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By: Rasidah Jaafar

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Wednesday, 18-Mar-2009 04:46 Email | Share | Bookmark
Camping out at Lata Kijang, Jelebu NS

It has been almost a year that the gears were neatly tucked and gatheried dust. Back in June last year, the camping plan fell thru because we couldn't locate the site..so the gear went back in..clean as a whistle...

Earlier trips to other waterfalls were all captured on non digital camera.... sorry friends...

But this time around, we were adamant to camp and would like to theme this trip..."Cuti...Plan Suma Lari...".

Why???
1st, Along was to follow but last minute, his leave plan was not approved

2nd, we were to go on Sunday 15th to Tuesday 17th,but the date had to changed to 19th to 21st..all busy with work, except for me

3rd, we didn't camp till 19th but had to leave on the 20th for a nephew's engagement. We weren't sure of the date but decided that the event can logically be on Saturday 21st and deep inside the jungle, we have no communication service to confirm..so follow our gut feeling

4th, we were back in civilisation around 1am on 21st and found out the kenduri bertunang is after Asar on 21st instead of around noon,

5th, we couldn't trip home that 21st night and to have whole on 22nd to clean up the gears cause the bertunang itself is on the 22nd

6th, we got home on 22nd evening and found our palm plant chop down by our "no budi bahasa" new neighbour....

Amidst all above, we managed to maintain the good spirit and fun and adjusted as we go along...whew...

Lata Kijang is the waterfall with the highest nearly 300ft single drop in Malaysia. Comments made are, it is an amazing sight. It is 20km into the Kenaboi Jungle Reserve in Jelebu and accessible halfway from Semenyih winding road toward Kuala Kelawang.



The 20km road is partly tarred or cemented or gravelled or none and full of pot holes. The bridges are fortunately,properly built, no longer of logs. The hills are at some stretched, steep up and down thus if you are not in 4WD, you need to have lots of guts and is an adventure seekers to thrive the toil.. . But compare to the drive to Jerangkang Waterfall in Pahang, this drive was tame but tooooo timey



We passed thru few orang asli settlements whose small population still leading the tradisional life of farming, bamboo and rotan selling and daily catch of fish using sharp stick. Some of the huts are still made of bamboo and atap daun. Common mode of transport-kapcai. But they are friendly bunch when we ask for direction to the waterfall.

Shame..shame..I mis-calculated the fuel..not factoring in the low gear drive 70% of the time so that after 2 hours and just 100m from the Lata Kijang, we stopped for a break and re-considered the direction...driver pun dah penat...



U-turn took us to a fantastic campsite, managed by NS tourism.Since most of the time the facilities is used by 4WD campers, the campsite is only accessible by crossing a knee deep river or thru a bridge of a fallen tree.

The camping ground sits on a "peninsular", surrounded by clear water rushing down the Kenaboi River. The current was tame, depth range from knee to chin high. Certain stretch offers rapids..such an amazing setting and all to ourselves...Raja Brooke butterfly and Purple/Pink Dragon Fly were aplenty and ready to rest on your fingers, if you let them...





My husband parked the car by the riverside and we transfered our car load gear across the river onto the campsite.



An hour later, we all set for the night, the kids were off to enjoy the water and me...preparing dinner..





BBQ Lamb Chop tuh....



After dinner, the kids rested in their tent and ready to call it a day around 9pm, my husband and I, on the other hand, chit chat over hot coffee and honeyed tea till past midnight...the air was chilly and sound of the critters filled the night...so basic and soothing to unwind...glad we have campfire for warmth.....tomorrow sure was offering another adventure to look forward to..

We started the friday on high carbo..nasi lemak with sambal bilis, egg and cucumber. Once all cleaned up, we started our river trekking. Below are the "trekkers" plus the photographer k!!



Some of the river bed were sandy but some were with mossy or sharp rocks so we were super carefull..water was clear and cool...not a single plastic bag or can sighted all the way...we also came across unique wild orchids..





We went thru few rapids...and the serene sorrounding intermittenly disturbed by the kids scream of excitement as they slided with the fast current





The kids ended up with lots of bruishes in exchange for fun sliding down few rapids...me..being the slowest..free of any but gained few species of wild orchids...attained by my darling husband..mind you that we only took few stems, we re-planted the balance..we are not to destroy but to leave nature as untouched as possible...

The swim and slide wwere fun, but we kept close under the sunlight but the water was still cold...tengok je Farah



After about 3 hours of trekking, fully charged on rapids, swimming, nature and dragon flies , we headed back to campsite, trekking should be faster since we were no longer against the current but the man decided to have an easy ride...on bamboo raft he and Hakim made....but wife not allowed..lebih muatan



But ended up, Hakim ter"letgo" the raft and it slided with the current and beyond our reach

The kids abandoned us as we waddled our way back, enjoying the jungle plants and critters. When we reached the campsite, then continued swimming and bathing





Somehow we got into this discussion about going back to Melaka, must be Hakim's statement.."Let's go back to civilisation"... ..no phone..no ps..he must be in so much pain, other than those from the colateral damages he got from the rapids..

