Sorry people. No photo this time round as I forgot to bring my camera. Might be able to grab some from friends later. Before I went for it, I did a search on Gunung Kutu and was not able to view much pictures. Having been there myself yesterday, I fully understood why this was so.
Woke up at 5am in the morning and left the house at 530am. Had a smooth drive (obviously, duh) and dear managed to grab a hash brown and a cup of orange juice at McDonald’s drive-thru. Met up with the rest of them and off we went. My tummy was not feeling too well. At times during the hike, I thought that it would sneak out. Mind over matter. Suck it back in… umm umm umm
Here is my experience.
Gunung Kutu is in Kuala Kubu Baru, under the Selangor state. Quite a distance from KL or PJ. Passing through Rawang, and nearing the area, we saw a dam. It’s a very nice view. Period. Cut through some , I believe to be, modern Orang Asli settlements and did some stretching and relieving ourselves in the woods.
We started our journey excitedly as always crossing streams and hanging bridges. Once we waddled across a river, everyone got into their full hiking gear. I just put on a pair of clean socks and my RM7 rubber shoes. On hearing there were to be leeches, everyone perked up and allowed anxiety to seep in. Most of the girls freaked. Deep down inside, I was afraid too although having experienced a leech bite once, I now realize it was not painful… it only looks horrendous + extra horrible to others. I rolled up my pants showing half my calf and sprinkled generously an amount of salt inside and on my socks. Less than 10 minutes into the hike, dear spotted the first leech. Shrieked and ran, putting all the others on red alert. From now on, most were walking with heads down. My neck muscles are feeling the strain even as I am relating this. Many more leeches greeted us on dead leaves and dark damp paths… camouflaging and blending themselves pretty well. That left no time for us to be stationary and taking in the view, if there was any. They were everywhere. As we marched on, the sound of the river faded and sunlight were turned down low. Soon we were buffeted by tall trees and thick vegetation. Gunung Kutu proved to be a tough hike with it’s steep, wet and leeches infested trail, personally. Definitely a first and last for me.
After 3 hours into the arduous journey, my calves started burning, a sensation that receives me every time I take on long hikes. The slippery and steep track was the cause of it and dear has voiced out her resentment for the place after just an hour plus of the hike. Am glad that she persevered and battled on despite the harsh condition. She even surprised me during the later part of the hike back. We stopped and rest many a times and there was a few times we lost sight of the people in front of us. It did not felt good though. Luckily, there were markings and signs on trees to show that we were on the right path. Had a good 15mins rest at a big sheltered boulder, where the other hiking group, there were only 2 groups that day, comprising mostly of girls were already having their luncheon… McD breakfast and bananas.
It took another hour before we reached the peak. Where not much of a view welcomed us. Nothing compared to Bukit Tabur. Rested our tired feet and gobbled a sandwich and water. I was not taking off my socks yet as I do not want to face the reality of being a leech meal. A comrade had already gone down, he was a walking buffet for 8 leeches. The thing is he wore sandals. No where for him to sprinkle salt or place tobacco. A fellow hiker asked nonchalantly whether he was involved in an accident. I chortled with laughter. The sight was really awful. Blood were spurting all over. I swore that I could hear indistinct sloshing of blood against the ground every time he walked. And I bet that if his sandals were in lighter color, his blood would have soaked and dyed it bright crimson red. This instilled more fear in our group.
Left the peak at 2pm and the three of us just sped down the trail. Going down was so much faster but I tried to restrain from pounding on my knees too much as I could feel a tingle of pain building up in my right knee. Should get a restrainer thing strapped on soon. As it was wet, many of us slipped and fell a few times. Gf being the champion here. When we came to the first stream, this is where the adrenaline gets the final pump. I was still in a daze when dear shifted into high gear and left the both of us eating dust. She practically sprinted her way out of the jungle. Had a hard time catching up because I was trying to muffle my laugh and the sight of her fast hop-skip-run style just made it unbelievable. She made it clear that she rather slipped and fall and get cuts and bruises than to be made a meal by the leeches. Could not believe my eyes. Out of the jungle in 2 hours and spent more than 30minutes soaking in the cold refreshing mountain water. Found a leech on me. Grind it up and spat on his/hers remain. Took a bath later in the river and changed into some fresh clothes. This was when I realized I left my clean shorts at home and I already soaked my pants. It was kind of J and B to allow me to ride in their car with only my boxers on. It was awkward. Shit. B even took a few snapshots for remembrance.
This hike brought me over and under a lot of bamboos. Saw different type of mushrooms springing up at every nook and cranny that I managed to steal a look. Had the opportunity to man-handle a dozen plus blood-sucking parasitic hermaphrodites that were trying to inch up. Bees swirling and attaching themselves on my wet t-shirt, slurping up my sweat. A group of beautiful and different butterflies playing and dancing around. The mosquitoes there are not very smart though. Very slow in reaction and easily killed. The air-borne predators paled in comparison to the parasitic infantry unit. The place has really big boulders but it was certainly not a place where I would recommend my climbing friends to go to… as the journey up takes 3 long strenuous hours and the rocks are mostly smoothed out. No cracks to even climb. Negative. Anyway if they insist of trying, you can bet that I won’t be hauling my ass there again. Although no leech had a taste of dear but their failure of inflicting physical wound on her however greatly managed to further project a more sinister image in her, which will be etched in so deeply that I think she now has developed bdellophobia.