by Marie Eng
23 Sep ’94
After clearing the Johor Customs, we headed toward out destination – Cameron Highland – the starting point of the seven-day trek, with a total of 11 small and big mountains to climb.
24 Sep 94
From Cameron Highland, we got into two jeeps that sent us to our first campsite – a very neat campsite, with well-trimmed grass, and a properly-built dam with a small waterfall just beside it.
25 Sep ’94
A very steep 200-plus steps welcomed us the next morning. After seven hours, the rain started and never stopped for a whole day and soon, we were all soaking to our skin. We felt very old as most of us were unprepared for this weather (no raincoat). By nightfall, we reached a Gurka campsite.
26 Sep ’94
From the Gurka campsite, we proceeded on to G. Yong Belar, It was like walking into Fairyland – green overhang, trees with branches covered with damp weed that looked like curtain in the morning mist, giving it a mysterious yet magical feel, and branches twitching their ways around each other. The feeling was magical: it was like stepping into someone’s fairy home, private yet inviting and heartwarming. I called it “the Snow-White-Land”.
We reached the first summit and camped there, where we had a glimpse of Yong Yap.
27 Sep ’94
We started out and reached the river by late noon, where some of us took a quick bath (though it was very cold) and refilled out three-litre water containers.
The weather was getting colder and the rain started coming again. For a while we were almost lost, nearly missing the trek markings.
It was pouring heavily as we struggled up the slippery muddy route. We had to cling onto roots of trees or whatever that could help pull us up.
We managed through the nine-hour trek up to our next campsite in freezing cold and hunger, shivering from inside-out. We were soaking wet in out T-shirts, in the heavy rain, with the nasty cold breeze blowing in our direction – at 15 degree C.
We managed to set up the tent in the dusk, which was fast turning to nightfall. It was really late when we had dinner. Dinner was always good. Hot soup, burned rice!”
28 Sep ’94
This was the last day, where we had to make it to our last summit: G. Korbu. It was another nine-hour trek. There was a lot of ascending and descending though it was not as steep as the day before.
It was like a never-ending route towards G. Korbu. We finally reached the summit at around 7.30pm. Forgetting pain and exhaustion, the excitement of standing on our final summit after much, much effort and sweat was hard to contain. Everybody could smile easier now, feeling much more relaxed than before. The view was breathtaking; words couldn’t describe the beauty of it.
29 Sep ’94
We took in one last view from Korbu before setting off, down the mountain. Getting down was as usual, a lot more easier, But it still took us quite a while to come to the end of the whole mountain trek and that was where the logging trail started. It was a very long, yellow, winding trail that would take more than a four-hour walk.
Fortunately, halfway through, we got a lift from a worker in his jeep. We were dropped at a sawmill factory where we had never been happier to see a washroom. We had a record of having no proper bath for around three days.
31 Sep ’94
We reached Singapore in the early morning – safe and sound, in one piece. We never felt more relaxed and satisfied with ourselves……