Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Malaysia - Edge of Taman Negara to the South China Sea by Kayak Part 1

Refueling at Jerantut 2am

Chasing Otters to the South China Sea and eating kampung Nasi Goreng Ayam!

5 months of Planning (2 reccies and one failed trip due to equipment failure) and hours pouring over google earth and Garmin MapSource Maps for the Garmin GPS is about to be tested.

So why am I crossing the congruence of Sg Tembeling and Sg Jeli/Pahang in the pitch black after drinking two cans of beer after I thought I was finished paddling for the day? Worse it’s on an empty stomach totally dangerous - read on to find out what caused this and the rest of part one of 170k of the 400+killermeter kayaking adventure.

The trip planning started in XMAS 2009 when we went to Taman Negara for a few days to unwind in the 4x4's and I had a stupid idea wondering if I could Kayak Sg Tembeling which is the southern border of Taman Negara from the destination we failed to get to Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara headquarters).

Well stupid ideas with me often become reality so after much research was done pouring over maps and Google earth and reading where I could I decided stuff it I cannot resist this I’m going to paddle from Kg Mat Daling to the South China Sea.

With no pre TRAINING just jump on the big totally unsuited for this trip is (Malibu Stealth S-14 fishing Kayak) it's too big, it's too slow and just paddle till I get to the other end. Nah its a great idea it takes a crap load of camping kit and its very very stable. Lets do it.

Soon I had a plan for road and water and GPS points etc all prepared. I had several people volunteer to be land support.

The first trip failed when the support truck carrying the Kayaks overheated after the repair for the failed fan and water pump failed.

Undaunted we re-prepared and tested the support truck over the same route (yup up and over the 800 meter climb and back) to make sure it was ok this time.

At the last minute my kayaking partner (my future wife) pulled out leaving me solo or cancel - stuff that so I elect to continue solo.

I am determined not to fail - not that fail is in my vocabulary.

Day 0

Wednesday night I am on tender hooks all day, the kayak is on the truck we are off 6pm and the second support truck arriving the following night.

I finally get to pick up the first support crew (Peter or WD40 to some) at 10.00pm. Peter has been support for me in the Simpson Desert Cycle Races before he enjoys this stuff. Kantha (or Demontweeks to some is due to arrive on Friday morning in the Hilux hopefully at Camp Nusa) and we cruise off for the long 8 hour drive to the put in point at Kg (village) Mat Daling in Pahang on the far Eastern side of Malaysia's Taman Negara (or National Park). Kg Mat Daling is some 70k from Camp Nusa Resort which is 80+k by road from Kuala Tahan the headquarters for Taman Negara.

The goal paddle as far as I can down the Tembeling River to where it becomes Sg Pahang (or Pahang River) and follow this to the ocean some 400k later. Its 379k from Where Sg Pahang starts to the Ocean and over 130k from Kg Mat Daling to the start of Sg Pahang. 2.00am Tursday and we are having a final meal at Jerantut before we head of to Kuala Tahan and the start of the 4x4 track.

The total distance we have to travel tonight is over 300k from Kauala Lumpur. 225k to the trailhead and 70+ on a dusty (4x4 only) or muddy logging track depending on the weather.

The trip to the trailhead is uneventful and I sleep most of the way for the first 225k. The Road from Jerantut (80k) to Kuala Tahan is perilous with CATTLE everywhere and usually just after you have crested a rise so they can ambush you as you crest the hill :) 50k an hour is the safe speed we decide. However, I’m fully awake for the 4x4 part and we think we are safe from Lorri Hauntu's (Ghost truck or basically a LOGGING TRUCK - 27+ tonnes of logs on the back of a WWII 6x6 truck)) until a pair of oncoming headlights and the distinct GROWL of a LARGE laboring diesel engine we realize shit LORRI hantu quick off the track. That wakes us up, several more pass us. We spy more lights clawing skyward so we stop and wait and wait and wait 7 minutes to be exact.

Nothing comes past we give up and drive on - no sign of the Lorri Hantu was seen nor any tracks - did we see a real Ghost Lorri - scary stuff indeed.

5.30am we both need sleep - realizing the starting time of 7.00am has gone we decide to stop at Bukit Awan (Awan Hill a lookout over Sg Tembeling 381 meters up) some 30 minutes awake and setup camp on the side of the track.

Our view of the world from 381 meters up.

Ha-ha two beds out in the open with the truck to protect us from the Lorri Hantu's. We also get phone reception here and SMS Kantha (Hilux Support) and Yoke of the situation.

