Taman Negara - the jungle
18 Apr 2007
We left the lovely cool climate of the highlands, and chris who was moving on to Thailand, and swapped it for the hot, steamy interior of the jungle! And man it was hot, we lost a few pints of sweat just looking for a place to stay!
We met a couple of people on the bus on the way over so spent most of our time with them, which was nice. There was Mat and Leanne who were travelling down SE Asia and Martin who was also going up like us.
We all set out the first morning to do the canopy walk, a suspended bridge, over a 40m canyon! When we got there, an hrs walk into the jungle it turned out to be a ladder with a wooden plank layed across it which was suported by ropes! Great stuff!
We had to stay 5m away from each other all the time and it really swung around when you were walking across but we all made it safely to the other side and got a great view over the jungle!
Next we thought it was a good idea to go to one of the look out points, it was only 1km away but they didnt tell us it was a vertical route! We had to haul our sweaty bodies up the side of the hill with ropes, it was hard going but the view was awesome! We hiked down the other side and came to a swimming point in the river, we were straight in, no messing! It was so nice just to cool down, it looked dirty but what the hell we were boiling! Turns out it was just sediment in the water so no-one was gonna come down with owt!
We had our tea in a floating restaurant on the river, not good when a boat went past, it felt like you'd had one too many! The food was nice though and Mat and leanne introduced us to curry puffs, litte pies filled with currried veg! They were lovely and we ended up buying all the curry puffs on the village stall!
We found a hotel that served beer that night, took some doing i might add, and had a few a played pool. We were joinded by a huge praying mantis that landed on the table, James and Mat (who has a degree in photography) were there for ages taking it in all lights and angles, it was quite funny!
The next day we hiked to a bat cave, about 1.5 hrs away! Me and James decided to wear our sandles for this walk coz there was a river running through the cave and we didnt want to get our boots wet!!! What a mistake, it had been raining and the leeches were out in force, we didnt stop still for very long! It was made worse when James saw one on his foot! "Lighter, lighter" he shouted you have to burn them off but luckily for him it didnt get a hold and he flicked it straight off. That was not the end however!
We got to the cave and descended into the depths using the guide rope, pitch black and hundreds of bats it was a real adventure but the getting covered in bat poo was not all that great!
Anyway we were in the cave, in a bit where the light came in from the roof when I looked down and saw a huge fat leech right next to James's foot, so gross it was fat with blood! It turned out that 2 leeches had made it onto his foot and one had a great feast, there was blood all over his foot where it sucked him and now theres a nice round healing bite mark!!!
After we emerged from the cave, stinking pretty bad we walked back to the river and the village we were staying and decided to shoot some rapids on one of the local long boats. We got pretty wet but only coz the boat was so low in the water! The 'rapids' were just fast flowing bits of river really but we got a boat ride and abit cleaner so we were happy!
We left the jungle, and Martin, who was going ahead of us to Penang, to head out to an isalnd off the east coast, where we are now, so we are updating from this island and internet is way slow and powered by a generator so we will put some pics on for you in a few days when we get back onto the mainland!