Gua Tempurung 06~07 Apr 2007
My first ever encounter with a cave was fascinating and needless to say, really enjoyable. Anyone who has read last year’s write up from the same trip would have an inkling of what to expect, but with such great company around, we got more than what we bargained for.
Due to study commitments, Racheal and myself left almost an hour later than the main body, she being all dazed from her presentations. Along with me are some of the guys who had to work late themselves and had no choice but to skip the main bulk. A main experience of riding in a group ride is to feel the crowd and revel in the camaraderie, so moving off from the main body never felt right and hence we made haste.
The usual NS highway to Seremban is particularly sleep inducing for this trip and I had to practically limber up every few seconds to keep myself awake. It was so frightening for Rach that she had to practically box me as well!
It is perhaps an indication of my poor preparation for the ride that such lethargy bogs me down. It was totally opposite to the freshness and alertness of the previous trip to Fraser’s Hill in February. Back then, I had purposely taken half a day’s leave to grab some sleep and all equipment were already packed the night before. For that ride, it is hours of pure, endless exhilaration.
After the umpteen box from the heavy duty knucke-duster gloves Rach was wearing, I made a mental note to be much, much better prepared the next time. No matter how experienced one is at riding, nothing beats full attention and freshness. You will definitely enjoy your trip so much the better too!
With this lesson learnt, somehow we made it to Tapah R&R, a mere 10 over kilometres to the exit to Gua Tempurung. Unfortunately, one of our fellow guest riders slipped along the highway enroute to Tapah R&R. The slippery road and construction roads didn’t help matters but kudos to the organisers in quickly settling the incident. Luckily, nothing untoward had happened to both rider and pillion and are able to carry on to the hotel to rest with some escorts from our entourage.
After the scare, the other 50 of us made our way to the much talked about cave. With no breakfast, we were wondering how we could survive the walk till lunch time! This was not a problem with the well known Slackers, who skipped the walk and went in search of food.
This year, we decided to go on a Good Friday to take advantage of a holiday that wasn’t anointed a public holiday in Malaysia. Indeed, the entrance to the cave was really quiet with no signs of any crowd at all, a stark contrast to what we had last year.
The caves of Tempurung lies within….
Say hi to the Slackers! (well…some of them)
When we’re all ready, it was all systems go as cameras started clicking away, in search of the perfect shot. Given the previous year’s experience, it was going to be one hell of a walk and it would probably be too tiring to take pictures later, so I had a game plan of shooting whenever I can and trying at the same time listen to what out guide had to say.
Stairway to the….
Halls of Tempurung
In the cave
The route taken this year took me by surprise. It was not exactly the same route we had taken before and so, it was like going for a completely new walk through the caves. This time, we had to climb up steep slopes of slippery sand and literally slide down portions of the cave littered with stalagtites! And of course, a silly grin is kept hidden at what was to come, especially as some in our party had intended to keep themselves clean and dry….
first sign that the route aint gonna be easy
whole lot of climbing
Wat a squeeze!
Don’t be fooled by the earlier pictures! It’s all really dark in there!
Being last in the pack is somewhat unsettling in here
Checking out another descent
No way am I going to get wet!
After almost an hour of slipping, sliding and having stones in the shoes/ sandals, we finally come across a huge obstacle that can even make grown men cry. When you were young, chances are you ever challenged your friends to swing to the highest point, jump from the highest level and even run down the steep looking slides back in the good old days of sand-filled playgrounds. Let’s just say, you wouldn’t challenge want to challenge on this gigantic slide….
Holy papadum! Isaac’s overboard!
The Snakeman slitters down…
After the euphoria of sucessfully sliding down the mother of all slides, we sank to a new low and heads were scratched as we wondered how William can continue…
The hole just got widened….no thanks to some….
Now, the tough part was only just beginning…..
2 options: crawl or duck walk..
Then came the moment I was feverishly waiting for. It was time to get wet baby! And true to form, it was all squatting, crawling, cursing and laughing for the next 45 min as we made our way without any inhibition.
time to get wet baby!
small size or big size…all have to crawl now
Our guide leading the way….to another wet gap
geting wet never felt so fun
And there was no better way to end it all with a nice natural jacuzzi with ice cool water soothing the tired muscles.
Our own jacuzzi…
With the end of the walk, lunch was hungrily devoured by the trekkers outside the cave while the rest of the group got ready for the move out to the hotel. By now, everyone can’t wait to get into the 4-star Casuarina Impiana, Ipoh for some much needed rest.
Reserved lots by the friendly hotel staff!
the spacious room: best for recuperating from an exhausting morning
With the irritating ring of my handphone’s alarm, reluctance to get out of bed was really strong, but I’m sure glad I fought it well! Never in my 4 years of touring and staying in Malaysian hotels have I tasted such a delectable spread of food.
food glorious food!
roasted lamb for us..slurp!
A typical dinner
We never shirk from our responsibility of clearing food
With all those calories burned in the cave, there’s no better excuse to fill ourselves up! And of course, who can forget the special preparation from the ever crazy Kruzer clowns to get a birthday cake for the Monkey/ Rubber Man, yours truly. Thanks guys!
yeah..the cameraman was looming over my cake
Before the night ends, a few of us went out to the heart of Ipoh’s food and cafe scene for somemore grubs and drinks. Not a bad way to end such a hectic day.
I also question mark why we go there
Breakfast was good with what seems suspiciously like last night’s beef. Without a fuss, we were all saddled up and ready to leave for a day ride through some “touristy” spots around Ipoh.
Kellie’s Castle is a relic of some Causacian’s fantasy of building a castle in the middle of a Malaysian forest. Complete with a moat, this spot naturally becomes a candidate for the weird and wonderful in Malaysia. It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb though as the surrounding vegetation is cleared of any other local architecture and indeed, there must be something special for ChannelNews Asia to rate this place as one of the “Best kept Secret” in Malaysia.
Larry gets hairy in front of Kellie’s castle
a Panoramic view from Kellie’s roof
another side of Kellie
Leaving the hot and humid confines of Kellie’s Castle, we’re on the roads again. About 33km later just south of the town of Kampar in Perak, we enter a little road with no signs of any activites or recreational sites. But boy, did we have a lotta fun over there in a waterfall!!
The small, slippery roads are tough and some of us needed some expert help navigating some of the roads. To top it off, all the bikes cramped into a little space and parked there in search of a waterfall that was locally well-known. However, after some consultation with the locals there, there was a 5 minute trek.
crammed into a dead end
resting by a local house
Undeterred, we walked right into the fun zone. Given that we were all sticky and sweaty, it was no surprise when we reached the clear cool water of the falls, all clothes were off and dares of jumping from a boulder started.
adventure seekers go in seeking….
straight into fun!
What was planned out to be a 10 minute stopover at the waterfall became a 45 minute’s worth of monkeying around. We even had a stripper, who couldn’t resist the temptations of the jumps we were doing.
one big family
Soon, it was time to pack it up and leave. With our bodies all cooled down, we headed back down the waterfall for a Ramli burger lunch.
all the hungry buggers crowding the stall
getting more than was bargained for!!
The day ended with the ride into Malacca for some seafood before heading back. Another year, another cave trip, but still as refreshing as always. See ya for this ride again next year!
Words of wisdom: “My momma always say, “If you wanna ride, ride with the Kruzers…”