Tok Nenek, Bubu, Yong Yap (TNBYY) – Day 4
The camp woke up slowly and lazily as we were all aware that we had a lot of time to spare and that there was no rush. Since the camp was not shrouded in darkness any longer, I finally got to appreciate the size and space of Kem Agas, which was by far the best campsite of the entire trip. The camp was also in very close proximity to a large river that gave us access to clean water for drinking, cooking and washing; clean water that I was immensely grateful for as I had previously taken it for granted.
After spending a lot of time taking slow-shutter-speed shots of the river and playing with a brilliantly coloured monster-sized (10cm in length perhaps?) grasshopper (Sub Order : Caelifera), I started to pack up my gear to get ready for the trek ahead. Just after convening for breakfast however (which was bihun and hot tea), it began to rain suddenly and everyone was forced to seek shelter underneath the two large tarps that still remained erect in order to wait out the downpour.
The downpour seemed to re-energize the river though and what was once a rushing river now seemed almost torrential. I found it interesting at that time to note the increase in sound of the river over time. I was also wondering if this would turn out to be an issue as I was fully aware that there were a lot of river crossings that lay in wait, something like 21 if I recall correctly. But just to clarify, it was not multiple rivers that we would end up crossing but rather the same river bring crossed back and forth.
Since we were now trekking in daylight, the river crossings themselves were a good contrast to the crossings in the dark of the night before. The current this time was much stronger but I had expected the enhanced visibility to counter this disadvantage. I found that this was not the case however as the rain-flow had turned the water a murky brown that ensured that all the rocks that lay below the surface remained hidden.
After endless river crossings in heavy rain and back through the horrendous bamboo-filled terrain, we reached the Indigenous village from which we began the journey. We were once again greeted by the adorable Pandak the puppy (Canis lupus familiaris) and the village leader made us feel welcome by giving us a bag full of langsats and rambutans as well as a few durians that a bunch of the group immediately began to devour. The ones that didn't partake however waited impatiently at the 4WD pickup truck as they shivered in the rain.
Once those that ate the fruits had had their fill, the 4WD set off back down the dirt road towards the police station. It must have felt like an eternity however as almost everyone on the truck was cold due to the altitude, low temperatures and the dampness, to the point of violent shivering. The faster the pickup truck went however the worse the wind became which exacerbated the situation. The group tried their best to remain cheerful however and the chatter proved to be both entertaining as well as a helpful distraction from the cold.
The familiar sight of the police station greeted us as the 4WD pulled in and I am pretty certain that most in the group had mixed emotions; both extremely grateful to be back and out of the cold and the relentless elements as well as sad that the trip was drawing to a close.