Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Field trip

So there are some incredible stories to tell of my 5-day field trip to various parts of Malaysia. The photos speak for themselves, mostly because words can't fully describe some of the amazing (And not so amazing) things we saw and experienced.

On the first day we set out, all 5 of us, bleary-eyed at 7am in the morning, chucking up all kinds of equipment into the back of a chartered van.

Our first destination was Cameron Highlands, absolutely nothing there, cold as shit, windy as hell (why people torment themselves with the nauseating hour and a half drive around the mountain to see n.o.t.h.i.n.g. I will never understand.) We spent the night in darkness along the forest trail of Robinson's falls, searching for a new species of spitting spider that is hard as hell to spot and catch. Exciting stuff. We headed out there again in the morning before heading off to Fraser's Hill. There, we had an evening hike along the Hemmant Trail where we first encountered leeches. We headed off for a rather heavy hike along the Mager and Bishop's Trails (this is the one where 2 boys went missing) in the morning before moving on to Gunung Senyum (gorgeous facade, bad air, no food within an hour's drive - we missed lunch here. Grr.).

That night we got lost in Temerloh, ulu as shit town, and the only decent hotel opened was expensive and oh so baaad. *shudder* Thankfully, we headed for KL the next morning, 2 hour's drive from Temerloh, lunch, and headed off to Gombak, where I could finally catch my elusive spiders. There we got erh, comfy, in the University of Malaya field station at the Gombak forest. Here, the field station runs on one lone generator that is never started unless absolutely necessary. Trips around the place were thus mostly lit by head torches (and halogen lamps for the faint-hearted :D) Exciting stuff. Woah, this field station was truly close to nature. But it was hell trying to sleep with the deafening sound of cicadas in a fogged bunk with the lingering smoke from the mosquito coil all night long.

Hoho! I got my inaugural leech bite in the bathroom of the gombak field station, of all places, mostly because we are way prepared for the forest critters to get bitten by anything out there (i.e. slathering self with copious amounts of army repellent, and slathering our leech socks with copious amounts of army repellent, and spraying our clothes and hats with copious amounts of Off repellent.)

At Fraser's Hill, we spent 2 whole hours combing the hillsides for tarantulas and trap-door spiders. Oh, what fun!! Here we procured some rather illegal piece of invertebrate that I shall not divulge in the public domain :D I'll youtube a really hilarious video of us teasing a trap-door spider when I have the time and patience.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ooh ooh what illegal invertebrate??