Caving among night adventures
After the satisfying meal by the campsite, we decide to go for some night adventure by climbing up to a cave.
Still energised by the delicious dinner and equipped with safety helmets and head torches, we begin our journey by strolling along the lakeside, accompanied by adventure guides Fakhrul and Shahdan.
The track is not so challenging for a start, as it is grassy with just a little bit of mud here and there.
We walk deep into the lush forest for about 15-20 minutes and finally arrive at an entrance with the signage “Gua Datuk”.
Here is where the adventure kicks off. “Are you ready?” asks Fakhrul.
It is dark, and the atmosphere is a bit eerie. We are in total darkness except for our headlights but we are ready to hike the 630 steps of rough stairs!
As I am not a fit person, I am already out of breath after 10 minutes. But that doesn’t stop me.
We take a couple of short stops to take a breather. We finally arrive at the mouth of Gua Datuk after 20 minutes.
At the mouth of the cave, Fakh suggests a short rest while he briefs us on the history of the cave which dates back 400 million years.
“The cave is considered a sacred place by many. People have been coming here to pray and meditate for years. It has also been used as a hiding spot by the Communists,”says Fakhrul.
The cave is also called Picasso Cave because the beautiful granite walls resemble the abstract paintings of the famous Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso.
We then continue our journey inside the cave.
The place is very quiet but I can vaguely hear bats soaring above me. I adjust my headlamp to shine downwards and carefully refrain from looking up to avoid disturbing the bats which are very sensitive to light.
In the cave, we encounter some old relics such as a basket and a wooden ladder,possibly abandoned by those who came here to collect bird’s nests.
We also spot some stalactites and stalagmites, as well as an animal skull, which can possibly be a horse’s or Pterodactyl’s, according to Fakhrul.
Deeper inside, we come across an old shabby chair made of wood. What is it doing there?
Being a scaredy cat, I walk closely to the others. I have goosebumps looking at the mysterious relic.
According to Fakhrul, the chair was left there by Malay warrior Datuk Panglima Ngah Ghafar, who came here to meditate. The chair faces kiblat, the direction of Mecca.
Fakhrul points out two of three plots which could possibly be graves. Hiking the 630 steps to Gua Datuk.
Dine at Dulang Tea House and experience the unique cave ambience.
Easy does it...
There are also plenty of joss sticks left by the Chinese who came here to pray and seek blessing.
Another amazing thing that we witness is a huge pot made of clay strategically positioned directly under a dripping water from the upper chamber of the cave. We dip our hands into it, and the water is cool and clear.
Before we head back, we see an amazing view of the lake from up here. For an additional RM100 per person, it is definitely worth it, especially for the adventure seekers!
INTO THE HOLE
Craving for more, we go for another round of adrenaline-pumping adventure and this time we opt for the three-hour tunnel exploration of the Sixth Mile Tunnel.
For an additional RM110 per pax, my friends and I will be going inside a narrow hole to explore this man-made tunnel. But this time, it is during the day.
We are given a life jacket, safety helmet, headlamp and a bottle of mineral water each. Said to be more challenging then hiking Gua Datuk and we are going to get wet, I am prepared with a bag to keep my phones and cameras.
Our journey starts at the same route to Gua Datuk. But, after five minutes of trekking, our guides Pak Usop and Shahdan stop us.
We have to cross a lake with the help of a rope. So, one by one, we swim across. We walk for another 15 minutes in our soaked clothes and soggy shoes.
Upon reaching the adventure location, we can see the Sixth Mile Tunnel entrance from afar but we need to cross another small swamp.
“You must float to go across. Just relax and float. Don’t panic because if you step on the mud, you will get stuck and probably lose your shoes,” says Pak Usop.
Carefully, I go into the water and float. It is a bit challenging to stop myself from stepping on the mud at the bottom but I manage to stay
One of the challenge at the Sixth Mile Tunnel
Hearty breakfast fare.