We met near the edge of town at 6.45 a.m., Saturday morning. The three of us, Muthu, Arshad and.; had planned to follow the small river that flowed through our town to its source.
It was not a big river, but more like a large stream. Nevertheless, I had always wondered where it originated from. was going to find out that day. We had enough equipment to last us two days, three if we stretched it
We started off. it was easy going for about a couple of miles. All we had to do was to follow the river upstream. We passed a few villages. The villagers asked us what we were doing. We told them of our intention and they wished us the best of tuck.
At about 9 a.m. the going became harder. Well-worn paths disappeared and we had to tread carefully over rough terrain. The river narrowed considerably but the water became crystal clear. We stopped to rest for a while near a small natural pool. I marveled at the cool fresh water. We took our shoes off and waded in the water among the many fishes that lived there.
We then proceeded further upstream, we had to be very careful not to disturb the wildlife there. Even so, we chanced upon a few snakes, many birds, leeches, mosquitoes and perhaps a wild boar. We could avoid most of them except the leeches and mosquitoes. We had to stop to remove the leeches from our legs and put insect repellent on the exposed parts of our body.
From then on it was really tough going. We had to go through the marshy ground and thick undergrowth but we kept ongoing.
We stopped for lunch near a beautiful waterfall deep in the jungle. After a short rest, we reluctantly continued upstream. Actually, there were many tributaries to the stream and we decided to follow the largest one.
Slowly we found ourselves going uphill as we got closer to the source. For the rest of the afternoon, we trudged through obstacles that we never dreamed existed. But it was worth the effort. The beauty of nature was incredible. Not many of us have the opportunity to see such unspoiled beauty.
As dusk approached, the jungle became dark very quickly. Thankfully we came upon air Orang Asli settlement where we were warmly greeted. We spent the night there with these friendly people.
The next morning, we bade farewell to our hosts and continued our trek up the hill. We were all sore and tired but we knew we were getting near the source for the river had narrowed to only a small stream a foot wide. The water was incredibly cold.
Near the top of the hill, we came upon a small spring where fresh cold water flowed out. We knew we had achieved our objective. There we were, at the source of the river. It was an exciting feeling. I knew then how the great explorers must have felt. We were no great explorers by any standard but we knew why they did what they did. It was for the pleasure of discovering the unknown.
We made camp near the spring and enjoyed our small success. Soon we would have to make our journey back, but for the moment we rested and savored every minute of our achievement.