For the most part, I dislike treks. I don’t think I’m lazy, though I cannot really be sure. I just don’t like pushing myself up a hill, or feeling undercurrents of sympathy when some people don’t walk/climb as fast as others. Sure, everyone is nice. People help other people out. It’s just that my body is not convinced that it is worth it.
Walking, on the other hand, is a whole different thing. A walk in the jungle is incomparable. Sometimes, at rough patches that require a little climbing, I am a bit of a scaredy-cat, but once I take a few steps, I love it.
And that is why, on our first morning at Taman Negara, despite my determination to sleep in, I could not stay in bed. I lazed till about 7:30 and then, I had to get up.
We made our way first to Lubuk Simpon, a place we’d visited the previous day. It’s a sweet spot by the river where people apparently go for a swim. We weren’t tempted by the idea of swimming, so we went ahead.
The route to one of the ‘hides’ as the lookout points are called was over wet land and enormous roots. We paused. There was no one around. Feeling a little unsure about wandering off the boarded walkway, we wondered what to do.
Oh, well, we thought. It seems all right for now. Let’s see where it leads us. But what began with easy walking gradually led to a little rough climbing.
And it was awesome. That’s a word I use rarely, for I feel it has lost much of its meaning, but it was truly awesome. There were sections where ropes tied to trees served as support for us to climb slippery sections. I loved it! We walked and walked and walked through the jungle, and even as I walked, I felt the whole experience was almost dream-like.
And then, somehow, we didn’t reach the hides at all! We wound up somewhere else altogether, about 1.2 km away from a point marked as Bukit Teresek (sometimes Terisek). A little confused, we decided to head towards the bukit (hill).
That was the only part of our day that was a bit of an anti-climax. There was a sign there saying ‘Bukit Teresek’, and a couple of benches, but the journey was much more beautiful than the destination. It felt like Bukit Teresek was a point that was marked so that tourists could answer the question, So, what did you do at Taman Negara? with I went on the Canopy Walkway, then Lubuk Simpon and, of course, Bukit Teresek, which is a bit of a rough climb …
And then, on our way down, we saw a monitor lizard! I hate lizards at home, but in the jungle … We sat and watched the lizard for ever so long; it was lovely! And of course, the lizard made us stop and listen to the sounds of the forest yet again.
Just to finish our day, we went to Tahan Hide again and stood there for a while. Next time, we must go camping in the jungle!