This is continuation from Part I saga
The trail that we navigated along the way down wa actually the same as we used while going up. However, it didn’t not look the same. Maybe because of the cloudy sky and gloomy atmosphere. When my buddies asked me about it, I explained that this was probably due to different weather that we had experienced in the morning. We had sun shining through the forest after sunrise and it may give different look. This theory kinda makes sense though especially when the forest has so many trees with many branches and roots. What we see going down may not be the same as going up.
Or maybe there were some kind of unexplained things that changed what we saw and what we perceived. I had heard many stories about this mysterious forest. A friend once told me about his friend being followed by a shadow that followed him from mossy forest to his home. He even showed me the photo of the white and misty shadow behind his friend. However, exhaustion and hunger could also be the factors of certain delusions. Be wary and start early to avoid going out from the forest after dark. Especially to those with lower stamina. Remember, safety first!
At Gunung Irau, I saw many junctions that led us to random trails but thankfully most of them were correct. This was not just my illusion only, my friends said the same thing too. So, be aware of your surrounding. Play music to accompany you and your mates but not too loud and be respectful of the forest. Thankfully, there were few places where I remembered passing like the ones with ropes, vertical walls and foot prints on muddy tracks.
After Anak Irau Peak (false peak of Gunung Irau), all 16 of us get separated into few groups. This time around, with many long rests and hard roots, pain began to take over both of my knees. The gloomy atmosphere had also affected my psychology but upon hearing thunders, I quicken the pace and pushd my buddies (ended up only 3 of us hiking together) to continue their hike with short rest in between. Another tips for hikers, don’t rest for too long. You may lose the momentum and your body temperature will decrease significantly. When you return to hike after a long rest, you will immediately feel the exhaustion. Moreover, the long rest will also affect your motivation. The adrenaline that is pumped throughout your body may be gone while resting and it needs even more charging to regain the momentum.
Any mountains or hills, hiking down is usually the most challenging. When I climbed Fuji not too long ago, I suffered badly. I lost 2 toe nails and had almost reached to the point of dehydration. So, experience taught me to be more aware with many possibilities. Same as Gunung Irau, hiking down seems to be taking longer than we thought. Motivation started to drain out. Thankfully, there were signs that tells you the check point. I did not notice the signs earlier when we climb. The signs were probably put to purposely facing the way down so as to guide the lethargic mind to the right path.
Along the way, there were only few people overtaking us. So, throughout the way down, it was quiet too. When we met a couple of bride and grooms having wedding photo shoot, we believed that the starting point was close. We arrived at the gazebo at around 3pm.
To see few people from our group at the gazebo helped to reenergize the motivations. A group of foreign tourists asked my opinion regarding Gunung Irau trek. I was gladly showing them the beauty of the forest from my iphone pictures. But I have to be frank to them. Since they were already late, they might not reach the peak before dark. Moreover, the gloomy weather was not favorable for good mossy forest view. After a short rest, we walked on the board walks and rain started drizzling on our exhausted body. Not wanting to get wet, I rushed myself to the entrance.
The rest of the group members completed the journey at about 4pm. So, in total, it was about 8 hours if going in slow pace. We could complete it faster if we wanted to.
That is all.
The DO’s and DON’Ts
Notes to remember: Don’t start late. You don’t want to reach back at the entrance when it’s already dark. Think about the road that you have to drive to reach Brinchang Town. It wasn’t that safe neither. Unless, if you are really fit and can complete it within 4 hours, starting the hike after lunch would be okay.
If you go with a group, make sure the weakest in the group does not go alone. If you are an expert in hiking, you shall use your expertise and stamina to help others who don’t.
Make sure and always remember that you need enough fluid to sustain a long hike. Wet and cloudy whether does not make you safe from dehydration. Bring at least one bottle of 1.5 liter of water.
Don’t forget to bring snacks to keep you energize. If you do not have lunch pre-packed, snacks would be effective to provide you enough energy for the whole hiking trip. Don’t eat too much during lunch because you will feel full when hiking down and this won’t be comfortable.
Depends on your purpose of hiking, don’t forget to capture the memories.
This doesn’t stop me to conquer more mountains. Next is Rinjani. Can’t wait!
Update: I have climbed Rinjani. Check out the post!