20km rafting expedition - Sungai Jengai
14 Sep to 17 Sep 2000
|Malaysian Outward Bound Association, Perak Branch has successfully organized a 4 day expedition to Kuala Jengai on 14 to 17 September 2000. A total of 30 members from three states participated. (Penang-2, Selangor-7 and Perak-21).|
Day 01 (14.09.2000)
The first day was hectic and long traveling day. Started at 2p.m. from Ching’s house in Sitiawan and arrived at the destination (Nick Seng Plantation belongs to the Nick family from Ayer Tawar) at 2a.m. We met members from other states at Karak BP Station (3km after Karat Town) for dinner. It was here where we met members from other states for the very first time. It was raining cats and dogs then.
|(L-R) Lim Kee Moon, Tan Keng Hui, Val Allan, Krishnan Kanan, Ching Neng Bin, Tan Leoung Kien at Kenya Dam.|
It was an unusual morning calls on the next day when hundreds of cockerels (old & young) crowed at us and woke us up for breakfast. After a short briefing, the gang moved on to nearby river for fishing. It was not a fishing day, the heavy rain on the day before had spell disaster for fishermen. The water level had risen and was very dirty, looked like (the-tarik). So there was no fishing, nevertheless, we spent the morning at a lower bungalow discussion on various issues on (land & sea fishing). It looked like a seminal well organized by our Penang member, Mr. Cosmos Chong. He have us a long talk on A to Z of fishing.
Angling in these rivers requires precision and stealth, since abnormal colors and movements easily alert the fish in the shallow, clear waters. Fishermen are advised to move around in small groups and communicated with each other using signals to ensure absolute silence. Such predatory tactics stimulated and urban mind such as mine. The jungle I believe is a habitat where the most essential and primitive aspects of our existence remain to be discovered. I learned that deep pools, usually located where the river bends and where the fallen fruits of the over arching trees provide a reservoir of food for the fish. Mr. Cosmos Chong also gave us tips on herbal remedy for common sickness and cure for back pain with practical lessons.
The afternoon was spent driving around the district of Dungun. We visited a 100 feet waterfall at a botanical garden and later went to another pool for a swim.
The evening was spent indoor due to the heavy rain through out the night. Our evening activities were all cancelled. We could not go out for frog or wild-bore hunting. Nevertheless, we had plenty of drinks all round and good food cooked by the estate workers and had good fellowship with life music from Ken, Ching, Timun & Co. All kinds of jokes were told and story telling competition came in until on one is around to listen.
|(L-R) Rtn.Ching Neng Bin, Rtn.Val Allan, Rtn.Tien Cher Hong, Rtn.Tan Keng Hui and Rtn.Lim Kee Moon at Nick Seng Plantation.|
As usual, the next morning was interesting enough with more cockerels crowing from the ground and right up to the top of a tree next to the bungalow. Those sleeping upstairs were not spared.
Immediately, after a heavy breakfast, the gang was well prepared for the 20km rafting along Sungai Jengai and left the estate at 8 a.m. We have to drive up a hill along the river until we reached a government water pump station. There were five bamboo rafts ready for our use, tied to a bridge. The local Malays used for transporting rattan downstream constructed it. After all the cameras & video shorts taken, we were on our raft with a guide each and off we went.
The water was not so clear due to the rain but the flow was pretty swift. Initially, we were all a bit scared and unable to control our rafts. After sometime, we were all expert in rafting without any help from the guide. The river seemed forbidding compared to the wide river down streams. Canopied with a rich curtain or riverside vegetation, its dark, narrow waters led us further and further into a sanctuary of secrecy and calm. It also let us to one of the toughest endurance tests of the trip. Many fell asleep half way down the river due to exhaustion. We had a number of friendly competitions.
We stopped for a rest and had lunch at Pantai Belimbing. We were kept awake by the strong kerosene scent coming from a plate of Sambal Petai and our Mr. Val Allan seemed to be enjoying the plate of Sambal Kerosene Petai.
We then continued downstream. Our guide gave us a pleading look and, with a mischievous grin, uttered the unforgettable word, “Tolak”. The rest of the day was spent climbing in and out of the rafts at intervals. We wrestled with uneven rocks and gushing rapids and shoveling rocks to the side with our hands. On one occasion, Ken was knocked off the raft by a branch and submerged for a few seconds. We were all too shock to do anything, and were relieved when he suddenly popped out of the water and into the raft. The last leg of the journey saw all the five rafts tied up together to conserve energy.
After seven hours of rafting and 20 km downstream, we finally reach home and were well received by the children from nearby kampongs. We celebrated the success of the rafting expedition at the estate bungalow with cold-water shower. The evening was spent eating and drinking. There was more food when one of the members shot a big wild-bore. As usual fellowship continued until early morning with more jokes.
|At the starting point of the 20km rafting expedition.|
|Lunch time break at the bank of Belimbing.|
|We shot this for a good BBQ dinner. (L-R) Tien Cher Hong, Ching Neng Bin, Chew Kim Lock.|
The last day was breakfast in the Kampong and it was “Sayonara” to members who had to travel different ways back to civilization. The Gang was looking towards the next expedition to Nepal in the year 2001.