Thursday, March 6, 2008

1st Tahan Expedition, part 10....DAY 3 of ACTUAL CLIMB

Thursday, April 17th 1969...... Day 3 of Climb

Kuala Puteh to Kuala Teku
At our campsite, by the river we took out more canned foodstuff to be buried for the return leg of the expedition. On this 3rd morning, spirits were high for 2 good reasons. One was the weather was quite kind to us mostly dry, with no heavy downpour making movements less slippery and treacherous in the jungle. The 2nd was everyone seemed in good shape and condition, that morning, including Tng KG and our guide [ most important!]. Tng's recovery in particular, restored full confidence to our optimism, hopes and dreams...that we will succeed in our historic quest.


Top: I captured this snapshot with Tng in front followed behind by the others wading into the Tahan river. Immediately behind Tng, in dark outfit was Francis Lee, whose NJC emblem can still be clearly seen on his shirt. Right at the rear, scratching his ear was Twang PE.

Bottom: Another river crossing of the Sungei Tahan. We had to cross 7 such river points over 6 km before reaching our 1st destination Kuala Teku.

Our trek from K Puteh to K Teku was relatively less torturous than the previous day's climb. There was more variety to the terrain in this portion of the journey. The trail headed inland over sharp spurs and rocky gullies, going up and then down, crossing and re-crossing the Sungei Tahan a few times, before finally reaching the Sungei Teku.

The points where we crossed over the rivers were up to waist deep in parts. After each crossing and as soon as we waded to the opposite bank we would all removed our packs, roll down our socks to check for leeches.....for this is "leech" country.

Leeches are skinny,little tiny thing about 1 cm in length when they are crawling around in the wet, damp places. After they attached themselves onto you and suck on your blood their size can be quite large. Everyone checked and no one was immuned. All of us had leeches on our bodies...on our legs, armpits, groin area, etc... . They are very clever. Their "bites" cause no pain nor feeling at all since they are suckers. How did we deal with them? Never pull them off by force. That will cause the wound to bleed for some time. Simply burn them off by applying a fire to it. That way, the wound will close up fast by itself.

I remember we were all individually trying to count the number of leech bites we each we progressed along the trek. If my memory serves me well... the highest total was around 28 !But I cannot now recall who held that record. Ha Ha. It wasn't me or Ahmad....that much I'm certain.


Lam Chun See said...

Tom. I think if you create a Blogger account, you can post your commentd directly to Uncle Dick's blog; then his readers can also read your stories of the Malayan jungle. All you need is an email account and a password.

Alternatively. Dick; I think you can choose a setting whereby he doesn't need to have an account to post comments.

uncle dick said...

Thanks for the suggestion C See. Much appreciated.
I have reformatted the settings to allow anyone to comment henceforth.
Less hassle.
Less security...but can still manage, I think.

Tom said...

Tom said...
thanks Uncle dick for given me permission to take afew copys ok your photograhps.