Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Belum : Part 2


Loud ladies, brats and slippers... 

Thomas, our camp warden had reminded us to gather at the boat pontoon at 02:30pm sharp.
Two groups would be hitting an island with an observation tower.
This is a climb towards the apex of the hill which is roughly about 450metres above sea-level.
To us, its literally a 'walk in the park'.
When we arrived at the dining area, Steve, the resort owner was already there. 
"Wah, you guys are so stylish!," he remarked.
The man was referring to Michelle who came with her Track's hiking staff.
At our age, we are not taking chances -- especially with our knees and ankles. 
One false move, and we will be grounded indefinitely.
Then, the Klang people came. They were literally shouting on top of their voice.
I guess with hearing impairment, this is normal. 
And throughout our three-day stay, the bunch of loud ladies were amusing.

Entering the trail leading to the watch tower

No regards for personal safety: wearing flip-flops on the track

Fashion statement: This lady can easily injure her foot
Baboo the man...

Our resort's boatman/porter/trekking guide Baboo is a 23-year-old Bangladeshi who had been working at Belum Eco Resort for four years.
His knowledge of the area would put many locals to shame.
The Bangladeshi led the hike towards the watch tower which is about 1.3km one-way.
I took noticed of the women from Klang who were wearing only flip-flops. Some of the older ladies were in their pyjamas.
This is odd and I guess being city slickers, they took many things from granted.
A few of them were literally shouting at each other during the hike. Their high-pitched voice in bursts of high decibel tones had shattered the silence in the jungle.
It took us about 30-minutes to hike up the watch tower and the view was simply magnificent.

An awesome view of Banding

Vincent and his elder sister Michelle...

The Samos
Everything that goes up must come down...

I think that children below the age of 12 should not be allowed to hike in the woods.
Unless their parents take supervision and keeps strict discipline, the kids are vulnerable to injuries or even death.
Guess the organisers had taken a big risk by allowing the ladies and their children hiking up the watch tower with their flip-flops and pyjamas. I cringe at the notion that any of them would fall and get hurt..
But Baboo, our man held up. 
He carried one of the kids on his shoulder while hiking down the hill to where our boat is waiting.
We made our way back to the resort and had tea.
The rest of the day was free and easy..

Baboo, a real entertaining resort employee

Having dinner with the rest of the group
Terrific food!

We chilled out at Vincent's hut till dinner time.
During the free and easy hour, we talked about and started to plan next year's trip.
Dinner was scheduled at 8pm at the main dining hall.
We had steamboat and it was simply fantastic.
The family of three had joined our table including the solo woman. Earlier, she talked to me about getting a taxi ride to Taiping from Banding.
I found that this was an imposing person and kind of left things to take its own course.
Earlier I did offer the lady a place in the car and take her as far as Kuala Kangsar, but she wanted more, so, its really tough luck...

A documentary about the environment impact of logging in Belum

Roger, one of the resort's friendly dogs..
Its showtime...

Later, the group was hoarded over to the resort's recreation room where a video about the environmental destruction of Belum was shown.
Logging took place at the fringe of the Temenggor lake a few years ago and this had caused a severe effect on the plant and wildlife at the area.

To me, it was a guilt trip. 
Sooner or later, greedy people would rape the forest to reap its wealth. Like Taman Negara in Pahang, what would be left are palm oil plantations...
We called it a night after a chat with another family at the dining area... 
The next day is going to be really fun!

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