Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gua Tempurung - Part II

At first we had to cross a tiny stream. Water level: ankle-high. Then we had to wade through in knee-high levels. We also had to slide down a slope of about 30 feet, which was pretty scary to me. Not because of the height though, it was more of the lack of control – there are no ledges to hold or to step on. There was also minimal friction.

Thus, I literally slide down with legs obscenely wide open my legs and arms scratched a little and suffering very minor scratches.

After this harrowing butt-painful slide-down, we had descend into a lower chamber through a hole in the ground, which measures about 2 by 2 feet.

That was no sweat though. Merely had to go down carefully, as the bottom was less than 10 feet deep.

Following that, it was time when we got wet. We had to lie flat on our bellies with water around the neck level and stalactites right above our heads. The water was strongly pushing us forward and we had to hold onto something (the stalactites themselves or the rocks on the ground) to keep from being swept onward too fast and hitting the rocks/stalactites/the person in front of us.

We had to do that two times - the half-swimming-half-crawling-on-elbows-
ala-army part. To a certain extent, it is perilous and definitely adrenaline-inducing.

The rock formations here are different. As we had to move through tunnels that are a little smaller than the average height of a Malaysian, I was able to see clearly the low ceiling. It looks very much like corals, except that they hang upside down and not as colourful. Or rather, just grey and more grey.

There is a particular boulder that looks somewhat like brain coral, but the raised lines on it are horizontal instead of angled. To me, it was strange because water is running on top of it - I would have expected it to be smooth as a baby’s bottom.

During the trip, a couple of unfortunate things happened. One was when someone lost his wallet in the torrents. We immediately started searching for it, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Lady Luck must have been our side though, as it was eventually found.

Another incident was when one of us hit his head on a stalactite when he tried to avoid crashing into someone who was in front of him. As I said, the current was really strong and there aren’t much room to manouver.

Actually, the other person was a girl, who was there with her boyfriend and we all shared the same guide. The couple was from Singapore and they were there with their Ipoh friend.

Hmmph ... girls.

Anyway, the injury looked worse that it actually was, as blood-coloured water flowed from his skull and it stained his white shirt.

Yes, it wasn’t a pretty sight. But really, it wasn’t as bad as it appeared.

The whole caving thing took us about four hours. It certainly didn’t feel that long.

We emerged from the cave through an exit that doesn’t look like a cave mouth at all – it looks more like a huge sewage drain, with black metal grills to match and pipes that run parallel with the tunnel.


At that moment, I felt like I was in a movie, a hero coming out unscathed and victorious from an intense showdown in the sewers. Of course, there wasn’t the usual massive explosion behind me as I strutted out. ;P

After changing out of our wet clothes, we headed to Ipoh for some yummylicious food. We went to the famous corner shop (I can't remember the shop's name) which sells hor fun and other things like popiah, chee cheong fun and sotong kangkung.

On the way back to Peejay, we stopped at Tapah rest stop to buy fruits. Finally, we arrived back here at a quarter past seven.

I would love to post up some pictures, but I was cautioned earlier that we would get wet and obviously I wouldn’t want my camera to be damaged. Besides, I expected the caves to be dim and thus difficult to take pictures.

To sum up, I had an excellent time. I was expecting the cave to smell of guano and dirty with droppings everywhere (that was how some of my friends described caves would be like), but that was not the case.

There were bats, but they were so high up and our flashlights shone only weakly on them. Anyway, bats are blind, so there weren’t any scenes of a group of bats flying towards us when we shone our torchlights on them.

I really don’t mind doing it again. It was a refreshing change from the usual jungle trekking and hiking; from the open-air with lush greenery to an enclosure’s dark and monotonic grey surroundings.

We couldn’t stop talking about it on our journey back. That was how amazing the experience was.

This writer’s experience was made more enjoyable with scintillating and extremely stimulating conversation I had with someone. *grin*

This trip was proudly organised by LPG Adventurer, the largest gay community in the Klang Valley.


Kit said...

What's 'stimulating conversation' you had with someone leh? :P Hahaha...

Well, it was really a wonderful trip and unforgetable journey to the 'heart' of the earth!

Hope to have more trips with you in future! Keep in touch! :)

savante said...

See why I only climb up the stairs in shopping malls? :)


MrBunnyBan said...

Heh heh. Okay, so Gua Tempurung hadn't any guano. (Drat!) Now if someone asks you to go on a trip to Gua 'Telinga' somewhere in the national park...

I'm definately going to try and join you guys next time around... if my membership gets through.

Chris said...

Well i'll be sure to not miss the one for next month! >.<

Meh~ I'm definitely jealous that I can't go with you! ;_;

keatix said...

bugger...syiok man. i hv missed out on these adventure trips for a while...but reading this post kinda make up for it.....very the nice.

did u err, take advantage of anyone crosiing obstacles???

james said...

Went there once back in school. Was there really no guano? They must've toilet trained their bats. Cuz the only reason I slid down the 30ft slope so fast was that it was positively slathered in bat shit. Nummy.

The water's a bit scary too. Especially since it was raining hard outside at the time, so the water level kept rising and the current kept getting stronger.

Must go back sometime, to retrieve my swept-away thong (footwear, not underwear).

Derek said...

kit: You know, I know lar. ;P

We'll definitely be meeting again in the future. I am sure about that.

savante: No Paul, I don't see why. You should really go out more. You were a Boys Scout, for goodness sakes!

mrbunnyban: Yup, you really should. So much fun.

And it isn't that hard to join LPG anyway. ;P

chris: Yeah, and miss all the cute guys! Told you you shouldn't have joined the Pangkor trip! LOL

keatix: Heh, of course not. I am very the gentleman.

Though the place is definitely suitable for some groping. Haha ...

james: I believe your adventure was good in its own way too, no?

The water was pretty strong too that day, though it didn't rain. It was such an exhilarating feeling to be swept forward by the river.

And I think it's a few years too late to retrieve your thong, honey!