We were sure when was the nephew's engagement and Sunday the 22nd is most likely not to be since the next day is the school back from break. It was most logical to be on Saturday 21st and if we do not pack up today, we will miss the whole occasion...mmmm....then it was decided we will leave late evening today

I got out of the water and walked back to campsite to prepare lunch. The rest of the gang followed and start packing gears. As we had lunch, it drizzled then rained. Such nice weather to out-wait the rain that I crawled into the tent for some ZZZZZ...the kids were still enjoying the water till the rain was too heavy and they crouched in their tents..

We must have dozed off around 1 hour, when I was awaken by Angah's calling...."Mommy, ade orang carik abah"..I woke my husband up and pulled the blanket over me, as chill setted in. The man walked out blurred. The tourism guy pointed out that water was rising fast and might reached our car across the river. Too much was going on outside that I had to forget the nap and joined the kids, witnessing the huge flood of muddy water instead, gushing down the river around us.



The river level was rising in tremendous speed and we could only watched from far when our car was swerving left to right as my husband was steering the car out of the muddy uphill path, putting in some distance from the nearing water. The car slided time and time and thank god, he managed to swerved the car out..tabik le abang..watching also need guts tau..inikan yg jadi driver...

He parked the car on the other side of the river where the access to the campsite is treading across a "make do bridge" out of a fallen tree. Minutes after my husband crossed the bridge, it was totally submerged..there goes our only way out of here and time was around 5pm..

Just look at the river and where's the bridge !!!!



As not to waste any time, we still packed up in the rain and sheltered them under the BBQ shed. Gears wee re-packed to ease the carrying across the bridge...we just have to wait out the flood till the bridge is accesible. Around 7pm, most of the bridge sections were appearing and we have to make a move before it got too dark and too difficult to move using torch lights.

Mosquitoes were swarming and attacking us like vulcers. Hakim ears were turning red and warm from all the bites, Nurul and Farah were wildly attacked, being on the riverside too long waiting for their turn to cross. We had to pass the gears first, part by part to the other side of the river. I was the last to cross and when we reached the end, we had to hang on few trees since the ground to step on was still underwater...

I was so proud of the kids, very little or no complaint, good teamwork, high spirited and plenty of laughter..imagine we had to carry minimum of 2 bags/boxes up mud hills, got our sandals stuck in the mud, walked up barefoot, most of the time in the dark, then had to come down hill, to pick up more things....mind you, some of the gear weighted no less than 5kg..not to mention to carry across the car battery to gen. our lights...thank you children..ROMP jeans on mommy k!!!!

We made 3 stops and up 2 hills before we reached the trunk of the car. It was nearly 8pm and pitch black except for light from the torch. We were no longer bothered what's around us..we just want to finished packing into the car and got out. There were mud all over, inches on our feet and slipper and no way to wash off. Wet grass ease a little bit but the thought of leeches waiting.. ..into the car and out..

One more issue to settle, fuel was barely enough for the 20km trip out, better not to take any risk. So we stopped at the kampung orang asli, asking for any supply of petrol we can purchased. We were lucky if we can get petrol in a bottle here, all the orang asli are using kapcai to commute. We must be such a sight to see that most of the orang asli were opening their windows and doors watching my husband fueling the car from bottles..about 10 of them.. ..first time ever...



The orang asli kids were adorable and I got to know they have to commute a 20km bumpy ride on a 4WD to get to school everyday..whew...

One issue settled, we headed out at top speed. I was amazed at the sharpness of my husband's eyes, cheating all the potholes.. ..but at the expense of us at a very bouncy and rough ride..but like Angah blurted out..." Tak sume orang dapat pengalaman gini, so enjoy le..."

Alhamdullilah, we reached the main road around half past 9pm..passing few orang aslis on kapcai using only torchlight to light the way..amazing kan?

The way home to Melaka was smooth but with a stop at Kuala Kelawang Petronas, all walking barefoot and muddy. The cleaner gave us one look when we left and he went in the restroom with soap and mop

We reached Acik house half past midnight. Unload the muddy gears, had warm bath and cleaned off the stubborn mud...tomorrow was reserved to sight what we have dragged out of the jungle...ouch...

All in All, it was a trip not deprived of adventure and fun and the bigger kids were so grateful of the civilisation that they were born into and it was apparent by the joy they showed in the car when the phone signal was back and ton's of messages flooding in....I can only hope

Thank you to my darling man for relieving me off the work stress, time and time..what can be more valuable than spending few hours just merapu over hot coffee, with sound of water gushing by...

To Lata Kijang...we have not seen you..we will come back soon..you are to be conquered...


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