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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 81: A walk in the park

MALAYSIA | Friday, 25 January 2008 | Views [828]

Taman Negara National Park

Taman Negara National Park

Friday 25th January

I wasn't in any rush to get out and about that morning, so didn't set the alarm and got up around 10.00, had breakfast and eventually made it into the park around 12.00. It was a particularly warm day, so I slapped on the sunscreen and a layer of mosquito repellent on top of that (having learned my lesson on the bike trip a few days before). After a few hundred metres walk, yet another layer of sweat covered me, leaving me hot and sticky.

I didn't have any real plan set out, but one of the first places of interest that I aimed for was a local swimming spot, which didn't look too bad. It wasn't the clearest water but not the dirtiest place either. There might have been one or two leeches in there, but official signs had been put up to indicate that it was indeed a recommended swimming area. I didn't have my swimming shorts with me, otherwise I would have jumped straight into the water to cool down.

After that brief trek, I set off in search off a hilltop trail which promised a good view of the park. It was a trek of about an hour, mostly up steep hills, the tree roots and the ground between them which had levelled off in the rain forming a natural staircase. This made it easier in terms of your footing, but it was still hard going, especially as I was going at a steady kind of pace (exactly like Rambo in 'First Blood'!).

After a couple of hours trekking, I decided to call it a day and headed back to the chalet as I was completely knackered and in need of a cooldown. I snoozed for an hour or two, and was surprised at how tired I was, with the heat and the humidity clearly sapping a lot of my energy. But, it had been very good exercise. I was a bit disappointed not to see more animals than I did (I got the impression from the 'wild boar' loitering about the tourist chalets close to the park entrance that they weren't so wild). However, most of these animals are nocturnal, only coming out at night to feed.

John & Anna had set off on a longer trek that afternoon, and we passed each other as they set off. They were due to stay overnight at a hide (a raised observation platform where animal spotters and trekkers can sleep out of the way of the animals), about 11kms from the main village where we were staying. I didn't really envy them, as I thought of them slogging through the jungle. I didn't do a great deal more during the evening. I had planned on doing a longer trip the next day, so got some rest ahead of an earlier start.

Tags: The Great Outdoors


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