Im a backpacker get, get me out of here.

Taman Negara Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 15 › view all entries
Been a long tiring exciting and amazing few days, a lot too remember, so here goes.

We left Kaula Lumpor on Friday am, and set off to get tickets to Tamma Negara National Park, the oldest rainforest in the world. After a comfortable 4 hour coach journey we moved on to a long boat for a further four hours. This was up a huge river, sat really ow to the water. Traelling up the river was an experience, getting wet, and seeing alot of dense rain forest,

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We arrived at the jetty point, all excited, but with no where to live. Me and Ollie lazed around and the other three found some decent digs, the bonus being is that they were just at the top of the sand dune bank, and had a tremendous view over where a tributry met the main river.

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Struggling here, I think we went out for a meal after a shower and finished the night with a couple of games of "shithead", new one on me, I guess thats why Im still the raining "shithead"

The following day, Saturday? we decided we would follow in Ray Mears footsteps and set off for a couple of days in the rainforest. I didnt know what to expect, I had heard that there were tigers and elephants in the thick of it, so was quite excited. We paid the money for the tour guide, 230 Ringet, well Ollie did, as, surprisingly, there wasn't an ATM in the jungle. Didnt really think that monkeys had much use for cash, but did expect at lest someway of getting some Ringers out.

But firstly we hit the worlds longest Canopy walk.

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Okay, youve seen "Im a Celebrity, get me out of here", and the rickety Canopy walk that the contestants walk over. Well think of that, with out the ITV budget in the middle of a developing country.

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We had to do a whistle stop tour of the canopy walk, but it was quite good, didnt see much in the way of wildlife, a couple of Rhincerous Hornbills, and some ants, wow half the way around the world, and I see some ants 45m from the ground :p oh well, it was fun. We jumped on to a river taxi back over to the jetty point and four of us set off for the two day, one night trek, Calum opting for an extra night with the natives.

Another long boat journey, three hours this time, up through some rapids, getting the marority of us soaking wet, a bit annoying considering we had limited clean dry clothes... little did we know.

We hit the ground running, Amir, the guide giving us very ittle clue of what we were about to experience. After a couple of hundered of metres, and everyone experiencing the first of hundreds of leaches on there shoes, Amir started to entertain us by describing the effects of some of the many plants to be found in the rain forest. Most of which were sex related, the funniest being, the use of bee stings to compensate for Eastern manhood size.

We continued treking up and down, and I became more and more frustrated with the amount of leaches attaching themselves to my shoes, I was getting itches in my socks, a sign of a leach bite, I had nearly had enough, but new it was just a case of getting over the fear, besides, this was a once in a life time experience, should call it a day and wimp out? Phew, a well timed break, and after checking inside my tobacco stuffed socks, (apparently it deters them?!?) I was a little more confident as had yet to be attacked by a leach . The tyreking was fantastic, plenty of sounds of various animals/birds/insects etc and more leaches.

Amir warned us not to run if a tiger or elephant were to attack and stay close to him, but if we ended up separated, then to use the jungle telephone.

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This was a hollow sounding tree that given a good whack with a stick would help Amir locate us. We did a total of four kilometers in 5 hours, ~32ÂșC and 80% humidity, never flat we were either climbing descending or crossing streams. The group kept getting split up,so us at the front had plenty of breaks whilst the others caught up. Amir picked up the pace as darkness began to fall at around 7,and we arrived at our five star bat cave at around 7.30.We set up camp in the biggest cave Ive ever been in, sometimes in the rainy season, elephants go there to keep dry.

I was drenched, thinking back at about the splashes from the rapids seemed insignificant now, my clothes were as wet as they could ever be, I had rung my tshirt out a couple of time, amusing the others, we were all in the same boat. I set up my washing line, and headed for the jungle shower/river. We all got washed in the river, whilst Amir started the dinner.

After helping prepare some carrots onions cauliflower and garlic, I sat with the rest and had a bit of a rest before dinner was cooked. Beef stew, sardine curry, and rice, absolutely amazing food, and well deserved, there was more than enough to go around. That evening consisted of general banter and a trip further into the cave to see a venomous spider that could kill a human within 24hours!! Great, it was only maybe 200m from my bed.

Everyone eventually settled down for the night, but me Saneeva and Ollie all were a bit restless and couldnt stop laughing at really stupid things. A mad Spanish guy also joined iin, and told us Little Red Riding Hood in Spanish, his deep loud voise echoed around the cave probably keeping everyone else awake. A few games were played with the finale being a farting competition. This was quite amusing as they were amplified by the echoe of the cave.

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After 5 hours sleep, I wke, had another shower in the river, this time i went naked, and bare footed being less afraid of the leaches.

After breakfast we set off for the return 4km, stopping along the way for a lunch of noodles. We spotted many tiger foot prints in the soft mud footpaths, and also plenty of elephant dung. After what seemed like an entirity we eventually arrived at a native village where we shot poisonous darts from blow pipes, and started fires using wood, great fun, but it felt difficult as the natives seemed quited closed. I gave the remnants of a packet of sweets to a young child to share.

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A final boat trip down through the rapids got us back t the jetty at around 16.30, we booked a night in the place we had previously stayed. Dropped our bags off, and I had two showers, they were frozen cold, but in the heat its okay, probably the most enjoyed showers ever.... in a rusty tin hut, no roof, mould and dirt, but still the best ever.

A good nights sleep after a few well deserved tiger beers, and we were up and ready fro a lazy day of nothing but relaxing, we met up with Calum after his additional nights stay in the jungle and made plans for the following days trip to the Cameron Highlands. The turist office offered a bus trip at ~80Ringet all in, but we went t the local bus station and orgainsed it ourseleves making a substantial saving.

Some more food on the river side and bed, ready for an early get up and a long days travelling.
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Taman Negara
photo by: alvinmonteiro