Merge the forest in Lord of the Rings and Charlie Chcocolate Factory and you’ll get Gunung Irau ; truly mossy, misty and muddy ! The hike up Mount Irau was amazing and mud-venturous ! Nothing like my earlier presumption.. Gunung Irau (Mount Irau) is situated in Cameron Highland’s , Pahang Darul Makmur (largest state in Peninsular Malaysia) . It is 2110m (6900ft) making its summit the highest in Cameron Highland (and the 15th in Malaysia). Popular among local and international hikers , Gunung Irau consists of the ever famous Mossy Forest, a sight to behold. It’s peak marks the border of two states, Pahang Darul Makmur and Perak Darul Ridzuan. The average time taken to hike up is 3 hours.
The group which I joined last Saturday consisted a bunch of 52 happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic people ! I left Melawati at 0500hrs together with Vivian, Eric and Lily. First stop ; Sri Damansara , to fetch Cheong. Second stop; the Tapah Highway R&R. Had breakfast with the group. There we met up with more hikers ; Jezamine, Gerrard, Wei Kong and a few more. Third stop ; a mamak restaurant at Tringkap, where we met up with another group, and also picked up 3 lady hikers. We continued the convoy from Tringkap, through the Sg Palas tea plantation to the camp site/starting point at Mount Brinchang. It took us about half an hour. The drive up was not so bad at the beginning, the road surface was ok. Managed to capture some fotos on the way !! Thanks to Eric (for driving !! ). It was a breathtaking view, to see the morning mist covering the tea plantation ! All green and fresh !!!
At the starting point, Tony Quay Peng Kim (our guide, chief and sweeper) gave a short yet vital briefing to the group . We prepared ourselves and the gears which we brought along. I myself couldn’t wait to begin !! It was cool and misty ! Luckily I had my windbreaker on to protect me from the chilly morning Irau breeze ! Eric and I was among the last to start, but ahead of Tony.
Started hiking at 1030hours. It wasn’t even 15 minutes before I ‘took’ my first fall.. ayyoo…. quite simultaneously with Joo Ean. She was at the back of me, (she slipped first).. and the split second i turned back to reach for her (or something like that), I felled ! The prize; a bad bruise on my left leg. It didn’t hurt that much though. The trail was chocolatey..(chocolaty ?!), the markers from previous hikers were still intact and visible most of the way. It didn’t took long though for our group to ‘space out’. It is natural though looking at the various ‘hiking background’ and ‘fitness level’ in our group. But most importantly, is the courage and determination to complete the hike. I myself didn’t had any buddy with me. Eric was at times in front of me, sometimes at the back. Vivian was in the leading pack, but later on manage to potong her ! hihih.. sorry ya mummy.. must be the boots i was wearing.
The trail was rooty (covered with roots), muddy,brown and at times slippery and dangerous. A lot of handwork (and also balancing) were needed as the trail were sometimes flat, sometimes steep (90 degrees and even 110 degrees !) luckily the roots were there to support and acted as handles to pull us up where needed. Time take to reach the peak was around 3 hours. Pulled out our lunch packs, and….. lunch on !! I thought it would take forever to reach the peak (coz that time penat oredi..). I passed at least 3 groups who were on their way down from the peak, and each said that i was 10 minutes away. around 5 minutes later, another group passed me, saying the same thing. you’re 10 minutes away ! keep it up ! thanks ! that sure was encouraging ! LOL..! anyway, the last person i came across said, ‘You’re 50 steps away!’ whoa… didn’t have the strenght to count up to 50, but i manage to step on ! 1328hours – @ the peak !!!
After lunch , the group prepared to hike down. 🙂 Happy that we reached the top, we were equally thrilled to reach the base ! And guess what ?!!! It rained around 10 minutes after we took off from the summit.. and I was like.. Oh my God…. prayed so much that it won’t rain ! And it rained quite heavily- all the way until we reached the base. The trail became more slippery, muddy and chocolaty. The gloves which were summoned for us to bring helped a lot coz without is there would be more ooohhhsss, ahhhhsss and ouccchh !! 🙂 the Hong Kong Standard Chartered raincoat which Vivian kindly lend me was very useful ! It protected me from the unwanted rain and flu !!! heheh.. but, it didn’t protect me from getting my head banged on vertical tree branches. Ouch ! Nasib baik tak bengkak or else i would have a couple or more benjols on my forehead.
Eric suffered from 3 bee stungs on his sweet left thigh.. poor thing ! tu lah, i told you already, too sexy for hiking !!! hehehhehe…luckily he manage to rush to the nearest clinic after the hike.
To wrap up, the hike was a very adventurous and pretty tough one ! Much recommended for those seeking new hiking experiences and those who don’t mind getting drenched and muddy ! Fitness first, it is essential that your limbs and muscles are strong as it could really get physical and rough, especially when its raining !! heheh…
Okay guys, have to stop here.. will continue later on !! Keep on reading !!!!
p.s. : I’ve uploaded the fotos to my foto album. do check it out !