Day 1 - Thursday

We both awake with a start at 9.35am (yup a passing lorri hantu wakes me up)

The offending LORRI

We are on the road again at 10.00am and refreshed with 40+k still to go to Kg Mat Daling.


Water Tank.

The turnoff is uneventful till we spot fresh bulldozer tracks - arrrrghhhhhhhhh then we nearly hit the bulldozer grinning we carry on.

12.00pm we cruise quietly into Kg Mat Daling and order lunch - Kampung Fried Chicken and Fried Rice - it’s delicious and the locals want to know all about what we are doing.

The GREEN wagon at Kg Mat Daling

Soon it’s time to unpack and the Kayak is dumped on the jetty and loaded up - 18 liters of water - 15kg of kitchen kit and food. Clothes and tent and sleeping mattress.

It takes 4 of us to lower the kayak into the water. I say goodbye to Peter its 1:40pm (only 6 hours late) and I give him 30 minutes head start to the wooden bridge before setting off (bad mistake). I tow the kayak out to the center channel so there is enough water to make it float with me on it. Then my journey starts 2:10pm 8k to the first RV at the wooden bridge maybe an hour just less. How wrong could I been. The current is slow and the sandbars mean a lot of walking is done towing the kayak.

I end up taking two hours and 10 minutes and there is Peter on the bridge camera in hand.

The boat which passed me was actually towing these two solid log canoes.

This is what Peter saw haha.

Then the surprise in this lorri hantu is a guy standing up at the back, in the cab is two then the shocker there is two sitting behind the guy sitting down - talk about a jungle taxi.

Then this lorri hantu came across when I was underneath - yes it’s a HILUX. Running on 2-3 cylinders but still running.

We chat he has had fun. 8 fully laden lorri Hantu’s have come over the bridge. As I come to the bridge a boat comes downstream towing what I realize is precut planks for the one of the traditional long boats (see the pic above to see what it really was). With the water a little deeper I cruise on soon I’m at a village not on the map SRI TEMBELING huge and a watch a fisherman casting his net coming up empty each time. The bridge I discover is 12 kilometers from the start and not 8 like we thought.

I pass a small covered workshop where they are making a traditional long boats cool. Somewhere along here is the start of the east side of TAMAN Negara the right side of the river Taman Negara (and since I have not registered to be there off limits for me) and the left side forest - I just call it all paradise.

Fisherman casting a net (the whole trip I never saw a fisherman catch or net a fish).

Me arriving at Kuala Sat

5.13pm I arrive at the next RV point (15k from the start) which is Kuala Sat and we decide to call it a day why travel 10k more downstream and camp by myself when I can be sitting with Peter drinking a cold beer - crikey #@#@#@# we forgot beer.

I elect to stay with Peter. We drive up to the village and buy a couple of drinks however there is no food to purchase.

We watch the locals play the evening game of soccer. Then it’s back down to the riverbank and setup camp. Soon after a pile of "idiots" from the village turn up and the village idiot is in full cry - u want coconut - yes - in the tree - Can I sit in your boat - NO - Can take for paddle - NO - eventually I tire of this crap and cook dinner. My my wonderful baked beans - Hokkien Chicken and corn all from a tin - delightful and simple to cook along with a hot chocolate. Meantime we try and use our mobile phones but they do not work.

Sunset is soon after 7.21pm and it’s peaceful no tarp we are sleeping out in the open with a million stars for candle light and a full moon. We sit and watch the river go by. 10pm there is a thunder storm and suddenly a hand phone jumps - its Kantha (hey wait a minute now the phones work hahaha) he is leaving Kuala Lumpur want anything - YUP BEER and Batteries and your GeckoAdventure crew shirts from the house and our phones work also. We also warn him about the COWS and the LORRY HANTU's that should keep him awake on the drive in a STOCK STANDARD HILUX Pickup haha. Peter elects to stay awake until Kantha arrives.

Eventually exhausted from only 3 hours sleep I fall asleep in bed.

4.00am I hear a phone - Kantha I’m at the wooden bridge where are you - were are at Kuala Sat as planned 4k away you missed the left turnoff on the GPS - 5.00am I hear voices and a the familiar thump of a HILUX 2KD engine and Kantha arrives on the beach in the stock HILUX. It’s covered in MUD. The two of them stay awake I go back to sleep for a while but they forget to wake me - oops.

Green at Kuala Sat

Cooking Breakfast Kuala Sat Day 2.

