Two of them came all the way from Johore whilst the other 2 are KL ladies, determined to have their fun time on Sunday 23 April 2017. Amongst them was an Aikido instructor, a financial executive with an international insurance company and the other was a lecturer at a local university.
Notwithstanding the rainy season they were determined to do two things that day. One was trekking through the primary forest of the Congkak Reserve and the other was to bamboo raft down Sungai Langat.
Arriving at slightly after 8.30 we proceeded to the forest reserve for the jungle trek. Our arrival was greeted by a bunch of soldiers who were just packing up after after a few days of jungle exercise.
The trek took about 40 minutes during which they were feted on the beauty of the natural jungle, certainly a far cry from the manicured paths of FRIM. It being the raining season we were also greeted by the local hosts, leeches. Most of us got a bite or two but they were particularly fond of one team member, who could not help commiserating on her unfortunate attraction to the blood suckers.
Actually it was no fault or special attraction of hers. As we walk single file through the trek, the highly sensitive heat sensors of the leeches would alert them of our arrival and they would start coming in our direction. In fact experienced eyes would be able to see them coming towards you. The first few members of the trekking team in front, if they walk fast enough would be able to avoid them. By the time the second half of the trekking team passes through the same spot the leeches would be more than ready to latch on to the shoes and thereafter up the body.
|Jungle millipede - at least 20 times bigger than their urban cousins|
Hence it would appear that only some members are prone to bites. The trick is to walk rather rapidly, yet keep a sharp eye for obstacles and dangers, so that they have no time to latch on. And if you get bitten unless, you are totally oblivious, you could sense the slight biting sensation as they start their feed.
Main targets areas are the soft tissues where are there are lots of capillaries. So underarms, in between fingers and toes are favorite spots. Generally not harmful unless one has certain highly susceptible conditions or where they attack you en-masse. This happen to me many years ago in the Ulu Kelang jungles.
As I stood in the middle of the jungle I thought it was starting to rain as i heard what sounded like rain drops falling on the canopy. Looking around and up we realize it was not water coming down but leeches coming down from the top of the canopy to greet us, and the sound was their foot steps, or body steps, as they landed on the leaves. Within seconds we had tens of leeches climbing all over us. Plucking them individually was no longer efficient. So we resorted to our Parangs (machetes) to scrap them off. Needless to say, our choice of a base camp that night was changed immediately.
Anyway by 11.00 am we were down again and they proceeded to their bamboo rafting. It being the raining season the water level was perfect, meaning low water level would expose rocks which makes navigation of the rafts a bit problematic.
By noon they arrived at the finishing point and after a refreshing shower at Uluhati, headed back to town with lunch topmost on their minds.
Thank you girls, tell your friends about us.