EngLee's Path

A blog about Eng Lee's life, a freelance programmer in Royal Klang Town (Malaysia).


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hiking at Gunung Irau (Hill), Cameron Highlands


It actually took a week for me to finish this post. I'm too busy with my work. It was last Saturday (2005.11.12) when I went to Gunung Irau, Cameron Highlands.

I'm very lazy to pack my stuff the day before the trip (Friday). I hang out with my friends till 2:00am. I knew I shouldn't. My clock rang at 5:30am in the morning. I woke up to "morning call" my friends and to pack my things. I left the house at 6:30am to reach Puchong Giant to meet my friends at 7:00am sharp.

Getting There

For this second time to Irau, we left Puchong at 8:00am and reached Cameron Highlands at around 11:30pm. The direction to the place was simple. We headed north on the North South Highway and exit at Tapah. Following “Cameron Highland” signboard will lead you to Ringlet, then Tanah Rata, and finally Brinchang.

The highest road in the whole Peninsular Malaysia is located here at Gunung Brincang. It's around 2000m above sea level! When you reach Brinchang, you'll have to look for a butterfly farm there. A small road to the bottom of Gunung Irau is just right after the butterfly farm, opposite of some vegetable market. It's on your left. It should take at least another 15 minutes to reach the place.

The Hike

The Team excluding the one who took the picture, Wei Yi
We didn't proceed straight to hiking when we reach Cameron. We had lunch and spend lots of time looking for chalets because we are not planning to stay up on the hill. From what we heard from the locals, it should take around 4 hours to hike up the hill. And, we are still haven't start our journey until 2:20pm!

I'm not sure we'll have enough time to come out of the forest before dark. But, we are there for the hill. I'm not going to miss this chance to reach this peak again! During our last attempt, we failed to reach the peak for the reason that it rained heavily and one of our teammates has her shoes broken (due to the muddy condition). I must make it to the peak this time!

The mosses and temperature difference has brought us back to the hill again. Along the way, we don't really feel thirsty, simply because of the humidness and low temperature. It rained heavily again this time. This is the Malaysian weather, especially at the end of the year, it will rain, almost everyday.

All the way, we have to be very careful when stepping on the ground. There are parts where we might get our shoes stuck in the mud. One of us (Hooi Nee) has the experience here.

Shoe stucked in mud
We were quite easy on the beginning. We actually spent quite some time on taking pictures despite lack of time. We knew we shouldn't but the photos will be the best memory for us.

The journey for this hike is actually quite different. We trek down from Gunung Brinchang, then head back up to Gunung Irau. For Gunung Irau, there are actually 2 peaks. The first one is meant for camping. I would say it's a fake peak. It was around 5:00pm when we reached the first one. There's an idiot who actually modified a signboard there to make it look like the real peak. He changed 0.8km to 0.0km. We were very happy when we saw the 0.0km. After some discussions and thoughts we verified that somebody fake it.

It should take another hour to reach the peak. This is the period that actually challenges our mind. We ran out of time. We had to go down before dark. We went up and down the path way for many times. Each time when we headed up, we were expecting the peak. But it was not. That happened for at least 5 to 10 times.

The Peak

When we finally reach the peak, we are really very happy and contented. I couldn't believe that we finally made it to the peak even though it rained so heavily and part of the team has lost their morale. We took pictures and had some food up on the hill.

Comparing other hills, the scenery on the peak of this hill is not the breathtaking type. It's the scenery along the journey to the peak made this trip interesting. It would be even better if everyone of the team has their own cameras. I didn't bring mine that day.

Heading Down

We traveled down the hill at 6:30pm. The sky is getting darker and darker. The sky was still raining. The whole path was very muddy. Some of us are quite worried, especially the girls. Some are suggesting that we stay up on the hill. We weren't prepared for that. We neither have tent nor sleeping bag with us. The temperature was around 10-15 degree Celsius when the sky was getting dark and the rain was still pouring.

Still, we headed down. We have only 4 torch lights (with a super mini light) with us. Wong has one. Ying Chun has two. I have one for myself. Haw Seng has the super mini light (in his key chain)! Along the way, we spent most of the time identifying the correct path.

We learnt a lesson for hiking here. Always remember to bring torch light and batteries for hiking. And, batteries mean Energizer batteries, not Eveready!

We were lucky that we finally able to get back down at around 11:00pm. Though it was quite late, we still able to make it safely.

The Night

The next thing we did was to simply clean ourselves before heading to an Indian 24 hour's foot stall for dinner. We made some phone calls to ask for accommodation at the time of 1:00am. We thought we probably won't get any shelter at that time. Fortunately, A guest house nearby, Papillon Guest House is still accommodating guests at that time! The pricing was OK. It costs us only RM10.00 per person!

Second Day

We had steamboat as our brunch on the second day. After that, we bought some strawberries before leaving the place. If you don't know, Cameron is supposed to be the only place to buy strawberry in Malaysia. We used a different way to go back. We drove through Blue Valley then turn over to Simpang Pulai before heading down back to KL. The old road (the way we came) is slightly more dangerous simply because of the slippery road condition and mudslides.

It was really the greatest experience among the hills I've been to. I highly recommend it to all hikers for the mossy and cold condition. Just make sure that you start your hike early!

7 Comments:

  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 11:13:00 AM, Blogger zbjernak said…

    i like i like
    i like the moss and the coold condition
    the moss covered tree very nice
    i like i like

    but u all kheng..come down so late:-s
    scarry lah...

    ehhehehehehe

     
  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 11:16:00 AM, Blogger EngLee said…

    It's not scary until we heard from the guest house owner that somebody actually encountered bears and black panthers there. LOL.

     
  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Swarkoo said…

    Wow..sounds great...

    Y didnt u put in any pictures taken from the peak for us to see?
    haha...

     
  • At Monday, November 21, 2005 11:26:00 AM, Blogger EngLee said…

    I'll be glad to do so. But the photos, taken with an analogue SLR by YingChun, are still in processing. I'll scan it and post it as soon as I got it. :)

     
  • At Monday, November 28, 2005 10:42:00 AM, Anonymous Weili said…

    do you guys accept outsider to join your hiking trip?
    It is difficult to get a group of friends that are actually keen on hiking nowadays.

     
  • At Monday, November 28, 2005 11:06:00 AM, Blogger EngLee said…

    If you read few of my past posts, I don't go for hiking with the same group everytime. It's really hard to have the same people everytime since everyone has their own work and came from different place. Few of them in this Irau trip are completely strangers to me till we met in this trip. Still, we enjoyed the trip very much. We'll be glad to have more people to join us.

    We have plan to go Gunung Nuang soon. I'm still gathering people for the trip. Go find out more about Nuang then drop me a mail if you are interested.

     
  • At Monday, November 28, 2005 6:57:00 PM, Anonymous Weili said…

    I am interested. Never been there before. Do update me the date.

     

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