Green at camp Day 2 morning at Kuala Sat on Sg Tembeling

Sg Tembeling Day 2 morning at Kuala Sat.

The morning camp site.

The "Clean" Hilux after its 20k blast through the pouring rain.

Day 2 - Friday

7.00am I'm awake rats I’m supposed to be in the water the whole river is covered in mist wonderful and cool - breakfast cereal and milk and a cup of hot chocolate - wow all energy food. 8.00am the Kayak is packed and I’m off scheduled to meet the two guys at Kg (Village) Pagi some 30k down the river at around 2pm.

It is a nice paddle in the mist and it’s so cool I encounter small herds of Water buffalo which run when you get to close.

I hear monkey’s birds and more birds the jungle is alive the whole morning with chorus’s of birds fantastic.

This herd scatters as I get close in.

Every turn you get scenery and isolation like this the jungle filled with chirping birds.

Soon the mist melts and the unrelenting sun belts down on my black akubra hat.

I have an incident with 4 buffalo's. Most buffalos run when you invade their space - bugger these 4 stamp their feet and then move towards me - I have to back paddle dropping the camera, however I’m in the crap as the water is so shallow they can out run me ha-ha. I paddle back quietly then get the video out.

Close too close notice the body language and the feet lifting.

Close too close notice the body language and the feet lifting.

Occasionally I have to get out and haul the kayak across sandbank otherwise it’s a nice gentle paddle I think my body tells me otherwise.

Kg Pagi gets closer and the sound of an Imam from a mosque tells me I’m close to human habitation again. I'm really stuffed and it’s almost lunchtime. Time to get on the radio - they are there JUST - more later they tell me - they must have had a problem. I cruise the rapid into Kg Pagi and pull up at the jetty and we climb the stairs to the restaurant. 2009 the water was over the restaurant - unbelievable that’s a good 10 meters above the current level.

Then the story - ah yes well we were in the dust of many many LORRI Hantu's and we missed the turnoff and went to Camp Nusa some 30k further on and had to turn back and the GPS point to here was a bit vague so trial and error it to find Kg Pagi :).

Lunch is delicious Fried Rice and Chicken and it’s got a nice spice bite to it - I would recommend this place to anyone. The reason they were late - well well well they missed the turnoff to Kg Pagi sitting in the dust of a Lorri Hantu and drove all the way to Camp Nusa before they realized they had missed the turn.

45 minutes later lunch time is up and back on the river - next RV with the crew is Camp Nusa another 25k down the river and I join the ferry boats running up and down the river.

Suddenly Rapids - wow loud over a 1km away I can hear the roar is this bad or not? I pull up to have a look and get a lucky break a boat comes up the river so I watch the route - and there is a side channel - I elect to take it also. It too easy in the big fishing kayak I video the rapids descent “look mum no hands”.

There are many places to camp along here including a wonderful sandy and rocky island pity I have to get to Camp Nusa I just want to stop and have a swim and camp.

The afternoon cruises on slowly at 6-8k an hour and then I spot a head in the water or is no no no its an OTTER cool I start to follow it as its also swimming downstream - through rapids and on and on I can never get to closer than about 80 meters then there is more and it realizes im following and using the skills it learned at CIA tracking school looses me with a long dive. Damn my mind now released from the chase I paddle on looking for more. I start to get near to Camp Nusa I stop for a power bar and sultanas break, check my GPS and continue on. The otter and the birds have made my day so far.

I am quietly paddling along in murky water in what appears to be a fishing sanctuary - when I suddenly spot movement in under the bow - TOMAN FRIES - then two dark shapes and they suddenly SPLIT TOMANS and BIG - Rats I get the camera up and snap a shot however the shot is not as good as the view I get through the polarizing glasses.

The black shape on the left is a Toman and the two wakes left by the mum and dad awesome.

Soon the GPS tells me I am 1000 meters from camp however I stuff up a rapid and being smart/cocky I take video while riding the rapid. Bad move the big kayak hooks a rock and I’m stranded drop the camera and paddle and rock until its free before I flip over then the next trough buries the nose under the waves and the whole Kayak is under water. I pull up to empty the kayak out the bait box is full I’m soaked and the front full of water and there is a bunch of boats here with passengers letting off steam and cooling in the wonderful warm yes the water is about 30celcius river water and swinging off a rope into the water.

I drain the bait box its full and I’m soaked. Now I’m 700 meters from camp and the radio is now alive they will set up the camera for a video of me coming down the rapid to camp.

