Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gunung Cantik Chentuk, Cameron Highlands

Note: Photo credit to Razeif

Another brilliant trip organized by PEERS. Kudos to the organizing committee for such an exhilarating experience!

Our trip this time is to Gunung Cantik-Chentuk in Cameron Highlands. It’s actually located at Boh’s tea plantation. Erm, wait…I think it should be the other way round…Boh’s tea plantation is on Gunung Cantik-Chentuk ;-)

Friday 23 July 2010

We departed for Cameron straight from office, but we were supposed to meet up first at Sg Buloh R&R at 8pm. Some of us arrived by 7.30pm and we had dinner first while waiting for the rest. It turned out that one of our mates went the opposite way instead (south bound), so we had to wait for the poor soul to make a U-turn, and we finally departed at 9.30pm.

When we were around Rawang area, we received a text from Limau relating that he had a bit of an incident at Behrang. His front left passenger window was smashed by rocks purposely thrown by some sick **stards in the hope that the victim would stop the car to take a look and the perpetrator would take the opportunity to possibly rob / carjack the victim. Thankfully, quick thinking Limau just went on, finding the nearest police station. Fortunately also, his wife Diba wasn’t hurt by the smashed pieces. They made a police report and later changed cars at Diba’s parents in Tapah. The police (not the 70s reggae rock band with singer Sting yah, but Polis Diraja Malaysia lah – sorry I’m digressing :-p) told them this was not the first incident and told them to be careful. (I guess we should drive on the fast lane then?)

We stopped again at Simpang Pulai Petronas station to round everyone up first before proceeding to Cameron. We decided to take the Simpang Pulai (SP) route instead (although it is further than Tapah route) as the SP route has double lanes and the road condition is better than Tapah (frequent soil erosion). It was a quite a long and winding (sing together now!) journey before we finally reach Tanah Rata at almost 2am! Limau has already reached the Homestay where we would be staying, and gave us directions there. But he forgot that we were coming from the other side (SP) and gave us the opposite direction. Limau manis suddenly became Limau masam, but all was well again when he came to our rescue at Starbucks (yes there is a Starbucks in Cameron!) We finally went to sleep almost 2.30am to have a short rest before our trekking just a few hours later.

Btw just to note – a 2night stay with 2 breakfast & 1 lunch at Desa Anggerik (our homestay) costs us RM65/person. Quite a deal huh ;-)

Saturday 24 July 2010

Rise and shine! I didn’t really get to sleep much actually. With 6 persons to a room, K Yat and gang arriving at 4.30am (had to open the room door for her, hey I’m not complaining ok ;-), someone’s Bunkface’s Situasi alarm ringing at 5.50am but nobody seemed to get up and silence it (ahem) and it was very cold- you can imagine why I was sleep deprived. But then again, I was feeling excited. Despite that, I managed to stay sane ;-)

I had a short stroll around Kg Taman Sedia (such a cute village with funky lightings sparkling up the whole village at night) and a bit of a chat with the homestay owner. It seems that Pakcik has been staying there since 1971 and also has a food stall business, apart from the homestay. The homestay rents 4 rooms to guests, and the owners live in a separate unit, but in the same compound, which has 3 rooms. Pakcik and makcik also served us breakfast and lunch for our trip.

Kg Tmn Sedia at nite

Ah the group was finally ready by 9am. We had to drive to the Boh plantation in Habu. The road to the plantation was narrow (only one lane) and winding, some skills were needed to manouvre around and we had to honk at blind corners to warn the oncoming traffic. Once we arrived, we had a stretching exercise first before proceeding to trek.

For an amateur hiker like me, I would rate Gunung Cantik as relatively easy. Experienced hikers would probably rate this as taking the escalator to climb lol! I think my mom would have made it too (but just until the tea plantation part, not the forested area). The view was breathtaking – rolling hills and lush greenery. You can act an Hindustani movie scene out from the majestic view. Someone also mentioned it felt like we were in the 90s Salem Country Heights / Peter Stuyvesant travel ads. Couldn’t agree more ;-)

The forested area hiking was more challenging, and I had a bit of struggle going down – I fell quite a few times. It was quite slippery. I also somehow felt that the forested area was like a big refrigerator – when we reached the peak, we saw sunlight and felt a bit warmer. But soon after going back in the forest, it felt cool and fresh – like the bottom compartment of your fridge lol!

