Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leech Attack at FRIM

“There are many leeches here!” cried Cindy Lim. The word “leeches” jolted everyone from admiring or dreaming about the Crown Shyness Trees (or Kapur Trees. Hurriedly, we continued with our journey in single file meandering through the many curves of Dream Trail.
It was a wet morning on Saturday, 25 August 2012. The rain, however, did not dampen the high spirit of the group: the qiging (chi gong) members and my office colleagues proceed with the trekking as planned despite the rain that started at 6:15 a.m.
Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC).

The show must go on ... with a group of trail runners that started at similar time 

Led by yours truly (KC), we started from Dream Trail amid drizzles at 7:55 a.m.  Arriving at a signage area, the group stopped for group photos with and without the umbrellas in good laughter. We then proceeded to the location where we could view the Crown Shyness Trees (Kapur Trees). When the ‘distress call’ on leeches was signalled by Cindy Lim, everyone was busy looking on the ground and not at the sky anymore. To a few of the members, it was quite a dreadful sight seeing the 1.5-inch long creatures climbing on their shoes in full gusto.

 With Zhineng qigong members and my office colleagues ... yours truly at right.

When we connected to Rover Track, very quickly, we went to a pondok to inspect the degree of leeches attacked. From far, I could hear scream from one of the lady members upon seeing the leeches on her legs. I almost pull away 20 plus leeches from all the trekkers that need help – from very tiny ones to fairly big ones. This is the first time that I see such a short trail infested with leeches. When the inspection was completed, we continued with the journey on Rover Track but skipped the Canopy Walk Trail (as planned) for fear of more leeches attacked.

A group photo at Dream Trail 

We finally returned to FRIM Clubhouse, the place where we parked our cars. Another surprise was that the Clubhouse was still closed for celebrating Hari Raya since 19 August 2012 (Sunday), thus, no way to refresh oneself; and the eatery stalls at the far end of FRIM were closed also.

 Admiring the Crown Shyness Tress (or Kapur Trees)

Interesting quotes at the frantic moment for leeches’ inspection:
Seeing that I do not seem to have any leeches in my feet, one trekker asked: Do the leeches penetrate my Salomon Cross-max trail running shoes? If they don’t, she wants to buy one pair also.

I quipped that the person at the front of the pack would receive fewer attack as he would wake up the leeches ready to pound on the subsequent trekkers.
After this “massive leech attack” incident, a lady trekker said that many of the trekkers would not want to come again when I next hold the trekking trip.

The dreadful signal - many leeches here !! 

Big surprise on the weather:

It was reported in the TV news the night before that the weather forecast (for Saturday morning) would be a sunny morning!! Looking at the thick rain clouds in the sky, it was definitely a major blunder. The rain only stopped at around 9:30 a.m. – three hours later.

 Inspection of leeches attack

Arising from this drama/experience, it is good to spray insect repellent to ward off leeches attack. Spray Baygon (mosquito spray that can even kill crawling insects such as cockroaches) at the outside base of trekking shoes; Mosi-guard (that says proven effective against leeches by local FRIM studies) at the socks and leg area.

 Continuing the journey ... LimMF, Cheryl Tham, ChoiSN

Garmin trail map of FRIM Dream Trail and Rover Track: total distance is 8km; slow trekking takes about 2 hr 15 minutes.

Posted by KC Leong

1 comment:

Grace Lim-Clark said...

Pacat!!!! awesome retelling of the trek KC! really enjoyed it. Mosiguard is good against the leeches, but if it rains, need to reapply again ya.