Video of me stuffing up the rapid.

Cool the Camp Nusa rapid is one you do not want to screw up with people watching from the restaurant above and being a double rapid your gonna get messed up if you falter on the top rapid. Easy stuff and I’m in camp.

Coming is

A cold beer, a wash and then dinner wow at Camp Nusa and I get driven up to the restaurant wow chauffer driven 400 meters to dinner. Dinner is a hamburger - then 2 and finally I scoff down 3 hamburgers before my hunger has passed. I lie in the lazy chair in the restaurant until the other two finish their cigarettes. Air polluters phewy !!! haha.

Magic place for dinner and watch the river flow by, 60k down only 340k to go until it hits the South China Sea.

Back to camp and we sleep outside again I’m in bed (sleeping on the ground) and out like a light the other two drink cold beer and smoke cigarettes all night.

For HILUX Fans - stock HILUX apart from the CHIPPED up engine and HT Michelins.

The muddy Hilux and the Mardi Gra Float at Camp Nusa Beach.

The KAYAK and the route I go tomorrow morning.

The Camp Nusa Restaurant and yes the water reaches it in Monsoon.

The Camp - So nice.

Great pic by Peter of the campsite.

Another great pic and our well set up camp.

Hey this guy is a pro cameraman - great shots. That’s me in the background.

Yes that’s right Kantha is scared of the jungle and sleeps in the car.

Day 3 - Saturday

Awake and cook breakfast - wow cereal and milk again and a hot chocolate.

A bird arrives to greet us with a morning song -

8.00am I’m an hour late and the kayak is packed and I’m dressed ready for the water. I'm given 20ringgit for a drink at Kuala Tahan.

The first morning sight.

The other two well they get breakfast at Camp Nusa and get to meet me at Hulu Tembeling some 80k away by road and 40k by water. 1pm is the RV time.

The camp site from the kayak as I disappear round the corner.

Deer spore.

I cruise off and get about 500 meters and damn it the GPS fails losing satellites intermittently it comes back on. I find signs of a deer spore on the beach as I muck around with the GPS. People are camped all down here fishing it’s like a holiday resort not the wilds of Malaysia.

Kuala Tahan is reached at 9.00am and what an unsociable place. 35foot long boats everywhere 50+ all flying as fast as they can to show how good they can handle a boat - stuff it I just paddle on and find floating restaurant and yeah I pick the unfriendliest one they have no change for $10rm for a ICED MILO (Chocolate).

I drink and leave as fast as I can then the park ranger sees me and points frantically at the kayak in the water to the other rangers - I ignore them all and paddle off ignoring all the boats and everyone around me. Soon the water is quiet again and I spot a group of netters and watch the net being cast wonderful pic and then to make my trip a pair of rare long tailed parakeets.

Kuala Tahan taxi boat parking only.

Kuala Tahan Water taxi and floating restaurant stops.

Its going to be a long day no GPS but I know if I paddle nicely I am moving at 7.4kph which means 60-70k in a 10 hour day. Little do I know what’s going to happen next. Then it’s all back to jungle both sides Taman Negara on the right and whatever on the left but its remote and no one is around except a pair of mating eagles I get a 30 second glimpse at the sky dance.

The Asli family net fishing

Then a family of Asli's netting I stop watch and talk to them in Bahasa they are catching almost nothing and the catch in the plastic bag is almost nonexistent. My rations in the box are more than they would eat in a week.

Lunch is on the go I decide to drift along at 2.3k in the current and eat a tin of baked beans and tuna while I put my feet up for 15 minutes.

Cool I expect to meet the crew soon at marker K090. Well its 3pm and K090 (approximately 90-100k into the trip) comes and then there is phone signal and I hear the phone go off.

Rats they are on the wrong side of the river and some 30k away from me and I have to get there as no pullout points. So I have 3 hours to do 30kilometers before sunset. I step on it and I have no GPS I’m going by MAP navigation only. I stick to the right side of the river its shady and cooler than the stifling heat in the middle of the river.

I get stuck several times as the right side appears to be the shallow side. Most of the time I am barely putting a whole paddle in the water and the ends of the paddle has got rips in it from the shallow water.

I get another message before phone comm's drops out they have sent message via a passenger boat - I never get it. I pass an old man caulking a boat on a sand bar strange site. I scare many troops of monkeys as the kayak silently makes its way downstream even catching a troop on the river sandbanks.

I spy a thundercloud forming I wonder if it will rain soon.

