Taman negara National Park, Malaysia
We decided to do the shortest walk available, a 3-hour trail to the Canopy Walkway, followed by Bukit Teresek, a 343m high hill. Within the first hour, we spotted birds, butterflies and a plant that had blue/green irridescent leaves, i.e green from one angle and blue from another. It was stunning to look at the blue leaves. The trail was mostly deserted. You could hear the sound of the river in the distance and the odd person walking from the opposite direction. That’s why we were startled when we heard movement in the undergrowth nearby. But we couldn’t see anything through the dense forest. They say you could pass an animal without knowing because of the jungles denseness…. Further up the trail we saw a large monitor lizzard rummaging for insects. He was close by and we could see him catch and eat his food. The canopy walkway consisted of ladders surrounded by netting, connected together by platforms high up in the treetops. Only 4 at a time could stand on each walkway, and you had to stand 10 metres apart. Scary, but a nice view. You couldn’t always see right down to the ground, nor right up to the top becuse the trees were so tall. Next was the hill. At first it was managable, but it soon felt more like a mountain. In each step I was climbing rather than walking. The really steep parts had rope alongside to pull yourself up with. Then the path started going downhill. Steeply. Again with rope to help. The path just seemed to go up and then downhill. Now I regretted taking the lift instead of the stairs at work. I wished I had walked more instead of driving everywhere back at home… Just as I’d reach the top, I’d go round a bend and see another steep incline or decline. Worse still, we’d only brought 2 litres of water with us, and it was running out fast. So we had to ration the remaining 500ml. I was really fed up in the two hours it took to reach the summit. But the view was worth it. We had a rest and then made our way back down via another path. BIG MISTAKE!! It took us 3 hours. Later we found out that it was the long way round. Our 6 hour walk deserved a bottle of coke that we drank with the half a bottle of vodka we had left over from India. We made a resolution – NO MORE HILLS!!!!