A wonderful river trip, not so wonderful jungle creatures

Taman Negara Travel Blog

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Heading to the inner jungle

Up early with the roosters today - we had a boat to catch.  We had splashed out and hired a sampan to take us deep into the jungle, away from all the noise and people.  We got into our sampan (after the driver's mate had finished bailing out) and we then had a wonderful river journey, going up rapids, past thick, dense jungle and passing only the odd boat along the way.  At one point it got a bit hairy after the bottom of the boat skidded across some rocks, but the boat survived.  Driver's mate bailed out some more.

At 10am we got dropped off at Kuala Kenian and arranged for the boat to pick us up in a few hours time.  The only sign of human activity was a few steps leading up to a lodge, now deserted.

Early morning mist
  We picked up the trail and crossed a bridge into thick jungle.  It was exciting, yet a little daunting to know it was just us and this dense tangled mass full of plants, sounds, and creatures we could not see.  The path was identifiable, but much more overgrown than any path we had ever followed, with twisted vines, huge tree roots, and fallen trees blocking our way. 

Eventually, we made the decision to turn back to give ourselves plenty of time to be back for our boat.  At this point, Diane felt an itching sensation on her ankle, which she at first figured must be a mozzie bite.  After stopping to investigate though, to her horror, discovered that there were leeches on her boots and clinging to her socks.  She took off her boot and sock, and a couple were clinging for dear life to her ankle.

We're going in!
  Now having bought a lighter a couple of days earlier exactly for this scenario, we had left it back at the chalet.  Good job really, we would probably have given ourselves 2nd degree burns anyway.  So Emma the brave came to the rescue, and pulled the little blighters off, leaving a trail of blood on Diane's leg.  We pulled a few more off our boots, but decided to leave a thorough investigation for when we got back to the lodge.  We hoofed it back to the start in record time, and sat down to de-boot.  Fortunately there were no more on our feet, but we got rid of a few more on our socks and boots.  It had rained quite heavily during the night, so we should have expected it really.  At least we had had a true jungle experience!

The boat journey back was just as fascinating.  We passed some 'Orang Asli' - original peoples - washing and bathing on the river bank.  They were completely different to any other people we have seen on our Asia trip so far -  they were very dark skinned, almost African like.  We also saw wild buffalo bathing, and a monkey walking along one of the many sandbanks.  A memorable day.

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Heading to the inner jungle
Heading to the inner jungle
Early morning mist
Early morning mist
Were going in!
We're going in!
Happy in the jungle
Happy in the jungle
Ok, so it doesnt look that impres…
Ok, so it doesn't look that impre…
Relaxing on the way back
Relaxing on the way back
Taman Negara
photo by: alvinmonteiro