It was quite a straightforward journey from Melawati to Kepong on the MRR2. Every time I visited my son, I would pass by the junction that leads off to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, or better known as FRIM. I told myself that I should visit FRIM one of these days. Of course over the three years, I never did.
A few days after my transferring to the present stint here, one of my staff told me that she's organizing a jungle trekking outing to FRIM and wanted to know if I'd like to come along. I immediately said yes. It is a bit ironic that after all this time, it needed another person to give me the push to do something that I had wanted to do many years ago.
And so, yesterday morning, a group of us headed out to Kepong to enjoy the natural beauty of the rainforest right at our doorstep. The heavy thunderstorm the day before and the early morning drizzle did not deter us. In fact, the muddy trail made it all the more interesting. We had arranged for a guide from FRIM to lead us in the trekking activity. En. Nizam the guide, took us trekking along a well-marked trail and made occasional stops at different locations to give us useful and interesting commentary. For example, I now know that the research station was established by British guy named Foxworthy. And that the merbau tree yields a dark brown timber that is highly-sought for the making of musical instruments. The valuable wood means that merbau is among the favourite target of illegal loggers.
The guide told us many more stuff about the jungle but most of the time I was concentrating on recovering my breath to remember what was said. The trail took us up and down steep slopes. Being the oldest guy in the group, I had trouble keeping up but tried my best not to show it... I seriously need to exercise more often. I am still feeling the aches in my leg muscles as I type this.
The highlight of the trek is of course, the canopy walk. Walking on the suspended walkways across the top of the trees is something really worth experiencing. The view from the top is simply breathtaking.
After completing the canopy walk, we trudged downhill back to the FRIM information centre. There are other attractions available but we were too tired to continue. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning. Looking forward to go there again soon.
The `about to get dirty' dozen
This view of the forest reminded me of the movie `Predator'
Canopy of kapur trees. Close, but not touching
Not quite the vines that Tarzan uses
Can't escape donating blood to some suckers