Monday, September 20, 2004

[continuing the trip to Taman Negara].....Since the area around the toll plaza is new, there were no shaded area for us to take a rest...They only had a washroom and a small prayer hall, we call surau....So after ending the chat with the security man....I sat in the car to cool down with the air condition comfort of the car...My wife had all along sat in the car and took to reading the morning paper... In a while my friends arrived and say sorry that they a are a bit late....Not to worry I say....We had plenty of time to start the adventure....His wife took his car and drove off with her mother to do an errant while He jump into my car and lead us to a relatives house nearby, so that I could park my car and we would just go in one car, his, a Japanese four wheel drive.....We drove on and soon arrived at the relative's house at Kerdau, a small town out of the main road to Jerantut that we seldom get to, but with the new Highway this once sleepy town and village became nearer then before and easy to get to...At one time the only way to get to this small town was by river....Well time has change and we are now in a new Kerdau....I drove in and met the relative...He asked me to park the car under the garage and then went into the house to rest and as usual chat while waiting for my friend's wife to finished her errant......While waiting my friend took me to see his orchard which contain many fruits trees of various varieties, like most orchards in the country side, it has been left unattended, for the old folks are no long there to tend to it and their children, like my friend now live in the cities....It is what we call progress....Well life is like that....After a while his wife came back and without much a do, we depart for the National Park....She took the wheel with my wife sitting in the front seat and us the man at the back seat...Oh! What a change....We are now being driven by a lady driver all the way..Normally in this country the man would drive and the Mrs would just sit and enjoy the journey...But today..It is a different story all together...The lady had taken over the tradition and with confidence...Like what has happen in the west...The lady in the east are joining the route of progress like their sister in the west...Some years ago you hardly see ladies drivers but now it is a familiar sight...But for today it is special, we man got the opportunity to sit at the back seat and enjoy the ride...Amazing the changes that is happening in this country....With all the confidence she drove on this unfamiliar route....For non of us have driven on this stretch of road before..the road from Jerantut to Kuala Tahan....We first had to get to the town of Jerantut....After a while of driving and us enjoying the trip...We arrived at Jerantut and surprise..Oh! What a surprise, the once sleepy hollow, a small town in the rural area has sprang up so big with many new buildings and as busy as ever, with its own traffic jam, just like those towns on the west coast...Personally I am surprise to see this town...It has grown so much since I visit it some years ago...Well one can never tell what are happening in rural Malaysia....With the booming economy, prosperity are everywhere and its shows....We passes slowly through the town of Jerantut and then proceed on to look for the road to Kuala Tahan, where the National Park is situated..... With the opportunity to just sit in the car,a rather rare opportunity to me...We chat along and enjoy the scenery all along the road, amazing the development that has take place all the years, the Kerdau Jerantut road were wide and well maintained and straight all the way to the town, there are no more forest along the road.. Instead there are plantations of Rubber and Palm oil...Some of the primary export of Malaysia to the world.... Just after the Jerantut bridge we saw a large saw mill and the sign of the road leading to our destination, Kuala Tahan....The road look good, so we proceed with caution as non of us had travel this road before... The lady driver were good so we just relax and enjoy the journey, punctuate with small talk of the great scenery of Palm Oil estate all along the road.....There were patches here and there of the Malaysian jungle, the forest with all the shades of green everywhere....We proceed on and at some places the road wind it way around the hills and at some place there were patches of damaged road, probably made by the timber lorry or those lorry that carry the produce of the plantation such as palm oil fruits to the factory for processing.....So we now knew that we had to be careful of such lorry and drive slowly....We soon encounter patches of the bad parts of the road...But not that bad that it is not possible to drive through...We were expecting the worst but the bad patches were not that bad and our journey was rather smooth all the way....After about a hour of driving we arrived at Kuala Tahan and drove straight to the end of the road and beyond us lay the Jelai river, a tributary of the Pahang River......We had arrived at our destination by road.... What a day....History is made.....I had never dream that I could get here by road and today we did it....Great....Happy.....We look for our accommodation, The Rainforest Resort......[to be continue]

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