Monday, February 4, 2013

Gua Tempurung

I finished my Progress Test last Thursday, then fell sick, caught a flu. But it's no stopping me from enjoying my weekend with God and nature!!

Petaling Jaya's Full Gospel Assembly Youth (FGA PJY) had successfully carry out a one-day trip to Gua Tempurung (Perak) on Saturday!! It wasn't my first time entering Gua Tempurung, but it's the first time I went for the river tour!! Fun, exciting!! It's been so-so-so long since I last had such a great trip in God's creation of nature's beauty!! What's more, going with my church friends was so much fun!! We really had a great time!

The cave was beautiful, at certain views, especially the cave window view! Probably not as good as Gua Niah in Sarawak, but still beautiful, in my eyes at least. =) We first toured the the 'dry' route, climbing up and down flights of stairs, while enjoying the scenic view in the cave. We saw rocks formation with the shape of a sea horse!! And a human's face!! There's many other unique shapes, some people could see a dolphin, but I didn't see any. It's a mystery how nature works in the world of Art. Masterpieces of God, maybe.

Gua Tempurung was also once a shelter for the communists, during the Emergency back then I guess. So we also saw some old Chinese writings on the wall, with beautiful drawings of British vintage cars!! They could really draw!! However, some easier-to-reach sections of the cave have been scribbled by tourists. I personally think it's not a good idea, kind of like vandalism to me.

After that, came the most exciting part, the river route!! Since we took the smaller package, we actually didn't explore the whole cave. It must be much deeper, and much more dangerous to take the complete package. The river route started with a rocky slide into a deeper section of the cave. Then, we had to climb into a hole to the lower chamber, before reaching the icy cold underground river. And hence, started the river "walkathon". We frequently found ourselves hunching, crawling or even swimming when the cave ceilings get too low at certain areas.

Now, I would like to highlight a misconception among many people when it comes to the river tour in Gua Tempurung. It's NOT SLIPPERY AT ALL!! Because there's no sunlight in there, there's no mosses on the rocks in the riverbed. It's mostly sand and stones under water. It may be harder for some people to keep their balance due to the uneven riverbed, but it's really not slippery. Unless you're stepping on big slabs of marble at one or two sections of the river, which you might want to take note because the marbles are smooth, the rest of the river is considerably safe.

The water is actually quite clean, especially for Malaysia rivers. It's only a little bit murky, because of the sandy riverbed and those powdery rocks of the cave. Your shoes won't be damaged, it only gets dirty. By the time I reached the exit, whatever little space left in my shoes were filled with tiny stones and sand. But after a good cleaning, those shoes can still be used. Still, it's not advisable to wear slippers or sandals that have a thin sole, and too exposing. A covered pair of shoes will protect your feet from sharp rocks and stones.

The river is quite shallow, though the water level reaches my hips at certain places. Not advisable for children under 12 years-old to travel the river route, but there were kids as young as, 7 years-old maybe, among us youths who explored the cave. Of course, we young adults kept a very close eye on them, all the time. We were lucky to have strong guys among us, who gave helping hands for almost everyone at difficult areas, such as the rock slide and the deep hole to the lower chamber.

In conclusion, that was a great experience!! Never knew caving could be this fun!! I really want to go for more of this kind of expedition. Maybe next time I can try some more challenging adventures, like the full package at Gua Tempurung, or maybe Malaysia's world-famous cave, Gua Niah. For those who are interested to have a tour in Gua Tempurung, or those who wants to know more about this cave (especially those who have never heard of it), you may check out this website for more information!     {LINK}

Have a safe and enjoyable caving/potholing experience people!

P/S: Thank God for such a wonderful weekend and a safe trip under your protection. Amen! =)

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