In any case, a waterfall as impressive as Lata Chemperoh couldn’t really escape the gaze of our ever vigilant Trail Tracker (TT) leader, Aurelius, and thus, after exiling himself for a couple of months to concentrate on his master studies (yeah right!), he returned to pitch an invitation for me to join him on a trek to Lata Chemperoh. It wasn’t really the first time TT had gone to this fall. A number of TT members had gone to the fall a year earlier, carefully following the directions published on the web by the people who found it. This time however, we had gone a little high tech, with Aurelius equipping his GPS with the coordinates and route to the waterfall. Our adventure begins first with a gathering at the TT HQ in TTDI or so I thought, because when I reached the place, there was no one in sight! Calling Aurelius revealed that he was late, having had trouble waking up earlier on. And so as the clock ticked by with Ai Ling and Timmy showing up to join Wei Han and myself, we decided to go to Devi’s Corner for some light snacks while we wait our dear ‘leader’. Halfway through my teh tarik however, came the call.
Aurelius was already moving with Yee Wei and Chris in tow, heading out to pick up Aaron at the Shell petrol station at the entrance to the Karak highway. Finishing up our morning snack, we too set off, myself acquiescing to Ai Ling’s request to drop by at 7 Eleven to stock up with a packet of nasi lemak for lunch before rendezvousing with Aurelius at the Damansara toll plaza on LDP. We arrived at Janda Baik town at about 8:30am in the morning, dropping by at one of the few wan tan mee shops there for some real breakfast. With Chris around, there is no doubt that our breakfast will be supplemented with the customary siew yoke and char siew, sold outside the shop by a vendor setting his stall on his motorcycle by the road.
We even brought with us 3 packets of meat for the road, thinking of having it once we reach the falls. Breakfast over with, we took to the winding by roads into Kampung Janda Baik and the farms beyond where we would leave our cars and continue the journey on foot.
It was about 9:30am in the morning and the heat of the sun was beginning to make its mark on our skins. To make things even warmer, we had to hike a good distance across open farmland before we reached this inconspicuous branch on the road where a jungle path continues to the waterfall.
It was time to spray on the leech repellent as these creatures begin to make their presence felt. The trek through the jungle path didn't really take as long as Aurelius had earlier predicted (3 hours) nor was it really difficult.
Most of it was rather flat with a couple of low hills to navigate. Soon enough we hit a small stream, which we followed up for 10 minutes before we reached the falls.
Lata Chemperoh is quite impressive, a two step waterfall, the water is extremely clean and cold. Upon arrival, we took no time to wade into its chilling waters, frolicking first at the lowest level where a small pool with a rocky base is situated.
Water pressure is quite good and it was difficult for us to keep a firm footing within the gushing torrents.
At length, we moved up to the 2nd level, making a precariously slippery climb along the side.
Watch out because two of our members, Timmy and Aaron slipped and slid down the moss covered boulder on the way up to a rather painful conclusion at the bottom. (Timmy's was accidental, Aaron's deliberate! :p)
We took some time to bask in the sun before a group of us descended to help ourselves with the packed lunch and 'siew yoke' as a couple of butterflies sort of flittered by to check us out.
By 1:30pm, it was time to head out and after one more jump into the cool waters and another round of photos, we were on our feet.
We met up with a group of hikers just outside the 10 minute walk along the stream. Apparently, they were university students coming down from Gunung Nuang. Hmmm... now I know where does the alternate trek on Puncak Pengasih will lead you on the way to Janda Baik. Strangely, they are not aware of Lata Chemperoh.
Leaving them behind, we continued to our cars, passing the various farms and myself picking up this beautiful red shawl that just appeared in the middle of the road! And just when I was thinking of finding something to shield my skin from the stinging burn of the afternoon sun! My grandmother would later freak out when she heard of the shawl's origin though because whether you believe it or not, I had forgotten one very general code of conduct when doing hiking in jungles. "NEVER PICK UP THINGS THAT DON'T BELONG TO YOU, ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL THINGS!" :p :) She disposed of it immediately. At the car park, we took an opportunity to dip ourselves in the nearby stream. Despite the hot sun, the water was still cool to the touch. Once cleansed, he got into our cars and went over to Bukit Tinggi where we had lunch at Restaurant 126.
It's the first time I had been to this place and upon paying my share of the food, found it to be extremely cheap! ;) Of course we avoided the seafood and opted for their famous pork bellies instead. Lunch settled, we all headed home, bringing memories of this remote but beautiful falls with us... oh, and that bright RED shawl... huhuhu... hahaha... >)