Soon its 10k to camp and then I can get them on the radio and then everyone wants to talk to me on SMS (GF friends in KL) forget it I either paddle or I stop and SMS and paddling wins.

I can hear the radio but not talk as I only have the 0.5 watt radio so I am limited to 2 kilometers for transmission.

The storm cloud at 3.00pm at the K090 GPS point.

Old Fisherman caulking a small boat.

Ferry boats still running up to Taman Negara

A hand carved canoe out of a single log.

Stuck again just when I catch a troop of monkeys’ on a sandbar.

Fish trap not being used.

Soon they can see me and the day is almost over (apart from that thundercloud I saw forming at 3.00pm).

Dam this is a long way across whose idea was this?

Paddling damn hard to the point I was spent especially at the end of a long day.

They tell me to aim across the river to the jetty as they are on Sg Pahang and Sg Tembeling ends here. I’m almost to the jetty (200 meters away) and realize its two rivers merging and one is brown not mine. Little do they realise the strength of the current either.

As I hit the dirty larger river I’m swept downstream and suddenly I’m paddling with everything I have I know I can paddle at 10-11kph for about 100 meters then I’m spent in this kayak as it’s just too wide.

I paddle and paddle inching forward across the river slowly so the current must be over 8k. The jetty gets closer and closer the radio does not shut up any time I stop paddling I'm swept away.

Soon calm water is reached I’m spent and friendly hands take the rope and tie the kayak off and I get a well earned beer. The distance well over 80k travelled in about 10 hours I’m exhausted.

Then 2 beers later the bad news we have been advised not to camp here there is a rock concert on tonight about 50 meters from us and too many undesirables around and our accommodation will be a government building with no water.

The crew showing off their beer cans.

We elect to do the madness thing I have to paddle back across the two rivers to the other side and the crew will drive around down to a bridge and up to meet me. By this time it’s dark so I paddle 100 meters up the river in the eddies and then cut (paddling ferry technique) across the big Pahang river in the darkness after 2 beers and then quietly paddle across Sg Tembeling and beach the kayak and tie it off at the abandoned houseboat.

What a stupid idea but I do it anyway. Then a swim for a wash and cook dinner in the darkness.

Nice baked beans and curry chicken and corn all from a can and a hot chocolate. Just as I’m eating it the boys turn up it’s only taken them an hour they setup the real camp.

Soon camp is wrecked by that storm I saw forming and everything it everywhere except me as soon as it started raining I’m in the abandoned boathouse ha-ha and the boys run in and out all night getting cold beer from GREENs fridge.

I drift off to sleep after 11pm and those two well they were up to 2am+ drinking beer.

So over 120K down (and 70k paddled today) and 270k to go.

Day 4 - Sunday

The Storm raged outside and I’m in the abandoned houseboat snug and warm and dry.

Peters last day he has to leave this morning. However, he delays his departure with a SMS with a Dave's in trouble message hahaha.

We get up very late and I’m not in the water until 8.30am little do we know the significance of this mistake until much later in the day.

The abandoned boathouse and the mighty Sg Pahang in the background dirty and fast.

The support trucks lined up almost ready to roll.

A helping push to start my day all I need now is an engine.

The current is good and the water is up a little from the storm.

My GPS is working again I drift along at about 4-6k then the GPS dies forever (and takes $640rm to fix later).

Damn it's going to be a long day but only 50k to a pullout point so we can go Kayak fishing tomorrow at a Dam.

A fisherman attends his empty net I cruise by silently ambushing Monkey Troops.

The monkeys are fun I silently stick to the shady bank they screech and howl warnings as you come past. Then the shocker then is a huge Marquette monkey (yeah the alpha male) right on the edge bugger he hissed and screeches at me I just jumped hahaha - MONKEY! that’s my job to scare you ha-ha.

This is one big wide river

The morning is uneventful with a steady paddle and now signs of human life with river bank both sides being cleared for oil palm plantation and agriculture.

No GPS I navigate with maps only and roughly know where I am.

3k from lunch the radio comes to life Wahoo they are at the bridge and soon its lunchtime right on time what do I have yup baked beans and corn and chicken curry again and hot chocolate.

What did the boys have well nice Chinese breakfast and coffee in town.

Pulling in for lunch I hope it’s not beans again ha-ha.

Meet the crew at 1.00pm at Jerantut some 30k down the river and then only another 20k to paddle and I can get pulled out and relax.

Lunch being cooked.

Peter still will not go home he elects to stay again and they will check the pull out point 2k down river and then another 20k further on as we have not previously recce’d this part.

