Taman Negara Forest
Jerantut Travel Blog› entry 51 of 54 › view all entries
We woke up from our hostel in Jerantut in time to get on a bus at 8:30am that would take us to the boat to go to Teman Negara forest. We didn't have enough time to get breakfast so we just bought some bread at a store and got a chicken omelette to go and ate on the bus. We were on the bus for 25 minutes and then it dropped us off at a jetty where we would take a boat to Kuala Teheman, a small village next to the forest.
When the boat arrived to take us I thought it was the wrong boat! It was a sort of like a long wooden canoe-boat which we were expected to be on for 3 hours as we cruised down the river. You sat on the floor with a padded wooden board behind you.
We arrived at the forest around noon. Teman Negara forest/jungle is a national park in Malaysia and a huge and famous jungle. There are many trails, caves, and sites to explore. We first tried to find out about what to do and whre to sleep. We thought about camping in a hut within the forst, but the nearest one was still 2.5 hours walking but we planned on catching a bus tomrow morning at 8am, so would not have enough time if we camped. So we had no choice but to stay at a geusthouse in Kuala Teheman [village right across the river from forest].
Now we were finally ready to explore the jungle. First we had to take a water taxi across the narrow river to the other side where the entry to the jungle was. We followed the signs to the first trail we were interested in doing which was the canopy walkway. We walkd fo about 2 km on a trail through the jungle to get to th entrry of th canopy walkway. This was a bridge suspended between trees high off the ground so you can walk through part of the jungle at the lvel of the tree-tops. It was really cool! we really enjoyed seeing the area from this viewpoint.
Next we walked to another trail. This trail was a loop and in the middl was a nice outlook spot of the jungle. The trail was tough, mostly uphill climbing over tree roots deep in the jungle. Ofcourse it was hot, lots of bugs out and huge fallen trees somtimes blocking the trail, sometimes slippery mud in spots. We got to th outlook and enjoyed the view and then finished back about 2 km from the outlook to the end i think. Towards the end we detoured to a watering hole nearby where you could swim. It was a part of the river and there were many other toursists there swimming, though we had hardly seen any other people at all th whole time we were on the trails.
By now it was about 5pm. There was one more trail Steve really wanted to do here. It was a trail that led to a cave and through it. It was about 2.8 km one way getting to the cave and th same distance back. We had to take a boat the small distance across the river in a different direction to get to the trail starting point. We started on the trail and it quickly got quite difficult.
On the way, I felt something slimy on my shirt, I reach to brush it away and it stuck to my finger! It was a leech, a disgusting sticky worm-like thing, i flung it away from my finger. I had read about leeches in our guidebook, that they came out in force after it rained in this jungle. Then, a few moments later, I felt an itch on my ankle. I scratched it but felt that something was there.
I reach the geusthouse and take a shower right away, with my clothes on at first since I got so muddy and gross. I discover another bleeding spot on my thigh, that was from a leech though the leech is nowhere to be found. I wash up, and bandage my wounds.
After changing and calming down from my leech experience, I now began to worry about Steve. Imagining him, covered in leeches, breaking his leg on the trail or getting lost. I walked back to the boat dock and wait for him. I brought the guidebook along to read, but I can't read because all I can do is worry about Steve. I asked the tour guide desk people about how long it takes on the trail and back, and they give me bad news, that we started too late on the trail and it typically takes 3 hours roundtrip on the trail. I calculate that since Steve.
Steve is safe, but gotta go now, more to come later!!!