Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lata Lembik - Part 3

A place like no other.. 

After waiting for more than 90-minutes, the last of the cyclists had arrived at the entrance to Lata Lembik.
Little did we knew, there was a steep climb towards the campsite.
I cranked up my bike and overtook RJ and En Ghani who came down to push their bikes.
Their load was too heavy and became unbearable. They have a short distance to cover before reaching the reception counter where En Suzali had earlier booked a campsite near the Lata Lembik Park.
For visitors, there is a ticket collection booth at the entrance.

A view of the campsite

En Harun 
Carbo-load!

My stomach was rumbling as we rolled into mid-day. 
The breakfast that we had was burned out completely.
There was a makan stall outside the camping grounds, but it was closed.
Our only hope was a small canteen near Lata Lembik Park's administrative office.
We found a small convenient store that also offers food.
I asked what they serve and was told that there's fried rice and noodles.
So, I settled for the nasi goreng kampung and a piece of fried egg.
Harun and I were the lucky ones to have rice for lunch.
Over our meals, we had a conversation while the rest waited for their meals to be served.

Nasi goreng kampung for the soul..
During makan, I distributed my calling card to Suzali and company.
He said he was very interested to contribute to the Malaysian Foldie magazine.
"I want to write about my adventures in Malay," he said.
I told him that all forms of contribution is welcomed and it will be cool to have a bilingual edition that will benefit everybody.

Setting up camp..

After a good fill, the campers began to roll out to their campsite.

By this time of the day, the Lata Lembik Park was already packed with holiday makers.
Some came to take advantage of the school holidays.
Suzali and RJ had set up their tent and helped En Ghani to pitch his hiker's tent.
The other guys were hanging out at the makan place.
I wasted no time in getting some shots taken as part of my fact-finding mission.

Getting ready for the rest of the day.. 
Expedition leader: Suzali
Tranquil: a shot of the stream
Lata Lembik

An inhabitant of the river
Time is of essence...

After getting the information I needed, it was time to part ways with the campers.
I targeted a late arrival at Raub with an estimation of four hours or more on the road.
We have 45km to cover, making this a 90km round-trip.
There's the heat and plenty of hills to cover over that distance.
My goal is to reach Raub before 8pm.
I said goodbye to Suzali and gang and thanked them for hosting us as daytrippers.
Harun, Radzi and I began our ascend to the entrance of the park and rolled out towards Batu Malim.
Slowly, but steady

The slow ascend
Taking on the hills.. 
Tired with saddle sore!
Cycling through 22km of hills was a shock to the system.
From being dormant over the past few months, my body was subjected to stress. 
My legs felt like raw meat and with the 8% gradient during the last ascent, my thighs began to cease.
Fortunately, I brought along a can of Hisamitsu Cooling Spray.
This became a great help in preventing the muscles from being completely immobilized with cramps.
With the Raub - Kuala Lipis road in sight, it was a matter of mental endurance as the body began to slowly breakdown and succumb to lethargy.
Despite all that, we rode towards the Raub Golf Club which is about 10km away from town. We rode non-stop and passed Gesing junction and Cheroh, a small village.
I noticed that En Harun was slowly falling back and signaled to pull over at a shaded area.
As soon as he alighted from his bike, Harun's legs began to suffer cramps.
I took out the can of cooling spray from my Ortlieb trunk back and sprayed it on his legs.
This provided relief as he was able to continue with the last push.
We continued and got closer to our goal by reaching the outskirts of Raub town around 06:50pm.
By the time we entered the road leading towards the mosque where Harun had parked his vehicle, we progressed in a decent timing.
At the carpark, we wished each other well and began to part ways.
My next cause of action was to wash up at the Raub rest house and pack our bikes before we begin the drive back to KL.
With this, I bought an extra day to rest at home.
After an hour's drive, I dropped off Radzi at his house in Taman Ehsan and began my journey to Subang Jaya.
My dogs were waiting for their meals and I had the entire weekend ahead of me and it was just the perfect day off to recover from the long ride.
As for the trip, it was worth my time and informative.
I made new friends and have the option to join them in future adventures..
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