Speaking about the peak, it was just a very narrow patch of land with no view and a sorry state of a Malaysian flag to signify your reach to the peak. But it doesn’t really matter because it also signalled the end of our climb, and more importantly – makan time! We had our lunch packed from the homestay and everyone ate like one big happy family :-)

After a hearty meal, it was time to turn back, using the same route. As mentioned, descending is more challenging as it was slippery and you tend to tumble down. Only Limau probably survived the fall – he doesn’t walk, he skips! He probably have springs in his limbs!
Overall, the hiking took about 3 hours total, about 1.5 hours ascending and descending each. At the end of the hike, I asked Zu what is her satisfaction from successfully completing a hiking trip– she mentioned it was the challenge – trying to beat your own record – reaching faster and higher.

We've made it!

Before going back, we pretended we were English royalty and had tea and scones at the Boh Tea Shop. Ahh…we felt very posh doing so, with good company and fresh clean air.

Tea and scones
Part of the convoy – the XD team returned back straight to KL after descending. The rest would be staying for another night for the 4WD trip to Gunung Berinchang the next day. After returning to the homestay and refreshing ourselves, we had strawberry ice cream and fondue at the strawberry farm next door to our homestay. It was quite good. I liked the strawberry dadih too.

We made a detour to the Parit waterfall first before proceeding to Bukit Gersang for sunset viewing. When we reached the waterfall, we felt we were transported to the world of Twilight movie with the tall alpine trees surrounding us. The hiking enthusiasts went to check out the trail to Gunung Berembun while the ahem, posh ones stayed back to camwhore eheh…
Hutan Sg Parit @ Twilight saga
We then head for Bukit Gersang. It’s actually a small hill behind some flats nearby the famous night market in Brinchang. I suspect K Yat and friends named the hill actually, and it was so named because of the barren peak. It reminded me of Bukit Tabur in Taman Melawati. Oh yes, I must mention also that there was a traffic jam at night market – a very long one indeed! I guess the whole population of Cameron was concentrated on there at that point of time.

We (at least myself and Liza) were deceived to think that Bukit Gersang was like Ampang look out point with concrete staircases to climb to the top and view the sunset. Boy were we wrong! It was another challenging hike, although short, it was very slippery, it was getting dark and we had no torchlights. And there was no sunset after all as it was a cloudy day, oh dear.

Bukit Gersang

But it’s OK as we were heading for the food trail next hurrah! It was still bumper to bumper after Maghrib, and trying to find a parking space also proved to be a challenge. We would tapau our food and then eat at the homestay. It turned out that everyone bought food like there’s no tomorrow (I guess everyone was hungry by then) so there were a lot of leftover food which we gave to the cats. After dinner, it was time to hit the sack. Tonight the girls had more breathing space as we were now comfortably placed at 3 to a room.
CH night market specialty- sayur goreng tempura

Sunday 25 July 2010

Wakey wakey. Today’s agenda would be going to Gunung Berinchang by 4WD. Ahh…no more hiking, sweet! Can’t wait for that ;-) After breakfast, we left for Brinchang only to be greeted by the ubiquitous van sayur of Cameron Highlands! Ah we were being deceived yet again! But it quickly turned out to be a fun ride actually. All 12 of us cramped on the back of the van with Pakcik Pari and our 2 guides in the front!
Our van sayur

Other passersby were looking at us as if we were new recruits of tea leave collectors. Cute! After a skillfull driving by Pakcik Pari, we reached Gunung Berinchang lookout point at 2031m in about half an hour. One can also trek by foot up here. What a breathtaking view once again from up here! We can see some of the other mountains such as Gunung Korbu and Jasar. Once again, our enthusiastic hiker Zu vowed to come up again to conquer the mountains (by foot of course).

I must say, Pakcik Pari’s van sayur package is quite a good deal. It cost us only RM12/person (covered by PEERS. Thanks PEERS!) He took us up Gunung Berinchang, then to a Lord of the Rings-esque location with ancient looking trees covered with moss. Then he took us to the flower nursery, taking us through Orang Asli villages up til a school (don’t ask us why we had to go until the school).

that Lord of the Rings location

It’s already noon by then. So we went for a last minute shopping for strawberries, vegetables and flowers at Kea Farm market before checking out. Before finally going back, we had another round of strawberry ice cream (sponsored by Razeif, thanks Razeif! ) and of course, our mandatory jumping shot session.

Beautiful memories indeed in Cameron. See you again!

Our homestay
flower power

Ice cream by Razeif ;-)
Jumping jack!



Blogger zhu m said...

Cool post aida! Sorry abt bunkface tho :P

11:05 AM  
Blogger ShawnSharif said...


I WILL . . .

Definitely drag my friends to Cameron to replicate this trip!

Hehehehehehe =)

5:02 PM  
Blogger aiyda said...

No prob ZM..Was just teasing there ;-)

10:29 PM  

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