungle night life. I learned how a banshee may sounds like (if you all belief me – no wonder they call it Big Ghost Mountain, very noisy lonely Banshee circling the camp),crickets, and whatever monkey species were heard too. I don’t really feel scared because there were too many people around. We continued with playing cards till wee hours and chatting till almost no time to sleep. The wake up time was at 4.00am! Oh dear!

The Summit

We've made it!
(From MahF15 Camera - taken by Lyn)

26th Oct'08 at exactly 5.28am (Mahfiz time), we started our journey to the top. Our aim was to see the sunrise. The track was all upwards that sometimes almost vertical. However, trekking in the dark makes it a lot easier when you don’t see the real heights.

7.32am (Mahfiz time – my time keeper Azizah has forgotten her role this time, sigh…), we've made it to the top!!! It was soooo breathtakingly beautiful from up there. You can even see clearly Genting Highland buildings. Other mountains like Nuang and bla bla bla (can not recognize cause I have not yet climb them) can be seen. The sky was blue… everything was perfecto!!! Superb!! Marvelous!! Mwah! Mwah!

Congratulations to Mahfiz, Wan, Azizah, Dee, Azix and Lyn. Not to forget, Amir, Man Tibet, Lobo and Mak Long, a heartfelt gratitude for everything :)


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