The track incline kicked off almost straight away at 45 degrees into the jungle canopy. Most of us got pretty tired pretty fast, one noticeable exception was our guide today, local resident Datuk Lee and his three dogs, he started off last and arrived up at our first resting point first. It was a bit of a case of the old man teaching the young ones how to do it, despite being our senior, his spritely goat like hiking skills were much more preferable than my elephantine strides as my feet got heavier with every stride.
The path leveled off and followed the edge of a reservoir, which thankfully for me was horizontal hiking for a while, Datuk Lee then transmogrified from goat to Botanist and started showing us some of the hidden flora and fauna that was right in front of our eyes. He showed us jungle mushrooms and “Monkey Cups” or Pitcher Plants. Pitcher Plants are a carnivorous plant with a sock shaped leaf filled liquid that attracts its prey of insects into the open top of the sock, down into the liquid then drowns them and digests them. One would nearly feel bad for the insects until you noticed whet this particular plant was growing, right beside the still mosquito filled waters of reservoir. I don’t like mosquitoes so I guess I have a new favorite plant!!
We strolled on by the reservoir and quicker than a character in Harry Potter, our botanist guide had turned back into a goat and gone vertical! So lots of puffing and panting later we caught up on Datuk Lee for some more botany class to the amazing soundtrack of the monkeys which we could hear all around us but were never revealed. So after about an hour of chasing the goat we reached the top of the trail took a break and then began our decent from the thick jungle through the stargate and back to suburbia, where we dried off and headed to Starbucks for a much needed elephant sized venti latte and a St. Patricks Shambo from O’Briens sandwich Bar next door. FMK.