I pass them and paddle down the right side of the river its now in the shade.

Several hours pass and then an SMS. Bad news they are at Kuala Krau and there is no pullout points so once again I have more than 30k to travel this time it looks like an extra 35kilometers from where I am. Oh Rats a quick calculation shows this will take me to just after sunset to complete.

Oh well just carry on.

The afternoon trip is a delight and very different to this morning’s leg. Lots of corners and around every corner something different including headwinds and rock formations and the surprise - snakes baby cobras in the water and then water monitors huge ones everywhere and of course the troops of monkeys the kayak sneaks up on.

I take a break and drift along for 30 minutes not paddling just eating sultanas and power bars as the kayak cruises past an island the faster current pushing me along. Then a baby cobra to chase across the river. It takes off when it realizes I’m after it.

What a wonderful sight a hand carved wooded canoe out of a single log still being used.

Soon its back to the relentless paddling and its almost sunset, fisherman abound on boats so I must be near civilisation. I pass a fishing family where u from - New Zealand. Where you go? - Pekan.

Hey wait a minute those Asli spoke English hahahaha.

Soon there is a pair of hills sticking (looks like a girl I knew once - twin peaks) up I check the map aha I know that hill and where I am finally (Kuala Krau is directly to the right of the hill however the hills are 400 meters high) - I also know I’m about 15k out.

But it’s almost dark I switch to use the iPhone as the LUMIX gets water in the lens :(. Just on Dark I see what looks like small logs stuck in the water then the LOG comes straight at me "what the hell" - BANG it hits the kayak and then swims off then another - WTF swimming LOGS? - I work it out its water monitors (up to 2 meters long) swimming upstream in the silty water they cannot see and are just below the surface plenty of them swimming I learn and avoid future collisions hahaha.

The iPhone takes a terrible picture in low light this is what I see at sunset.

Then suddenly its dark and I still have over 10k to go. I drift for about 20 minutes and let my eyes get used to the darkness (any use of the phone or a torch ruins your night vision for 5-10 minutes) and wait for the moon to rise.

Then I paddle again this time slowly at about 4-5k an hour. 90 minutes later I see bridge all light up I get on the radio anyone there? "YUP YUP You are a 1k from me".

Peter has gone and Kantha is now the only support. He shines a torch and I fix the position and aim for it.

Soon its 8.45pm and I’m at the pullout point and I hop out of the kayak pitch black and exhausted. However, we have a 200 meter haul with the kayak uphill to put it on the GREEN wagon. I fall 3 times carrying the kayak tripping over coconut shells and other rubbish.

Dinner is at a local restaurant and they ruin it for me by putting chili on the chicken just great on chaffed lips. Bugger what a day I have completed what looks like over 80 killer meters again and paddled for 2 1/4 hours in the dark. I fall asleep and Kantha drives us not back to Kuala Lumpur but to Rompin where we are going KAYAK fishing tomorrow morning.

I want to finish this trip I plan to come back in a month and continue - I give myself 3 days to do the remaining 200k and hopefully see more otters.

So I’m summary K180 marker was reached and I have to get to K403 on the GPS - in reality I have actually paddled over 200k as at K060 GPS point the distance was already 70k travelled.

We drive off into the night not for home but for a Dam on the East side of Malaysia (250k away) drive on Kantha I’m sleeping wake me at Kuala Rompin - yup when you see the big sailfish mobile on the road. Thats another story as we arrived at the DAM in Rompin and sat up till 5.00am drinking beer and listening to music and looking out over the water 2 meters away and a million stars as our roof what a magic end to a weekend. Strange a Mat Salleh showing a Malaysian his own country.

And you thought this tale was over - it ain't there is one more day to go. But that’s this tail over until the next part.

Anyway I have 220 more killermeters to paddle till I reach the South China Sea and as for the Kayak well I will continue the journey on the DAG TIWOK as its faster and will give me an extra 1-2k on my average speed.

So whats next before XMAS?

Finish this trip in Late August.
Another 400k paddle is planned over 16 days with fishing etc all thrown in and totaly solo.
Redo the first 70k of this trip again on a smaller kayak with some friends haha.
Another 270k paddle is planned.
A trip down a white water river on the riverboard is planned 70 kilometers of totally unknown river apart from having 5 waterfalls on it 3 of which I have seen 3 of them and oh yeah its cold its 700 meters up.

Stay tuned either the end of August or the End of September to complete the trip.