Lost in the Jungle


It had rained for several hours the night before and I was hopeful that the mesh tin and bottle that I had left out under the ridgeline of my rain tarp would have accumulated a significant amount of rainwater by the time I awoke the next morning. The pitter-patter of rain throughout the night had been somewhat soothing but the occasional creaking sound of a tree or a large branch bending over before the crash of it falling would cause me to grimace as I braced myself for impact. It left me feeling somewhat vulnerable in the normally safe and snug cocoon of my Hennessy Hammock.

Upon waking however, I found to my dismay that the rainwater that had collected was what could only be described as measly. I was able to sweep off whatever moisture still remained on the rain tarp but even including this, the total amount of water that was collected was less than a mouthful. I decided to skip breakfast as the provisions that I had brought along with me were very dry and would only have worsened the dehydration. My feet were still damp from the downpour the day before and so tried to dry them off before proceeding with the hike in order to reduce the risk of infection. I also changed into my cross-trainers as my boots were still damp. I was to find out later on though that doing this would end up hampering my progress as all the grip that the deep soles of the boots provided in mud was almost non-existent on the cross-trainers.

As we began trekking, I immediately noticed a significant decrease in performance but was not sure if it was attributable to dehydration or to my mental state. Frustration had descended upon us in the early stages of the hike that day as the path that we had thought would have been very evident with the sun having risen, was still extremely elusive. As we made our way west I kept a lookout for leaves on the ground that still had remnants of last night's rain pooled on their curved surface. Each one I found turned out to be a boon and despite the tangy, metallic taste to the water, helped relieve my parched throat. I also attempted to retrieve rainwater from dead bamboo shoots but after all the effort creating the drainage hole, found that shoots would have to be close to parallel to the ground as the water would end up just trickling down the edge of the shoot. A machete would have been very handy indeed.

We spent a few hours making our way in circles down hills and then back up on several occasions before coming upon the path that we had taken the day before. We were assured that the path was the same as we recognized certain features that we had passed the day before such as some notches on bamboo shoots and the position and size of some of the fallen trees. Our pace picked up significantly from then on as the trail became easier and the obstacles lessened somewhat. Less than two hours from that point we reached the first river junction weary but very glad and relieved. Had I not had the Suunto Ambit with me, things could have ended pretty badly indeed.

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Mountains of Malaysia