Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gunung Kutu and White Dragon

(Next: stay tuned for photos of Port Dickson International Triathlon by Jason Lee and Shukri)

Written by Jayne Aw
White Dragon

“Once upon the time, Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee. Noble kings and princes would bow to him whenever he passed by and roared out his name, while wagging his gigantic tail in the air. As years passed by, Puff loved the land so much so that he would never want to return to the sea again……………….”

As usual, come each Saturday, I would dutifully join the EBC group to perform my worshipful ritual for the EBC pilgrimage. This Saturday (11-07-09) the venue was at Gunung Kutu, a hill that tucks away a short distance from the town of Kuala Kubur Baru.

Since I don’t usually drive for long distance, I would carpool with other trekkers. And before the day of trekking, one kind soul who signed off as “White Dragon” contacted me for the arrangement……. He said he was having a cough and could only manage a cockerel cry or “woof woof” if he were to get lost in the jungle. He doesn’t mind fetching me from my home as he lives in the neighboring township. His philosophy is to deliver all his goods to the door. I graciously accepted his kind offer and requested him not to do the “woof woof” if he did not see me waiting at my door, for my neighbor is Malay. But a cockerel cry or meow meow is OK.

Jayne Aw
Gunung Kutu

The journey to KKB was a breeze and we were there before the scheduled time. More and more trekkers soon arrived and joined us for breakfast. Led by Hamdan, the entourage drove off from KKB and headed to Gunung Kutu which is a short distance away. The weather didn’t look too good as there were many dark clouds surrounding the mountains. We just prayed and hoped for the best.

The trail started with a flat terrain that is home to variety of flora and fruits, in particular durian. On the way, we met a group of campers who were having some kind of carnival at the camp site. I soon noticed a banana leaf tent standing a distance away from the campsite. While taking a closer look, a guy in white trouser was dashing towards the tent and followed by Fat Wong. Yes, that was White Dragon, couldn’t wait to do his banking business, and this was probably his second this morning.

After crossing two hanging bridges, we arrived at the stream with cascading falls which offers a refreshing point for trekkers to freshen-up after descending. We had to take off our shoes to cross the stream, unless one ddd not mind soaking one’s feet in damp sock for the whole trekking trip.

The journey continued with flat terrain, crossing a couple of smaller streams and barriers before coming to the steep climb with big rocks and boulders along the way. The trail is a combination of Pine Tree Trail and Apek Hill. Rather pleasant and not too demanding as Gunung Irau. Weather was so far so good. Along the way, we were greeted by some “freshly-dropped” durians. Someone suggested to hide the durians behind tree trunk and pick them up on the way out so we could have a durian party.

It took about 3 hours to reach the peak, which is a small clearing with two big boulders sitting majestically on top of the summit. It was windy at the peak and one could feel chilly after a while especially if one was soaked in wet t-shirt.

After unloading our food and water, the backpack became much lighter and descending was a breeze as compared to ascending, which took about 2 hours. I personally prefer the one-way terrain, i.e. all the way up and all the way down, instead of the undulating up-down terrain as going against gravity at the last stretch is torturous.

We stopped at the waterfall to refresh ourselves. It is a nice spot for overnight camping and perhaps a meditation retreat too. While relaxing in the Jacuzzi of nature, I could feel the weariness and tiredness melting away along with the gushing cool mountain water. This could be better than salon body message.

The rain clouds finally couldn’t hold anymore and made their way down. We had to quickly pack up and made our way to the car park which took another 15 minutes. Everyone was soaked in wet cloths and had to change to clean cloths before heading to Ulu Yum for dinner.

Dinner at Ulu Yam

14 of us congregated at a restaurant in Ulu Yam. Dishes ordered including the famous law mee, tomyam prawns in coconut, Guiness stout chicken wings, steamed fish, plus more………….. The most refreshing was the fresh water chestnut juice. Within a short span of time, the food was gobbled down the hungry stomachs of the worn trekkers.

After the offering to the temples of stomach, mission for today was deemed accomplished and so it was time to head for home and said Ciao to the fellow trekkers.

White dragon - In white pants

Journey Back Home

There were 4 of us in White Dragon’s car. Incidentally, the lady trekker who also loves white attire was with us, to whom I addressed as “White Phoenix”. Journey back home was filled with non-stop laughter, with the humorous conversation centered-around White Dragon.

Asked why he is not joining this year’s EBC trekking, he said KC asked him to prepare for next year’s trekking instead. So we encouraged him to go trekking in Gunung Nuang every week and to complete 6 laps up-down Batu Cave in 30 minutes to impress KC, who may change his mind.

BTW, though a dragon glides effortlessly in water but put him in a mountain, he may face handicap, as in golf game. However given time, a dragon can transform and glide effortlessly in the jungle too, just like his crawling cousins.

Well, I have yet to meet another person who can come close to White Dragon’s obsession with his zodiac animal. Someone saw a small stuffed toy in his car and was told that it is a small dragon given to him by somebody. When asked if there is a bigger stuffed dragon at home, he comically replied that he is “THE ONE”. Asked how he kept his white trousers clean during trekking, the secret was to place a tower over the obstacle, sat over it to protect the trousers. And finally I understand why he has planted Longan (dragon eye) and 20 dragon fruit trees in his house. They are all related to dragon ...

Writte by Jayne Aw
Next trekking trips:

18 July, Saturday - Bukit Tabur
25 July, Saturday - Gunung Datuk @ Seremban
Click here for photos of Bukit Tabur
Click here for photos of Gunung Datuk

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