GBB (CUS Connection) - Day 4
It began to rain once again after the brief half-hour lunch stop, but we carried on nonetheless. The trail took us down and across the large river next to the campsite before ascending and descending the slopes, crossing multiple rivers in the process. Mushrooms--from huge false turkey tails (Stereum ostrea
) to tiny crumble caps (Coprinellus spp.
) and bonnets (Mycena spp.
) were ubiquitous. Patches of mangrove fan palms (Licuala spinosa
) were too, their huge peltate leaves that would sometimes reach up to a half-metre-long (and are commonly used to make ketupat
) would rustle and sway in the breeze as we passed. Slideshow of mushrooms that can be found along the Titiwangsa RangeMangrove fan palm (Licuala spinosa)
A huge river appeared to our right approximately 9.5 kilometres in, but instead of crossing it, the slippery trail ran parallel to it for a few hundred metres with occasional sheer drops down to the sides. The trail then eventually veered off to the left and slowly made its way away from the sounds of the river and into thickets of bamboo instead.A Temiar 'bubu pacik' (or 'pregnant fish trap') suspended on a tree above the river
We arrived at 'Agek Village' at around 17:45, after walking for almost 13 kilometres. The 'village' appeared to us as a solitary wooden hut, but after speaking with a few of the villagers, we found out that there were a few other huts in the vicinity. We followed the trail out of the village and past some land that had been cleared for crops and crossed several rivers right after. The campsite 'Agek Baru' was located after the second large river crossing, and it was here where the trail veered right and began its ascent up the slopes of Bongok Hill.As we climbed up Bongok Hill, dusk fell so quickly that it seemed as if someone had just turned off the lights. The climb was relentless and the pitch darkness made it seem even more so. The day's perpetual rain had also turned the slopes of the hill into a muddy slide, and we were forced to climb up the hill on our hands and knees for a significant portion of the way. As we did, we came face-to-face with jumping spiders (Family : Salticidae
) and house centipedes (Family : Scutigeridae
) that hopped and scuttled away. We eventually reached a plateau where we decided to stop and make camp for the night, but before we did, we turned off our headlamps and let our eyes adjust to the darkness so that we could appreciate the soft green bio-luminescent glow of the mushrooms that surrounded us.