|LOPO FALLS - END OF TREK|
Faced with the current turmoils in the petroleum market, 37 staff from Petron decided to put off everything, at least for a day, and head off to the hills, literally.
Arriving at the promised time of 7.30 a.m. the started the day with a hearty good old fashion kampong breakfast, i.e. nasi lemak with teh tarik, fortifying themselves for the tasks ahead for the day. By 8.30 am everyone was loaded onto the cattle truck (oops!) for the first destination, jungle trekking. It never fails. The lorry ride is something which gets everyone squealing and shouting. I mean, if they are kids, I would expect that. But these are serious young executives who arrived in their fancy cars in the morning. But when they saw the Langat Express, our two lorries, the seriousness disappeared and they asked, "are we getting on that?". "Yep, I said, over here we do it our way". Immediately the serious executives become young boys and girls again. Ok, there were a couple of grey haired young boys too. And they were shouting all they way to the jungle. If it was a month ago, people would have mistaken them for human sacrifices of the Ide Festival.
|LOADING UP FOR THE DAY|
|GROUP PHOTO WHILST EVERYONE IS STILL LOOKING GOOD|
|OFF TO THE MARKET|
Anyway they conquered the trek with minimal problem and found the waterfall at the end of it. On the way they crossed 3 crystal clear streams. The trip up took 40 minutes. They way down also too took 40 minutes, which surprised me for while, because I thought going downhill should be easier and faster. Then I figured that it might be easier but not faster because you have to be careful as you descend. On they way down, Mat Brone, our local James Bond, should them a thing or two about how to survive in the jungle and to trap animals, to the "ooohhs" and "aahhs" of the captive audience.
Legend has it that the trail was once used by Communist Terrorists during the Malayan Emergency of the 1950's and 60's. Beginning from the foot of the Main Range there many routes which takes you into Pahang, Perak and Negri Sembilan. However never ever go in without a guide
|AT THE ENTRANCE|
From the jungle it was back to their fun ride, lorries again and off to the rafting point. The look on their faces was something to behold. I don't think they have seen so much bamboo in one place and some were seen trying to condition their minds very hard that they are getting into the crafts. After much shouting and confusing instructions, between the Peron staff, me, the Orang Asli, Orang Asli and the Headman and the lorry drivers (why were they involved?) everyone was nicely sorted out to their respective rafts and their attendant Orang Asli steerman.
|GETTING SORTED OUT|
|WAITING FOR SAILING ORDERS|
|YES, WE ARRIVED IN ONE PIECE|
So off they went. The Petron Armada was made up of 18 forty footer rafts. For some moments they looked like a bunch of Bugis pirates slipping up not so quietly up the Klang River with orange life jackets. Serious, minus the life jacket and with a bit of imagination you are transported back 300 years ago.
An hour later you see the rafts slowly appearing around the bend at the end of the journey with passengers either grinning from ear to ear or with drooping eyes as the rising sun and the easy motion of the rafts slowing lulled them into drowziness. And quite a few too were asking, "when is lunch, ahh?"
They got back at 12.30 pm with a kampong lunch laid out for them. No invitation required. Judging from the minimal leftovers the food must have met their expectations or they were just so hungry. But comments later confirmed the former.
It was a packed morning, but I think they had a good time. The schedule went almost like clockwork. Some commented that the jungle was wilder and less "manicured" than FRIM's (sorry FRIM), and of course for many it was a first time on the lorry, because many years ago when they asked their mother permission to ride, the standard answer was, "you mad ahh!, that one for carrying vegetables only, you know!". And of course the bamboo rafting was new to almost everyone and the traditional kampong lunch was the grand topping for the day.
We are glad to have been able to take their minds off the bothersome oil market for the day. Thank you guys. Come back again.